Books, Brueghels and blogs

Marble statuary group of Flora and Zephyr by Richard Wyatt, 1834, in the Tapestry Room at Nostell Priory. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

The July 2011 issue of the ABC Bulletin is out, with a fresh batch of background stories about the National Trust’s houses, gardens, and collections.

The Top Hall at Nostell, designed by Robert Adam and with hall chairs by Thomas Chippendale. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

Articles include:

  • The books as well as the Brueghel: acquiring Nostell Priory’s contents
  • The beetle-wing costume of a Victorian queen of the stage
  • William Morris’s legacy celebrated
  • Scotney Castle’s shabby chic
  • A revolution in the crafts
  • Recreating Lawrence of Arabia’s reading chair
  • Theresa Nguyen: silversmith in residence at Kedleston
  • An ornamental adventurer at Knole
  • Subversion in eighteenth-century France
  • Recent acquisitions

    The Billiard Room at Nostell. Bookcases were installed here in the 1820s, and doubled in height in the 1870s. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

My article about the ‘ornamental adventurer’ at Knole – the Chinese page who was portrayed by Reynolds in 1776 – was the fruit of discussions on this blog with keen readers Hongbo Du and Andrew Loan. We also found some hitherto undiscovered sources through Google Books, all illustrating how the internet is becoming a really useful tool for ‘traditional’ art history.

11 Responses to “Books, Brueghels and blogs”

  1. ewatak Says:

    The Top Hall at Nostell is just sheer perfection, which could not be improved upon.

  2. graham daw Says:

    Coffee,oatcakes and tahini and your article on the ornamental oriental.A splendid lunchtime,Emile.

  3. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Columnist, you probably wouldn’t have approved, then, of the massive organ that was erected there in front of one of the Adam fireplaces in the nineteenth century (now in nearby Wragby church) 🙂

  4. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Graham, I am so glad that my article goes well with oatcakes and tahini 🙂

  5. style court Says:


    Can’t wait to explore this one!

  6. columnist Says:

    The Top Hall at Nostell is just sheer perfection, which could not be improved upon. (Sorry this is a repeat, but your comments page has changed, and my name was incorrect!)

  7. columnist Says:

    No, you’re right, that would have been a complete travesty!

  8. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Columnist, apologies for the confusing change to the comments – but we seem to be back on track now.

    Courtney, apparently you have to eat oatcakes with tahini while reading the ABC Bulletin – see Graham’s comment above 🙂

  9. James Morgan Says:

    Imagine! In 50 years they had accumulated twice as many books!
    Wow, I have to get going on this!

    Rdr. james

  10. James Morgan Says:

    PS Sorry about the pipe organ. I hope the Wragby people love it.
    But Organs and Books seem to go well together, as far as I’m concerned.

  11. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    James, I don’t know much about the history of the books at Nostell, but often these libraries were built up by different members of the same family simultaneously, and they would sometimes inherit libraries as well (books being seen more as heirlooms than they are today), which can explain the sometimes rapid growth in numbers.

    But then in the late nineteenth century books also began to be sold off, especially the valuable ones (Caxtons and Shakespeare folios etc) as income from agriculture declined, so it could go both ways.

    Interestingly, our Libraries Curator, Mark Purcell, is a keen organ player as well as a book expert, so he would probably agree with you about organs and books going together 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: