Author Archive

The shock of the old

July 9, 2013
Dress worn by Rosamund Anstruther, Mrs Edward Windsor Hussey (1877-1958). ©National Trust

Dress worn by Rosamund Anstruther, Mrs Edward Windsor Hussey (1877-1958). ©National Trust

Dame Helen Ghosh, the director-general of the National Trust, writes an internal blog about her experiences and thoughts while traveling around National Trust places and meeting colleagues. Recently she mentioned coming upon this Edwardian dress at Scotney Castle and suddenly being transported back in time.

Portrait of Rosamund Hussey by James Jebusa Shannon, painted shortly after 1900. ©National Trust Images/John HammondMRS EDWARD WINDSOR HUSSEY ON THE TERRACE by James Jebusa Shannon, (1862-1923), an American artist, on the Staircase in the new house at Scotney Castle, Kent

Portrait of Rosamund Hussey by James Jebusa Shannon, painted shortly after 1900. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

The dress belonged to Rosamund Hussey who lived at Scotney during the first half of the twentieth century. She was painted wearing it by the society portraitist J.J. Shannon shortly after her marriage to Edward Windsor Hussey in 1900.

Mrs Hussey being painted by Shannon. National Trust Images

Mrs Hussey being painted by Shannon. National Trust Images

I have previously touched on the poignant juxtaposition between historic items of clothing and portraits showing them being worn, as also seen at Antony and in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The Scotney pairing is even more layered in that there exists a contemporary photograph showing the portrait being painted – an interestingly self-conscious celebration of the event of having one’s portrait painted, and an equally fascinating contrast between the new medium of photography and the old medium of oil on canvas.

View from the new house at Scotney down to the castle. ©National Trust Images/John Miller

View from the new house at Scotney down to the castle. ©National Trust Images/John Miller

And I suppose the garden at Scotney, shown in the background of the picture (and of the photograph), adds yet another visual layer which – like the dress – is still there.

Slow conservation

July 3, 2013
Conservation assistant at Osterley Park cleaning one of the Robert Adam-designed pier glasses. ©National Trust Images/Matthew Antrobus

Conservation assistant at Osterley Park cleaning one of the Robert Adam-designed pier glasses. ©National Trust Images/Matthew Antrobus

Since the 1980s the Slow Food movement has championed regional cuisine, traditional food and locally sourced products. Sarah Staniforth, museums and collections director for the National Trust, has argued for some time that the same principles should be applied to the conservation of historic buildings and collections.

A young visitor at Little Moreton Hall trying out the cleaning of the transomed windows under the guidance of a conservator. ©National Trust Images/Paul Harris

A young visitor at Little Moreton Hall trying out the cleaning of the transomed windows under the guidance of a conservator. ©National Trust Images/Paul Harris

In a recently republished article entitled ‘Slow Conservation’, Sarah makes the case for ‘a holistic approach to the care of collections that reduce the rate at which damaging change occurs, whilst recognising that some change is inevitable.’

Tools used by dress conservators at Smallhythe Place. ©National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Tools used by dress conservators at Smallhythe Place. ©National Trust Images/Paul Harris

In practice this means focusing on preventive conservation, conserving what is there rather than spending a lot of energy on restoring something back to its idealised ‘original’ condition. Like gardening, preventive conservation is best done little but often. It also involves maintaining and building the right skills and sharing these with a wider public.

A conservator dusting the Elizabethan canopy in the Long Gallery at Hardwick Hall. ©National Trust Images/John Millar

A conservator dusting the Elizabethan canopy in the Long Gallery at Hardwick Hall. ©National Trust Images/John Millar

Sarah’s article can be found in the recently published book Historical Perspectives on Preventive Conservation, which she edited. This book also contains essays and excerpts on subjects as diverse as intangible heritage, Japanese kura storehouses, Mrs Beeton on housekeeping, cabinets of curiosities, the rebirth of the Louvre, the ‘Aer and Smoak’ of London and the impact of climate change.

An eighteenth-century Pinterest board at Uppark

June 20, 2013
The Print Room at Uppark. ©National Trust Images/Geoffrey Frosh

The Print Room at Uppark. ©National Trust Images/Geoffrey Frosh

The eighteenth-century Print Room at Uppark was completely destroyed in the 1989 fire. By a very lucky coincidence, however, the prints and their straw-coloured backing paper had been removed for conservation, so it was possible to put them back when the room was restored.

©National Trust Images/John Hammond

©National Trust Images/John Hammond

The prints seem to have been originally hung in the late eighteenth century, and there is a record of Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh, the owner of Uppark, paying £51 5s to ‘Mrs Vivaro for Prints’ in 1774. The prints are mostly after Italian, Flemish and Spanish old master paintings, although there is also one of a ‘contemporary’ Reynolds painting showing the actor David Garrick.

The cut-out watercolours of flowers in terracotta pots seem to have been added in the early nineteenth century, during the time of Sir Matthew’s widow (and erstwhile dairy maid) Mary Ann, Lady Fetherstonhaugh.

©National Trust Images/John Hammond

©National Trust Images/John Hammond

The practice of sticking prints directly to the walls surrounded by decorative paper borders and other trompe l’oeil decorations seems to have originated around 1750. It may be related to the contemporary taste for decorating rooms with arrangements of Chinese prints and paintings on paper.

It also reminds me of the recent emergence of Pinterest and other personalised online image collections, which clearly are part of a venerable tradition (and which I have previously posted about).

Conversing with aliens

June 18, 2013
Portrait of Elizabeth Murray by Sir Peter Lely, c. 1645. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Portrait of Elizabeth Murray by Sir Peter Lely, c. 1645. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Columnist Howard Jacobson recently made an interesting point about the relevance of history. He turned the argument upside down by stating (in a paraphrase of John F. Kennedy): ‘It’s not history’s job to be relevant to us; it’s our job to be relevant to history.’

I think there is much to be said for both sides in the relevance debate: we don’t want history to be so remote that we feel alienated from it, but equally we cannot automatically project the issues and preconceptions of the present day onto people and situations in the past.

Portrait of Elizabeth, Lady Tollemache, by Sir Peter Lely, c. 1650. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Portrait of Elizabeth, Lady Tollemache, by Sir Peter Lely, c. 1650. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

But I am inspired by the reasons Jacobson gives for being attracted when he was young to what he could easily have regarded as irrelevant to him in history and literature : ‘… we read … in order imaginatively to enjoy the company of others, in order to understand what those who were not ourselves were like, in order to feel the world expand around us, in order to go places we didn’t routinely go to in our neighbourhoods or in our heads, in order to meet the challenge of difference … Reading felt like a journey out of self, not into it.’

Portrait of the Duke and Duchess oif Lauderdale by Sir Peter Lely, c. 1672. ©National Trust Images/John Bethell

Portrait of the Duke and Duchess oif Lauderdale by Sir Peter Lely, c. 1672. ©National Trust Images/John Bethell

I think the figure of Elizabeth Murray (1626-98), chatelaine of Ham House, is a good illustration of the complexities of relevance. She was clever, cultured, beautiful and feisty. She had 11 children by her first husband and married the second following a scandalous extramarital affair. She lived through the roller-coaster of the Civil War, the Commonwealth and the Restoration (her father had been a courtier of Charles I).

After marrying her second husband she enjoyed great wealth and prestige, expanding and redecorating Ham House on a princely scale (including the astounding purchase of 152 gold and silver thread tassels in October 1573). At the end of her life she was reduced to near penury, but her need to pawn jewels, silver and paintings has provided us with a poignant and wonderfully detailed record of her taste.

Some of these aspects of Elizabeth Murray’s life we can undoubtedly relate to, while others are as alien as life on Mars. But it is one of the benefits of history that it occasionally allows us  to converse with aliens.

Rooms present and rooms past

June 13, 2013
The Dining Room at Hanbury Hall. ©National Trust Images/Dennis Gilbert

The Dining Room at Hanbury Hall. ©National Trust Images/Dennis Gilbert

The colleagues at Hanbury Hall are gearing up for the final phase of the restoration of the mural paintings created by Sir James Thornhill (1675-1734). I have previously mentioned the complex work on the murals in the Painted Staircase.

Portrait of Thomas Vernon, MP, (1654-1721), the builder of Hanbury, by John Vanderbank. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Portrait of Thomas Vernon, MP, (1654-1721), the builder of Hanbury, by John Vanderbank. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

The Dining Room has two ceiling paintings by Thornhill. When Thomas Vernon (1654-721) built the house in the early 18th century there were two rooms here, a Lobby and a Withdrawing Room. These rooms were amalgamated into the present Dining Room after 1830.

Ceiling painting by Sir James Thornhill depicting Boreas abducting Oreithyia, in the Dining Room at Hanbury Hall. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Ceiling painting by Sir James Thornhill depicting Boreas abducting Oreithyia, in the Dining Room at Hanbury Hall. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

The smaller painting, with Boreas, the north wind, abducting the nymph Oreithyia, was originally the ceiling of the Lobby, hinting at the draughts coming in through the door into the north-east courtyard.

Ceiling painting by Sir James Thornhill depicting Apollo abducting a nymph, possibly Cyrene, in the Dining Room at Hanbury Hall. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Ceiling painting by Sir James Thornhill depicting Apollo abducting a nymph, possibly Cyrene, in the Dining Room at Hanbury Hall. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

The larger painting, depicting Apollo abducting a nymph, possibly Cyrene (although from some angles it appears as if she is abducting him), was originally the ceiling of the Withdrawing Room.

Composite image taken with ultra-violet light identifying the structural problems in one of the ceiling paintings in the Dining Room at Hanbury Hall. ©National Trust

Composite image taken with ultra-violet light to identify the structural problems in one of the ceiling paintings in the Dining Room at Hanbury Hall. ©National Trust

Over time the ceiling has bowed and cracked, which in turn has affected the paintings. The planned work will include strengthening the ceiling and the floors above, restoring the plasterwork and cleaning, repairing and retouching the paintings.

The south-east end of the Dining Room at Hanbury Hall. The carved wood chimneypiece and overmantel date from about 1760. ©National Trust Images/Nadia Mackenzie

The south-east end of the Dining Room at Hanbury Hall. The carved wood chimneypiece and overmantel date from about 1760. ©National Trust Images/Nadia Mackenzie

The total project will cost £74,500, and we have already found funds amounting to £44,500. Donations towards raising the remaining £30,000 can be made through the Hanbury Hall JustGiving site.

The myth of the sleeping beauty

June 11, 2013
Detail of an oval pier-glass in the Queen's Bedchamber at Ham House, one of a pair by supplied by William Bradshaw, c.1743. It reflects a carved and gilded garland by John Bullamore dating from the 1670s. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Detail of an oval pier-glass in the Queen’s Bedchamber at Ham House, one of a pair by supplied by William Bradshaw, c.1743. It reflects a carved and gilded garland by John Bullamore dating from the 1670s. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

I have just been perusing an advance copy of the book Ham House: 400 Years of Collecting and Patronage. The sale copies of this book are apparently somewhere on the high seas en route from the printer, and are due become available within the next a few weeks, but I thought I might provide a little preview here.

Fruitwood armchair, c. 1730, in the Queen's Bedchamber at Ham House, with velvet upholstery in red, green and cream silk velvet woven in either Genoa, Lyons or Spitalfields. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Fruitwood armchair, c. 1730, in the Queen’s Bedchamber at Ham House, with velvet upholstery in red, green and cream silk velvet woven in either Genoa, Lyons or Spitalfields. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

This book is the result of a conference held a couple of years ago about the history and collections of Ham House, one the best preserved 17th-century houses in Europe. It includes 28 essays by internationally recognised scholars accompanied by specially commissioned photography, as well as transcriptions of Ham’s historic inventories.

Detail of the silk velvet upholstery of the fruitwood furniture in the Queen's Bedchamber at Ham House. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Detail of the silk velvet upholstery of the fruitwood furniture in the Queen’s Bedchamber at Ham House. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Ham is justly famous for its 17th-century interiors and has acquired the reputation of being a kind of ‘sleeping beauty’, a house where nothing ever changed. However, several essays in this book puncture that myth and focus on restorations and embellishments carried out by its 18th- and 19th-century owners.

Detail of the marble topped pier table in the Queen's Bedchamber at Ham House, by William Bradshaw, c.1743, with a Portoro marble top and carved and gilded legs. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Detail of the marble topped pier table in the Queen’s Bedchamber at Ham House, by William Bradshaw, c.1743, with a Portoro marble top and carved and gilded legs. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Christopher Rowell, the National Trust’s furniture curator, discusses the taste and patronage of Lionel Tollemache, the 4th Earl of Dysart (1708-70), who inherited Ham in 1727. The 4th Earl repaired and remodeled a number of rooms in the house, and introduced new furniture, but Christopher demonstrates that he did so with great sensitivity to what was already there.

Parcel-gilt pier-glass and table possibly by William Bradshaw, c.1740, in the Volury Room at Ham House. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Parcel-gilt pier-glass and table possibly by William Bradshaw, c.1740, in the Volury Room at Ham House. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

The 4th Earl commissioned cabinetmakers George Nix (1744-51) and William Bradshaw (1700-75), among others, to supply chairs, tables, stands and even tapestries. But the new acquisitions were designed to harmonise with the existing furnishings, or to function as facsimiles of items which had become damaged or worn out.

Gilt X-frame sofa, 1735-40, in the style of William Kent and with velvet upholstery, in the Volury Room at Ham House. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Gilt X-frame sofa, 1735-40, in the style of William Kent and with velvet upholstery, in the Volury Room at Ham House. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

The subtlety of the 4th Earl’s contributions have almost caused him to be written out of Ham’s history.

Torchere by Peter Hasert, one of a pair, 1741, in the Marble Dining Room at Ham House. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Torchere by Peter Hasert, one of a pair, 1741, in the Marble Dining Room at Ham House. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Horace Walpole (171-97), who lived in nearby Twickenham, may have started that process by describing Ham, in his characteristically vivid and sweeping manner, as a house that time forgot: ‘Close to the Thames in the centre of all rich and verdant beauty, it is so blocked up an barricaded with walls, vast trees and gates that you think of yourself an hundred miles off and an hundred years back.’

Pier-glass, pier-table and stands veneered with incised Chinese lacquer, c. 1675, in the Withdrawing Room at Ham House. The table and stands were supplied with new supports by John Hele in 1741. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Pier-glass, pier-table and stands veneered with incised Chinese lacquer, c. 1675, in the Withdrawing Room at Ham House. The table and stands were supplied with new supports by John Hele in 1741. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

I hope to do a few more posts highlighting aspects of this splendid new book in the near future.

The significance of things

June 6, 2013
Silver and coral baby's rattle, at Snowshill Manor (NT1340278). ©National Trust Collections

Silver and coral baby’s rattle, at Snowshill Manor (NT1340278). ©National Trust Collections

Professor Margot Finn, who is leading the East India Company at Home project, recently gave a talk posing the question ‘How can things make historians think differently?’

Edith Agnes Eleanor Bliss, aged 7 months, April 1864, by Davy, at the Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock Abbey (NT97792). ©National Trust Collections

Edith Agnes Eleanor Bliss, aged 7 months, April 1864, by Davy, at the Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock Abbey (NT97792). ©National Trust Collections

Margot began by reminding the audience how our understanding of history has been shaped by ‘the overweening tyranny of the written text’. Objects, being mostly non-textual, have been ignored by historians or at most tolerated as illustrations for their own texts.

The Flute Player, Meissen porcelain group, c. 1900, at Nunnington Hall (NT979528). ©National Trust Collections

The Flute Player, Meissen porcelain group, c. 1900, at Nunnington Hall (NT979528). ©National Trust Collections

She handed a group of objects to the members of the audience with the request to pass them round and to note down any associations they might evoke.

Baby carriage, 1762, at Kedleston Hall (NT108650). ©National Trust Collections

Baby carriage, 1762, at Kedleston Hall (NT108650). ©National Trust Collections

This was also to emphasise her point about the limits of exhibitions and museum displays, which admittedly place the objects centre-stage, but at the same time move them out of reach and divorce them from their original contexts.

Mary Myddelton (1688-1747) and Sir William Myddelton, 4th Bt (1694-1718), as children, English School, at Chirk Castle (NT1171140). ©National Trust Collections

Mary Myddelton (1688-1747) and Sir William Myddelton, 4th Bt (1694-1718), as children, English School, at Chirk Castle (NT1171140). ©National Trust Collections

Margot welcomed the online proliferation of images of objects in museum collections, but she also cautioned that this in some ways reduces objects to flat, full-frontal images (something I also touched on in my previous posts on the Pinterest phenomenon).

White cotton baby's cap, at Overbeck's House (NT1413897). ©National Trust Collections

White cotton baby’s cap, at Overbeck’s House (NT1413897). ©National Trust Collections

She posed a kind of ‘baby test': how can we historians and curators convey historical reality with as much immediacy as if we were in the presence of an adorably cute and simultaneously pungently messy baby? Now there’s a challenge.

The Boudoir revisited

June 4, 2013
The Boudoir at Attingham, by Ethel Sands, probably 1929, oil on board, oil on board,  61 x 49.9 cm.  ©Christie's

The Boudoir at Attingham, by Ethel Sands, probably 1929,
oil on board, 61 x 49.9 cm. ©Christie’s

We have just purchased this small painting of the Boudoir at Attingham Park at auction at Christie’s South Kensington. It is by Ethel Sands (1873-1962) and was probably painted in 1929.

Recent photograph of the Boudoir. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Recent photograph of the Boudoir. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Between the two World Wars Teresa, Lady Berwick (1890-1972), entertained a cosmopolitan and artistic circle at Attingham.

©Christie's

©Christie’s

Lady Berwick’s father, William Stokes Hulton (1852-1921), had been a painter who knew Sickert and Sargent. Her mother, Costanza Mazini (1863-1939) had links with the international literary and artistic community in Florence, including the Brownings and the Berensons. Thomas Noel-Hill, 8th Lord Berwick (1877-1947), met Teresa while serving as a diplomat in Italy during the First World War, when she was working as a nurse, and they were married in 1919.

©Christie's

©Christie’s

After the war they gradually restored and updated Attingham, adding furniture and art to the collection. They also acknowledged recent artistic developments by naming cows on the farm after Picasso, Gaugin and Matisse. There are records of Ethel Sands visiting Attingham on several occasions in 1929, when she was joined by writers, intellectuals and aesthetes such as L.P. Hartley, Cesare Visconti, Count of Marcignago, Albert (‘Bertie’) Landsberg and Angela Mond.

Sir Gerald Kelly (1879-1972) painting Lady Berwick in the Boudoir, c. 1923. ©National Trust

Sir Gerald Kelly (1879-1972) painting Lady Berwick in the Boudoir, c. 1923. ©National Trust

The late 18th-century painted decoration of the Boudoir, originally created for Anne Vernon, 1st Lady Berwick (1744-97), was cleaned and restored a few years ago. But this late 1920s painting is a beautiful and useful snapshot of the room in one of its more recent incarnations.

The meaning of furniture

May 21, 2013
Jewel coffer and secrétaire by Jean-Henri Riesener (1734-1806), veneered in grey-stained sycamore with marquetry of other woods on a carcase of oak, late 1770s. Victoria and Albert Museum, inv. no. 1106-1882, bequeathed by John Jones. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Jewel coffer and secrétaire by Jean-Henri Riesener (1734-1806), veneered in grey-stained sycamore with marquetry of other woods on a carcase of oak, late 1770s. Victoria and Albert Museum, inv. no. 1106-1882, bequeathed by John Jones. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Last Friday I attended an excellent seminar at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London entitled Furniture: Making and Meaning. This seminar was celebrating the new Dr Susan Weber Gallery of Furniture (which I posted about earlier) and to investigate issues around materials, making and design.

Japanese tiered box decorated with clam shells used in the shell matching game (kai awase) in high-relief lacquer (takamaki-e), 19th century. Victoria and Albert Museum, inv. no. 822:1-1869. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

One of the exciting features of this seminar was a set of talks about the construction and the tactile and visual effects of a French 18th-century jewel cabinet and a Japanese 19th-century lacquer box. The objects had been brought to the auditorium to star as ‘live’ performers, with a camera on hand to project close-ups  on the screen for all to see.

Bone armchair by Joris Laarman (b. 1979), Carrara marble dust mixed with resin, designed with algorithms based on bone and tree growth, 2008. ©Joris Laarman Lab

Bone armchair by Joris Laarman (b. 1979), Carrara marble dust mixed with resin, designed with algorithms based on bone and tree growth, 2008. ©Joris Laarman Lab

The day also included talks on the ‘reception history’ of carving, plywood and shagreen, and a stimulating discussion with three contemporary designer-makers.

What I particularly took away from this event was a vivid awareness that furniture is never just furniture: it is simultaneously social attitude, consumption pattern, political ideology, technical development, personal taste and manufacturing process. And I was inspired by the fact that all those ways of looking at furniture are just as relevant to historical collections as they are to the latest creations.

Animals of the forest

May 14, 2013
Study of a hare, by Philip Webb, c. 1887, pencil and watercolour on paper, 87 by 57 cm. ©Dreweatts

Study of a hare, by Philip Webb, c. 1887, pencil and watercolour on paper, 87 by 57 cm. ©Dreweatts

The four drawings shown here were made by Philip Webb (1831-1915), the Arts & Crafts architect and designer, as studies for a tapestry entitled The Forest which was woven by Morris & Co in 1887.

The Forest, tapestry, woven wool and silk on a cotton warp, designed by William Morris, Philip Webb and John Henry Dearle, woven at Merton Abbey by William Knight, John Martin and William Sleath, 1887, 121.9 by 452 cm. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London, purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund

The Forest, tapestry, woven wool and silk on a cotton warp, designed by William Morris, Philip Webb and John Henry Dearle, woven at Merton Abbey by William Knight, John Martin and William Sleath, 1887, 121.9 by 452 cm. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London, purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund

The finished tapestry is in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. The National Trust is now trying, with the V&A’s blessing, to raise the funds to purchase these drawings for the Arts & Crafts collection at Wightwick Manor.

Study of a fox, by Philip Webb, c. 1887, pencil and watercolour on paper, 89 by 58 cm. ©Dreweatts

Study of a fox, by Philip Webb, c. 1887, pencil and watercolour on paper, 89 by 58 cm. ©Dreweatts

Philip Webb was one of the leading architects and designers of the 19th century. He worked in fruitful collaboration with his friend and business partner William Morris (1834-1896).

Study of a lion, by Philip Webb, c. 1887, pencil and watercolour on paper, 85 by 72 cm. ©Dreweatts

Study of a lion, by Philip Webb, c. 1887, pencil and watercolour on paper, 85 by 72 cm. ©Dreweatts

Webb designed Morris’s first house, Red House in Bexleyheath. He also designed wallpaper, stained glass, textiles and furniture for Morris’s decorating company, Morris, Marshall & Faulkner, later Morris & Co.

Detail of the Trellis wallpaper design conceived by William Morris and incorporating birds drawn by Philip Webb. ©National Trust Images/Jonathan Gibson

Detail of the Trellis wallpaper design conceived by William Morris and incorporating birds drawn by Philip Webb. ©National Trust Images/Jonathan Gibson

In 1896 the four animal drawings were acquired by Laurence W. Hodson (1864-1933), a Wolverhampton industrialist and philanthropist who lived at Compton Hall, one mile from Wightwick Manor. Wightwick was donated to the National Trust by Sir Geoffrey Mander (1882-1962) and his second wife Rosalie Glynn Grylls, Lady Mander (1905-1988), in 1937. Ever since the Mander family and the National Trust have worked together to develop the collection of Arts & Crafts and Pre-Raphaelite art and design in the house.

Study of a raven, by Philip Webb, pencil and watercolour on paper, c. 1887, 66 by 49.5 cm. ©Dreweatts

Study of a raven, by Philip Webb, pencil and watercolour on paper, c. 1887, 66 by 49.5 cm. ©Dreweatts

We are trying to raise about £192,000 to acquire this set of four drawings. Any donations made through our Just Giving page, whether large or small, will be hugely appreciated.


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