They are part of the collection of Charles Wade (1883-1956), who trained as an architect, but who really came into his own as an artist, craftsman and collector.
Wade bought Snowshill in 1919 and gradually transformed the old Cotswold manor house into an Aladdin’s Cave.
He gave the rooms evocative names, such as Seraphim, Mizzen and A Hundred Wheels. Wade and his friends organised amateur theatricals in the house using items from the collection as costumes and props, and with candles and a smoky fire for extra effect.
Wade’s collecting was motivated by a love of craftsmanship. The scope of his collection expanded from British objects to include items from southern Europe and West and East Asia.
Wade gave Snowshill to the National Trust in 1951.