BOOK REVIEW: Longford Castle

Longford Castle: The Treasures & The Collectors

Amelia Smith

 ISBN: 9781910787687

Publisher: Unicorn

£40.00

Longford full jkt draft latest.indd

I first learnt about Longford Castle and some of its treasures in an article in the 1968 Country Life Annual and have wanted to know more about it ever since. Well now both you and I can find out more in this fascinating book which is both well-written and well-illustrated.

 

Dating from Elizabethan times the house was acquired by the Bouverie family in 1717 and the story of how they built up the outstanding art collection which consists of Old Masters and family portraits – think Holbein, Claude, Reynolds and Gainsborough – is skilfully interwoven with the tale of the furnishings and decorations of the castle’s rooms which form the backdrop to the paintings.  It really is a celebration and a history of this great collection and house and is such a delight. It is a book I will return to time and time again!

 

http://unicornpublishing.org/

Stepping Back in Time

Step this Way: the Red Drawing Room opened up, Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire,  until 23rd October 2016

View from the Oval Hall, Waddesdon, Photo John Bigelow Taylor ©The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

View from the Oval Hall, Waddesdon,
Photo John Bigelow Taylor ©The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

This year visitors to Waddesdon retrace the footsteps of the 19th century guests of Baron Ferdinand. Entering through the main door they cross the Vestibule and enter directly into the Red Drawing Room which is the central room on the south side of the house.  Here guests would congregate before going into dinner in the Dining Room on the left-hand side.

The Red Drawing Room, Waddesdon Manor (C) The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor photo Dereck Pelling (4)

The Red Drawing Room, Waddesdon Manor
(C) The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor photo Dereck Pelling (4)

The Red Drawing Room has been brought back very much as it was in Baron Ferdinand’s time, including the tapestry covered chairs – a necessity since as many as forty guests may have been invited – and a screen decorated with monkeys.

View of the Red Drawing Room from Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild’s Red Book, 1897; ©The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor (2)

View of the Red Drawing Room from Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild’s Red Book, 1897;
©The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor (2)

In order to facilitate this year’s “change” the 17th century Savonnerie carpet which is one of the one’s ordered by Louis XIV for the Grande Galerie of the Louvre has been removed and replaced with an eyemat conservation floor that is an exact copy of the original carpet and this allows visitors to get closer to the paintings and furniture.

Savonnerie, Carpet, 1683 Photo P J Gates © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

Savonnerie, Carpet, 1683
Photo P J Gates © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

Looking through the windows, which now have special blinds which filter out damaging UV radiation to protect light-sensitive materials and textiles but allow light into the room, one sees the Terrace which the Baron’s guests would have been able to access through the central doorway.

The Red Drawing Room, Waddesdon Manor (C) The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor photo Derek Pelling (3)

The Red Drawing Room, Waddesdon Manor
(C) The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor photo Derek Pelling (3)

Looking out across the terrace visitors will see the parterre which this year has specially been planted with an Apollo’s head motif which was inspired by the one on the Red Drawing Room’s carpet.  Closer inspection of this attractive design can be made after you have toured the house.

Waddesdon Layout 2016 - final Carpet bedding

Waddesdon Layout 2016 – final Carpet bedding

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk

MASTERPIECE 2016: SELECTION 2

Masterpiece London 2016, The Bull Ring Gate Entrance, South Grounds, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3, 30thJune – 6th July 2016

 

Steinway & Sons White Spirio Heliconia (the Lalique piano) 2016 Courtesy Steinway & Sons

Steinway & Sons
White Spirio Heliconia (the Lalique piano)
2016
Courtesy Steinway & Sons

 

Lowell Libson Thomas Gainsborough Read Admiral Thomas Graves 1788 Courtesy Lowell Libson

Lowell Libson
Thomas Gainsborough
Read Admiral Thomas Graves
1788
Courtesy Lowell Libson

 

Wallace Chan Damask Silk Necklace 2016 DIF Diamond 54pcs 25.22ct Trillion-cut Pink Tourmaline 124pcs 21.38ct Fancy Colored Diamond, Pink Sapphire, White Agate Courtesy Wallace Chan

Wallace Chan
Damask Silk Necklace
2016
DIF Diamond 54pcs 25.22ct
Trillion-cut Pink Tourmaline 124pcs 21.38ct
Fancy Colored Diamond, Pink Sapphire, White Agate
Courtesy Wallace Chan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rose Uniacke The Louis XIV Walnut ‘Os de Mouton’ Sofa France circa 1730 104 x 239 x 77cm Courtesy Rose Uniacke

Rose Uniacke
The Louis XIV Walnut ‘Os de Mouton’ Sofa
France
circa 1730
104 x 239 x 77cm
Courtesy Rose Uniacke

 

Axel Vervoordt Monumental fragment from a standing male statue Leg and Feet on base Roman 2nd century A.D. Courtesy Axel Vervoodt

Axel Vervoordt
Monumental fragment from a standing male statue Leg and Feet on base
Roman 2nd century A.D.
Courtesy Axel Vervoodt

 

Adrian Sassoon A French 18th Century Soft-Paste Vincennes Porcelain Punch Bowl (jatte à ponche) c.1753 Courtesy Adrian Sassoon London

Adrian Sassoon
A French 18th Century Soft-Paste Vincennes Porcelain Punch Bowl (jatte à ponche)
c.1753
Courtesy Adrian Sassoon London

 

http://www.masterpiecefair.com