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					                                   National Trust

                                   arts|buildings|collections BULLETIN
                                                                                                                        winter issue february 2011


                A MAGNIFICENT FOWLING PIECE
                New research into Dudmaston’s silver-mounted flintlock

                     T
                               he mystery has now been solved
                               that had surrounded a fine silver-
                               mounted flintlock sporting gun at
                     Dudmaston. It dates from c.1715, and it is
                     signed ‘R. Wilding, Salop’, a name which
                     was previously unknown to arms histori-
                     ans.
                        The gun has magnificent silver and
                     mother-of-pearl inlays to the stock.
                     Despite some damage and losses, it still
                     retains enough of its former glory to show
                     that it is an important provincial piece.
                        Researching the history and identity of
                     the maker Wilding has proved challenging,
                     as nearly all genealogy records, particularly
                     provincial ones, that relate to this period are
                     few and far between. At first no trace could
                     be found of any such maker. The records of
                     crafts and trades that are often associated
                     with gun making, including silversmiths           enough information to point us in the right     solved the riddle of R. Wilding the gun-
                     and clockmakers, proved fruitless. Who was        direction. The records at the Shropshire        smith. An entry for the year 1689 records
                     Wilding, and did his skill as a gun maker         Archives in Shrewsbury, which included          that ‘Richard Wilding, gunsmith’, took
                     indicate that he might have learnt his trade      those of St Julian’s Church and of the city’s   an apprentice for the term of seven years.
                     in London? The apprentice records of the          guilds and trades, provided the rest.           A record even more important to us
                     Gunmakers’ Company and the Armourers’,              A remarkable leather-bound book
                     Braziers’ and Founders’ Companies were            containing the records of the Company of                               continued on page 
                     searched, once again without success.             Smiths (blacksmiths) in Shrewsbury has
                        However, an experienced private re-            survived; it includes details of apprentices                   INSIDE
                     searcher with his vast records and knowledge      taken on by company members between
                     of English gun makers was able to provide         1622 and 1764. It was this book that finally        3 The Gun Room at Dunster Castle

                                                                                                                          4 The lapis lazuli cabinet at Belton
                     ALL OF HUMAN LIFE: NOSTELL’S BRUEGHEL                                                                  House

                     Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s Procession to Calvary, signed and dated 1602, was purchased            5 The Argory Historic Lighting List
                     by private treaty from Lord St Oswald for Nostell Priory, where the painting has hung since
                     the second half of the 18th century. The Art Fund provided an initial grant of £500,000 and          6 The Sir George Scharf Papers
                     provided valuable support to the subsequent campaign to raise funds to meet the £2,703,400
                     purchase price. In spite of the difficult economic conditions members of the public donated           7 The Lake project at Studley Royal
                     £680,000 and a further £510,000 was contributed by trusts and foundations. The National
                                                                     Heritage Memorial Fund closed the final gap           8 Acquisitions
                                                                     with a grant of £1,034,000.
                                                                        In addition to the Brueghel, a further           9 Chinese decorative elements in
                                                                                                                           English gardens
                                                                     group of several hundred objects including
                                                                     paintings and furniture has been purchased
                                                                                                                        11 Luftwaffe photograph reveals a secret
ntpl/robert thrift




                                                                     by private treaty from Lord St Oswald for             at Lyveden
                                                                     £2,419,746 funded from legacies.
                                                                        These major purchases will enable a             12 A German princess visits Osterley
                                                                     fundamental review of the way Nostell Priory
                                                                     is shown to the public.
       a rts|buildings|collections bulletin                                                                                               2

was dated 20 June 1697: ‘Richard Wilding [junior] put himself
apprentice to his father Rich Wilding for seven years’. So there
were two Richard Wildings, father and son, both of whom were
gunsmiths and members of the Company of Smiths in Shrews-
bury during the latter part of the 17th century.
   The Wilding family was well established in Shrewsbury by
the early part of the 17th century, and the parish registers of
St Chad’s and St Julian’s churches list many of them. It is likely
that Richard Wilding senior was born around 1650, although
records of his baptism and later marriage to Issabell [sic] were not
found. Unfortunately no record of Richard senior’s apprentice-
ship and entry into Shrewsbury’s Company of Smiths was found
either, but he would have finished his apprenticeship and become
a member of the company by about 1678, at the time his first
child, Richard junior, was born. In successive years Richard
senior served as Steward to the company, helping to maintain
the rules and records, and overseeing the apprentices taken on by
the company’s members. Richard and Issabell had ten children,
all baptised at St Julian’s Church, Shrewsbury between 1678 and
1696. Five died within their first year, a poignant reminder of how     breech, while the butt has three inlaid motifs on each side. These
precarious life was at that time.                                      represent a swan, with the body made of mother-of-pearl and the
   Richard Wilding junior was apprenticed to his father in 1697        feet and head of silver, a rose, also in mother-of-pearl, and finally
for seven years. He married Mary Powell in 1705, and by 1716           an animal head (perhaps a boar) in silver. The decorative carving
they had five children. Richard Wilding junior was also a member        of the wood at the rear of the barrel is enhanced with silver wire
of Shrewsbury’s Company of Smiths, and became an Honorary              and inlaid leafy panels of silver.
Steward in 1706. He took on his first apprentice in 1722. As a             The silver mounts are chased and engraved; the trigger guard
parishioner of St Julian’s he had doubtless shown himself to be        is formed with an acanthus finial, the escutcheon is baroque in
a responsible member of the congregation, as the Churchward-           style with traces of a family crest, and the side-plate is engraved
ens’ Accounts show that ‘Mr Richard Wilding Junr, Gunsmith’            with human figures representing a Bacchic scene. The butt-plate
was appointed as a Warden in 1716 and again in 1728. The               is engraved with a heraldic crest, while the upper tang of the plate
Company of Smiths register records that Richard junior took another    has a finely chiselled acanthus finial; it is also engraved with the
apprentice in 1740. A note was added to the Churchwardens’             figure of a man in a splendid early 18th-century costume carrying
Accounts of St Julian’s that on ‘12 February 1755, Richard Wilding,    a flintlock sporting gun across his shoulder.
gunsmith’, was buried. Neither his burial nor those of his father         The flintlock, constructed in a form fashionable in England
and mother were found recorded in the parish register.                 during the early years of the 18th century, has chiselled decoration
   The Dudmaston gun is a quite extraordinary and outstand-            and is engraved in script ‘Wilding, Salop’. The barrel, formed with
ing piece; it far exceeds the quality normally to be expected of a     three substantial silver rings at the breech, has a gold-lined touch-
provincial fowling piece of the early 1700s. It is reputed to have     hole, unusual for this early period, and just one of many high-
belonged to Colonel Thomas Weld (1678-1774) who served in the          quality features. The left side of the breech is stamped with two
                                                                       unidentified proof marks, a crowned P and a W (which may be
                                                                       Wilding’s own proof marks,) together with his maker’s mark, RW
                                                                       under a crown. Along the top of the barrel, towards the breech, is
                                                                       a Latinised signature, ‘R. Wilding de Salop’, engraved in script.
                                                                          The gun is similar in style to continental sporting guns of the
                                                                       same period; English examples from the early 18th century are
                                                                       rare. One, by William Mills of London and dated 1721, is now in
                                                                       the Royal Armouries, Tower of London (XII.1789).
                                                                          Only a few examples of the Wildings’ work are known, and most
                                                                       can be dated to the period of Richard Wilding junior. Whether
Duke of Marlborough’s campaigns during the early years of the          the same can be said for the magnificent silver-mounted sporting
18th century. Thomas Weld was the brother-in-law of Thomas             gun at Dudmaston we will probably never know. It is tempting
Wolryche who had the present Dudmaston Hall built during the           to think that both Wildings may have collaborated on it. If this
late 1600s. When the Wolrych line died out Thomas Weld inher-          is so, it is a very fine tribute to two previously unknown English
ited Dudmaston from his sister Elizabeth Wolryche in 1771. The         gun makers.
gun has remained at the house ever since.                                 A full account of the life and surviving works of the Wildings
   The figured walnut stock is decorated in a spectacular style,        will be published in the Journal of the Arms & Armour Society,
profusely inlaid overall with silver wire scrolls, and with shaped     London in March 2011 (Vol XX, No 3.)
and engraved silver plaques on the fore-stock and behind the                        Brian Godwin, Firearms Adviser to the National Trust
  a rts|buildings|collections bulletin                                                                                                                   3



THE GUN ROOM: RECREATING DUNSTER’S MALE PRESERVE
THE GUN ROOM has often been a neglected feature of the                 shooting. In an oral history recording, Sir Walter Luttrell called
country house; yet it played a vital role in its day-to-day running.   the Gun Room ‘my father’s old Gun Room, which was in fact
Blood sports have always been popular on country estates, and          the armoury’.7 The Armoury he refers to was established by his
they were important pastimes for the aristocracy and gentry.           ancestor, Colonel Francis Luttrell, during the 1670s. Francis led
   Dunster Castle, the ancestral home of the Luttrell family, is       the local militia at the time of the Monmouth Rebellion, and in
situated on the edge of the Quantocks and Exmoor. The land-            1688 he raised a troop of foot-soldiers in support of William of
scape around Dunster is better known for foxhunting than               Orange. 8
shooting; however, various members of the Luttrell family were
clearly enthusiastic about the sport. In 1925, Claude Luttrell
remembered Dunster as a ‘sporting paradise for a boy … when
one was promoted to a gun in the holidays; there was every variety
of game to shoot on non-hunting days’.1 A variety of game was
shot at Dunster. In 1904, according to Arthur Acland Hood, it
included ‘wild breed birds’ such as woodcock, blackgame (black
grouse), pheasant, partridge, golden plover and snipe. 2
   The Gun Room at Dunster is situated between the Billiard
Room, the Outer Hall and the Drawing Room, within the older
part of the castle. Jill Allibone describes it as being at ‘the west
end of the building, the rooms that would have been used by the
male members of the family … their male visitors were grouped
together’.3 The Gun Room was an unusual space in the coun-
try house in that it was inhabited by both servant and master.
Essentially utilitarian and functional, it was a transitory space,
used for the picking up and dropping off of equipment by family        The Gun Room at Dunster Castle
members and guests, and a place where staff cleaned, serviced             We have no evidence to suggest that the present Gun Room is
and stored the guns.                                                   in the same location as Francis Luttrell’s armoury. However, the
   It was during the extensive remodelling of Dunster Castle           1690 inventory does give us some indication of the size of the
carried out by Anthony Salvin during the late 1860s that the Gun       original armoury, which included ‘43 Musquettes’.9 By the early
Room was created on the ground floor in line with Robert Kerr’s         part of the 20th century, the muskets were considered antiquar-
detailed recommendation: ‘The Gun-room ought to occupy a               ian, defunct, and by one account ‘not well looked after, covered
position either near the Entrance-Hall, or, in a large house, near     in dust, just to be looked at’. The 1910 inventory records ‘39 Old
a secondary Entrance; not, of course, at a Garden-Porch, but           Flint Guns, much worm eaten, possibly somewhat depleted’.10
perhaps, at the Luggage-Entrance’.4 This was precisely where the          We probably owe the survival of the gun room in its relatively
Dunster gun room was situated, close to the main entrance, its         unaltered state to Sir Walter’s father Geoffrey, whose enthusiasm
strategic position near the front of the house being a convenient      for shooting would account for its increased usage in the 20th
dropping-off point. For Kerr, the quintessential gun room was          century.
used as a ‘Gentleman’s odd room’, a male preserve and a space             This is perhaps the first gun room to be reinstated by the
for masculine pursuits, including a space for ‘the young gentle-       Trust; here visitors can see artefacts, handle a shotgun and enjoy
men of the house’ who ‘may find themselves very much at a loss          an audio/visual display. We hope in future to explain the part this
sometimes, for an informal place in which “to do as they like” ’.5     room played at various points in the castle’s history. This project
To recreate the Gun Room as it was in the 1930s, the room has          has enabled greater understanding of the role of firearms on the
been painted in a dull green ‘masculine’ colour, with all the          Dunster estate, and the social and sporting function of shooting
fixtures of the room’s former use retained. These include fitted         for the Luttrell family and their servants.
wooden cupboards, gun racks, and an armoire, which was prob-                                     Felicity Baber, Inventory Project Officer
ably converted for use as an additional gun rack. The original                  Brian Godwin, Firearms Advisor for the National Trust
deerskin leather straps which were used to hang the 17th-cen-          1
                                                                          Luttrell, Claude: Sporting Recollections of a Younger Son, Duckworth, p. 22.
tury muskets are still attached to the wall. The National Trust        2
                                                                          Hood, Arthur Acland: ‘Famous Homes of Sport: Dunster Castle’ in the
owns eleven of these muskets which were originally kept at the            Badminton Magazine, Dec 1904, p. 599.
                                                                       3
                                                                          Allibone, Jill: Anthony Salvin, 1988, p. 78.
castle. Brian Godwin (Firearms Advisor for the Trust) refers           4
                                                                          Kerr, Robert: The Gentleman’s House: Or, How to Plan English Residences,
to the Dunster muskets as ‘a mishmash of differing styles, all            from the Parsonage to the Palace, 2nd ed, John Murray, 1865, p. xvi.
intrinsically English, dating anywhere from 1640 to 1680’. Several
                                                                       5
                                                                          Ibid.
                                                                       6
                                                                          B. C. Godwin: The Armoury at Dunster Castle, 14th Park Lane Antique
of the muskets are marked ‘FL’, indicating that they belonged to          Arms Fair catalogue, London 1998, pp. 12-17.
Francis Luttrell’s armoury.6                                           7
                                                                          Sir Walter Luttrell in interview, copy of transcript kept in RO Curatorial
   Geoffrey Luttrell (1887-1957), Sir Walter Luttrell’s father            files. Recording by John Fleming on Thursday 15 April 2002.
                                                                       8
                                                                          Binding, Hilary: Discovering Dunster, The Exmoor Press, no date, p. 31.
(Sir Walter Luttrell, the last family member to live there, gave       9
                                                                          Inventory taken 2 July 1705, SRODD/L/2/35/1.
Dunster Castle to the National Trust), was noted for his love of       10
                                                                          1910 inventory for Dunster Castle, SRODD/L/2/35/1.
                          a rts|buildings|collections bulletin                                                                                                               4


             MARRIAGE, DIVORCE AND RE-MARRIAGE
             An ebony, lapis lazuli and gilt bronze cabinet and giltwood stand at Belton

             I
                  n Belton House, near Grantham, Lincolnshire, built (1685-
                  86) for Sir John Brownlow, 3rd Bt., stands one of the most
                  unusual Italian pietre dure (hardstone) cabinets to be found
             anywhere. Such things are rare, especially in Northern Europe,
             but this one is distinctive because it is faced entirely with lapis
             lazuli. Lapis was prized from antiquity both for its beauty and its
             exclusivity. It was mined in Persia and Afghanistan (which remains
             the prime source). It is usually used sparingly on such cabinets, so
             the overall facing of the Belton cabinet with lapis lazuli (veneered
             on slate) is most unusual. The effect of lapis—enhanced by polish-
             ing—is of deep ultramarine blue, but a closer examination reveals
             translucency, and white flecks like clouds in a blue sky sprinkled
             with gold-coloured pyrites. Lapis was ground down by painters to
             provide the richest of blues, worthy of depicting, say, the robes of
             the Virgin Mary.
                Italian pietre dure cabinets combine hardstones—usually form-
             ing patterns or pictorial images—with ebony, the hard, dense and
             dark wood which gave its name to the most skilful Continental
             cabinetmakers: ebanisti, ébénistes, or ebanistas. Ebony (sometimes
             known as African Blackwood) was both exotic and expensive,
             being imported from Madagascar, the surrounding islands,
             and the east coast of Africa. It is difficult, time-consuming and
             costly to work. The richest cabinets were adorned with gilt bronze
             fittings, statuettes, and even jewels. Ebony and hardstone cabinets
             were status symbols intended primarily for display. There were
             often more splendours within, including numerous drawers for




                                                                                                                                                                                 TANKERDALE LTD
                                                                                                 Cabinet (probably Rome, c.-), oak, poplar and pearwood carcass,
                                                                                                 walnut drawer linings, veneered with ebony and rosewood inlaid with lapis
                                                                                                 lazuli veneered on slate, lined with pewter, and mounted in gilt bronze,
                                                                                                 90.5 x 121.5 x 50.5 cm; on a stand (probably London, c.1730), carved, gessoed
                                                                                                 and water-gilded pine, 80.4 x 112 x 50cm (The Brownlow Collection). Both
                                                                                                 shown after conservation and the stand before toning of the gilding.

                                                                                                 Cabinet, reputedly made in Rome around 1585 for Pope Sixtus V. 1
                                                                                                 This is much grander and much larger than the Belton cabinet,
TANKERDALE LTD




                                                                                                 although both cabinets are designed along the lines of a Roman
                                                                                                 church façade. In contrast to the polychrome splendour of the
                                                                                                 Pope’s Cabinet, the Belton cabinet is sober, but none the less
                 The cabinet and the Japanese coffer on the correct stands before conservation
                                                                                                 lustrous and refined. It was probably also made in Rome, but rath-
                                                                                                 er later, around 1620-40.2 Both cabinets have recently undergone
             the storage of small works of art. As in the Belton cabinet, the                    cleaning, conservation and restoration, which has transformed
             drawers sometimes had to be opened in a particular sequence, thus                   them from dusty and dirty benign neglect to refulgent splendour.
             gradually revealing the internal decoration of the cabinet and the                     The work on the Belton cabinet was undertaken in 2009-10
             objects stored inside. Four of the Belton cabinet’s original pale blue              by the National Trust’s Advisers on Furniture Conservation,
             silk pulls survive on the secret drawers. Some cabinets, particularly               Tankerdale Ltd, based near Petersfield, West Sussex, where
             those made at Augsburg, were supplied with a ready-made collec-                     Robin Merrifield took the leading role on the cabinet, and Daniel
             tion of artefacts or curiosities.                                                   Hanrahan on the stand, directed by John Hartley. The project was
                Because of Britain’s Grand Tour tradition, National Trust                        prompted by the re-display of Belton along historical lines, under
             houses contain numerous Italian pietre dure cabinets, boxes, and                    the direction of the Regional Curator, Andrew Barber.
             table-tops, including—at Stourhead, Wiltshire—the finest ebony                          The National Trust was given Belton by Edward Cust, 7th Lord
             and pietre dure cabinet in a British collection: the so-called Pope’s               Brownlow, in 1984, but the cabinet was bought, with the aid of
        a rts|buildings|collections bulletin                                                                                                                5

the V&A/MLA purchase grant fund, at the Belton sale, held by             cabinet had been bedizened with new ebonised and gilded knobs
Christie’s in the same year. 3 Another Trust acquisition at that sale    and with strips of beading running around the drawer frames.
was a Japanese namban (made for export) lacquer coffer (c.1600).         The machine-made beading had been painted gold and glued
Both the pietre dure cabinet and the coffer were on English carved       on, and was falling apart. It was decided to remove these later
wood stands, but the wrong ones.4 The stand then supporting the          accretions. The result is more dignified. The refinement of the
coffer was actually made around 1730 to support the lapis lazuli         original polished ebony mouldings was revealed by the removal of
cabinet. Both stands have now been swapped.                              the dull, choking black varnish, thus exposing the natural colour
   The height of the lapis cabinet’s stand was reduced around 1900       of the ebony (which is never pure black, but striated with brown).
and painted white and oil gilded. Analysis and investigation by          The original gilding of the bronze mounts and the silvering of the
Catherine Hassall revealed that it had previously been black and         pewter inlay were cleaned of centuries of dirt. The transformation
gold, and had originally been wholly water gilded (burnished on          is dramatic. Further research may reveal more about the history of
the highlights and matted on the grounds, thus giving a typically        this beautiful early 17th-century cabinet and its c.1730 stand, but
lively effect). The stand has now been returned to its original          both can now be appreciated much more as works of art.
height (33¼ in/80.4 cm), the surviving original gilding has been                                                 Christopher Rowell, Furniture Curator
preserved, and the gaps filled with water gilding. The initial effect
                                                                         1
                                                                             The history, conservation and display of the Pope’s Cabinet will be the subject
is too bright (see the illustration, previous page), but the new gild-       of a forthcoming book to be published by the National Trust.
ing will be toned in situ at Belton so that the piece looks happy in     2
                                                                             Christie’s (Belton House sale, 30 April-2 May 1984, lot 141) dated the cabinet
context. We do not know precisely when or by whom the stand                  to the ‘late 17th century’, noting that ‘the use of lapis lazuli in this quantity
                                                                             is not easy to parallel’. Christie’s did not hazard a suggestion as to place of
was made (there is as yet no documentation), but it may have been            origin. The dating by Christie’s has been followed in subsequent National
commissioned by Sir John Brownlow, 5th Bt., created Viscount                 Trust literature, which has described the cabinet as Italian (eg. in J. Marsden:
                                                                             Belton House, London 1985, p. 15). The cabinet does, however, appear to have
Tyrconnel in 1718, who—as a notable collector—may also have                  been made in Rome (though it is not always easy to distinguish between
acquired the cabinet. Tyrconnel visited Italy on his Grand Tour              cabinets made in Rome and Florence), and is more likely to have been made
in 1710-11, and the fact that the cabinet is absent from the early           c.1620-40.
                                                                         3
                                                                             30 April-2 May 1984, see note 2.
Belton inventories is perhaps because it remained in London              4
                                                                             For colour photographs of the cabinet (lot 141) and the coffer (lot 108) on the
(Lord Tyrconnel’s house was in Arlington Street).                            wrong stands, see Christie’s 1984, loc. cit., p. 113 and p. 77.
   What of the conservation/restoration of the cabinet itself? This
looked very dirty, the gilt bronze mounts were filthy, and the ebony      I am grateful to Tankerdale Ltd, and especially to John Hartley and
                                                                         Robin Merrifield, for information during work in progress which is
had been covered with black varnish, presumably in the late 19th         incorporated above. Pippa Drake kindly supplied notes and photographs.
century (when the Stourhead Pope’s Cabinet was also blackened            Andrew Barber was also helpful and encouraging. Simon Swynfen Jervis
by varnish). Rather later, in the early 20th century, the Belton         kindly read the text and made some helpful suggestions.



    HISTORIC LIGHTING AND OTHER TRUST LISTINGS
    THE ARGORY HISTORIC LIGHTING LIST is the latest                      and a lighting installation that have remained completely
    to be added to the property’s internet page.                         undisturbed.
                                        The Argory, a handsome             The list describes in detail the history of each light and
                                     house of the 1820s in County        lamp, together with an additional section on the acetylene gas
                                     Armagh, has a most interest-        installation, along with 29 illustrations.
                                     ing range of historic light           The list can easily be downloaded from the property website,
                                     fittings and lamps, including        and printed versions ordered.
                                     a complete installation of            (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-theargory)
                                     acetylene gas and light fit-                                            Claire Forbes, Assistant Editor
                                     tings. This installation is an
                                     exceptionally rare survivor of      OTHER LISTS NOW ONLINE
                                     a form of domestic lighting         Sizergh Castle: Illustrated List of Pictures
                                     that enjoyed a period of pop-       Blickling Hall: Illustrated List of Pictures
                                     ularity from the last decade of     Cragside: Illustrated List of Pictures and Sculpture
                                     the 19th century through to         Stourhead: Illustrated List of Pictures and Sculpture
                                     the late 1920s.                     Ham House: Green Closet Miniatures and Cabinet
                                        In this respect the house is      Pictures
                                     one of the most significant          Arlington Court: National Trust Carriage Museum
                                     and important of all the            FORTHCOMING TITLES
                                     properties in the care of the       Upton House: Illustrated List of Pictures
                                     National Trust, as it provides      Kingston Lacy: Illustrated List of Pictures
                                     visitors and researchers with       Powis Castle: Illustrated List of Sculpture
                                     an opportunity to view a wide       Montacute House: Illustrated List of Pictures
                                     range of historic light fittings     Hinton Ampner: Illustrated List of Pictures
                                                a rts|buildings|collections bulletin                                                                                                                                       6



                                            SIR GEORGE’S TIRELESS SHARP VICTORIAN EYE
                                            Cataloguing the Scharf papers in the National Portrait Gallery
                                            THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY has successfully                        Park, Petworth House,
                                            completed a project to catalogue the papers of its first Director,     Scotney Castle, South-
                                            Sir George Scharf (1820-1895). The project ran for six months         well and Wimpole
                                            and was funded by the National Cataloguing Grants Programme           Park. Most of them
                                            for Archives. A full-text searchable catalogue, including a selec-    appear in Scharf ’s
                                            tion of digital images, is available on the Gallery’s website. This   records once or twice
                                            is accompanied by a special web feature focusing on Scharf ’s life    in the shape of sketches
                                            and work.                                                             of, or notes on, the col-
                                               The Scharf papers are one of the most significant collections       lections they housed.
                                            held in the National Portrait Gallery’s Heinz Archive and Library     Petworth House and
                                            comprising business, personal and family records. They include        Knole are notable




                                                                                                                                                                                      AX29986. NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
                                            a huge range of material—including diaries, correspondence,           exceptions, occurring
                                            research notes, notebooks and sketchbooks, tracings, and printed      seven and thirty-three
                                            material—and reflect not only the history of the gallery, but also     times respectively.
                                            the wider social history of Victorian England.                           Scharf ’s papers are
                                               As a Secretary and later Director of the National Portrait         especially rich in refer-
                                            Gallery, in order to enable the gallery to secure the best and most   ences to Knole. Scharf
                                            important portraits for the nation, Scharf carried out an exten-      visited the residence
                                            sive survey of public and private collections. As early as 1858 he    of the Sackville-Wests
                                                                                                                                                  Sir George Scharf , by Nadar, 1867
                                            started visiting auction houses, galleries and country houses all     from 1858 until 1891.
                                            over England to carry out his research. He sketched, traced and       He attended almost every other year, and sometimes—at the
                                            took notes on countless portraits. This tireless approach resulted    peak of his research and social activities—a few times each year.
                                            in more than 200 volumes of sketchbooks, 500 tracings, and            This produced abundant sketches of portraits in the collections
                                            numerous volumes of notes and descriptions of portraits and           and of the house’s interiors and architecture, as well as views of
                                            collections.                                                          Knole Park and scenes of everyday life. In addition Scharf also
                                                                                                                  completed tracings of some of the portraits, made entries in his
                                                                                                                  private diaries, and created lists and notes on the collections at
                                                                                                                  Knole, which include plans of the house and family trees of the
                                                                                                                  owners.
NPG7/3/4/2/139. NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY




                                                                                                                     Initially Scharf visited Knole for research purposes: his earli-
                                                                                                                  est sketchbooks (including one, SSB 55a, entirely dedicated to
                                                                                                                  Knole) contain only sketches of and notes on the portraits from
                                                                                                                  the collection and are not accompanied by relevant entries in
                                                                                                                  Scharf ’s diaries. Gradually the relationship between Scharf and
                                                                                                                  the owners of Knole developed, and during the 1860s he became
                                                                                                                  a cherished friend of the family. From the mid 1870s on, sketches
                                                                                                                  of scenes of life on the estate, portraits of the family and views
                                                                                                                  of the park are increasingly frequent in Scharf ’s records. Some of
                                            Sketch of a flower show at Knole Park, 
                                                                                                                  them are truly captivating: for instance sketches of Miss Faber
                                               Throughout his career Scharf was a frequent guest at many          made in 1875, sketches of views of Knole House and Park in
                                            celebrated aristocratic country houses. He often visited Blenheim,    1877, and men reaping crops in August 1878. Scharf ’s diaries
                                            Woburn Abbey, Chevening and South Park; staying as a friend           from this time, too, are filled with notes and accounts of his
                                            of the family, he was able not only to research the collections       stays at Knole; he describes the everyday routines of the house
                                            but also to observe and capture life in these great residences in     and its inhabitants, as well as social events. Scharf visited Knole
                                            intimate detail. Alongside the material he produced as part of his    for the last time in August 1891 when he attended a flower show.
                                            research he also sketched members of the aristocracy at rest and      He sketched the event, leaving only a short note in his diary:
                                            at play, capturing a side of them not seen in formal portraits.          ‘Drove to the Knole Flowers show. Very crowded. Sun very
                                               Many of the country houses Scharf visited were later to become     powerful. Our party went into the house and had tea.’
                                            the property of the National Trust, which coincidentally was                        Krzysztof Adamiec, Assistant Archivist (Scharf Project)
                                            launched in the same year that George Scharf died. His sketch-                                                   National Portrait Gallery
                                            books, notes and tracings refer to at least thirteen such places:     The catalogue of Scharf ’s papers is now available online:
                                            Bodiam Castle, Charlecote Park, Clandon House, Clumber Park,          www.archivecatalogue.npg.org.uk
                                            Croome Court, Ham House, Hardwick Hall, Knole, Osterley               www.npg.org.uk/archivejourneys
        a rts|buildings|collections bulletin                                                                                                         7


A SUBTLE BLEND OF WATER, SKY AND LANDSCAPE
Restoring the valley vistas at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal
THIS AUTUMN at Studley                                                                                                        Water took the form of
Royal has seen the comple-                                                                                                 canals, which were often
tion of a five-year project                                                                                                 interspersed with rectan-
centred on the Lake. Four                                                                                                  gular, circular or octagonal
years in its planning, the                                                                                                 pools. Where the land was
project grew out of a re-                                                                                                  flat (or had been levelled),
quirement to drain down                                                                                                    great fountains (or jets
the Lake for inspection of                                                                                                 d’eau) might enliven the
its retaining walls under                                                                                                  scene, as at Chatsworth.
the Reservoirs Act. At the                                                                                                 Changes in level were
same time, it was decided                                                                                                  negotiated through formal
to make some improve-                                                                                                      cascades, which connected
ments to the operation of                                                                                                  pools and sheets of water
the sluice gates at the Lake’s                                                                                             arranged across descending
outfall and to remove some                                                                                                 terraces.
35,000 cubic metres of silt, A view of the Lake at Studley Royal by Balthazar Nebot (c.1750). This is the earlier of          Gardening of this scale
                                  two views of the Lake by Nebot and contains a substantial amount of artistic licence
which had built up over the      (for instance the central fountain). Nonetheless, it emphasises the mirror-like effect of
                                                                                                                           was described as being of
25 years since this was last           the water and indicates the alignment of the canal on the distant How Hill          the ‘Grand Manner’ and
carried out.                                                                                                               required large, open and
   The most visually impor-                                                                                                relatively flat areas to be
tant aspect of the project,                                                                                                truly successful. What was
however, was the removal                                                                                                   so innovative and (at the
of an artificial island which                                                                                               time) revolutionary about
had been created in the                                                                                                    John Aislabie’s approach
third quarter of the 19th                                                                                                  at Studley Royal is that he
century. This island not                                                                                                   created a successful water
only compromised the                                                                                                       garden of this kind within
visual function of the Lake                                                                                                the confines of the nar-
as a reflective body of water                                                                                               row, winding valley of the
and obstructed views across                                                                                                River Skell. In so doing,
it, but also affected the flow                                                                                              he brilliantly reconciled
                                  The Lake at Studley (undated, pre-1890). This exquisitely rendered photograph depicts
of water through the Lake          the Lake prior to the introduction of the island, which took place between 1854 and     the prevailing aesthetic
itself, causing damage to its      1890. It also shows the structure of the designed landscape as largely unchanged since  with a new and growing
embankments.                       the mid-18th century, notwithstanding the growth of trees in the interim, which has     sense 2 that gardens should
   The gardens at Studley         obscured many of the views to the garden buildings. The central vista along the Canal    respond to the form and
Royal were developed                 (now obstructed by the island) remains open at this time. Note also the surviving     disposition of the natural
                                                       carriage drive to the east (left) side of the Lake
from about 1716 by John                                                                                                    landscape, rather than be
Aislabie, and were largely completed at his death in 1742, although their         imposed upon it. Whereas the layout of Aislabie’s garden retained
relationship to the wider landscape, and hence their design, contin-              much of the formality of contemporary taste, he effectively subor-
ued to evolve under his son William, who died in 1781.1 They reflect,              dinated this structure to the physical form of the meandering river
articulate and to an extent anticipate a profound transformation                  valley, allowing the topography of this natural feature to direct and
in the layout of gardens and designed landscapes throughout that                  shape the alignments of his canals, lakes and ponds and hence to
period. With others, such as Stowe, Gibside and Claremont, the                    determine the spatial and aesthetic relationships of the designed
gardens at Studley Royal laid the foundations for the development                 landscape’s other components, such as its many temples, seats and
of what later became known as the English or ‘natural style’ of                   statues.
gardening, fundamentally altering the way in which designed land-                     In all of these developments, water was a key structural and
scapes were created and viewed thereafter.                                        aesthetic element. The canals themselves provided a formal back-
   Garden design in England at the beginning of the 18th century was              bone for the more graceful ponds and lakes and invigorated the
formal and to modern eyes somewhat stiff, with elaborate parterres                scene with their continuous movement, especially where water
(designs made of low hedges or coloured gravels) near to the house,               cascaded from one level to another. At the core of the landscape,
and with rectilinear avenues and walks of trees, enclosing small                  the Moon Ponds echoed the form of the earlier parterre gardens
lawns or cabinets and aligned on buildings, obelisks or other distant             and provided a setting for the (then) Temple of Hercules (now
objects. Within the gardens, even the clumps of trees or bosquets were            Piety). Central to their effect also was the reflective quality of
circumscribed with hedging, although there may also have been                     water, which on the most basic level simply brought light into
winding walks within them. The ground itself was often worked                     what otherwise might have been a rather gloomy wooded valley.
into slopes and terraces, reminiscent of military fortifications.                  The reflection of buildings and other structures in water is pleasing
        a rts|buildings|collections bulletin                                                                                                              8

in itself, and may suggest something of the Platonic ideal; but it          sun, or the tarnishing
also creates a great sense of space which, where bounded by trees           of a mirror disfigure
and woodland, a traditional parterre or simple grass lawn would             its surface. It also
not have achieved. Similarly, in reflecting the sky, water combines          obstructed the im-
visually with the element of air. Where the view is along a great           portant views across
canal, as at Studley, this would have had an effect on the viewer not       it: not only that along
dissimilar to that of being within the nave of a great cathedral.           the main axis of the
   The Lake at Studley was—quite literally—the highlight and                Canal, but also anoth-
culmination of John Aislabie’s formal garden layout. Its loca-              er, between the central
tion at the end of the main canal, itself oriented southwards               point of the Half
on the distant eyecatcher of How Hill (formerly the location                Moon pond and the
of the Chapel of St Michael the Archangel), fixed the viewer at              head of the Lake out-
a point from which many of the key garden buildings could be                flow (see photograph,
seen, arranged in a broad vista with the Lake and cascade at its            right). In addition, it
centre, balanced to either side by the twin fishing pavilions (see           seems that the island,
illustration by Balthazar Nebot). This southerly orientation is no          perhaps through a
accident, for at noon on a sunny day, the whole of the valley would         change in the pattern             Aerial view of Studley Lake, showing how
appear bathed in light, with the pyramidal roof of the tower on             of water flow at times         the island obstructs the central vista along the
How Hill silhouetted against the sky.                                       of high rainfall, en-          Canal. Note also the subsidiary blocked vista
   The historical precedents for this arrangement—a long                    couraged the erosion                  between the Half-Moon Pond and the
watercourse, (in this case a canal) discharging over a cascade into         of the eastern bank             Lake, including the outflow cascade and the
                                                                                                                            head of Seven Bridges Valley
a large pool—are many, and indeed it was a device which contin-             and hence the loss of
ued to be used throughout the 18th century. Relatively few of its           the carriage drive shown on the OS plans of both 1854 and 1890, as
contemporaries survive intact, however, for most have been                  well as in the mid-19th-century photograph.
modified by changing tastes,3 or simply forgotten. At Studley the               The removal of the island has allowed the restoration of both
Lake was enlarged, most likely by John Aislabie himself. After              these two key vistas. In addition, it has reinstated the visual link
his death, it was retained by William Aislabie, who used it as the          —lost for more than a century—between John Aislabie’s gar-
meeting point between his father’s formal landscape and his own             den layout and those of his son William. It has also allowed the
informal design—itself no less innovative and revolutionary than            re-creation of the lost carriage drive on the east side of the Lake and,
his father’s—for the nearby Seven Bridges Valley.                           perhaps most importantly of all, has finally restored meaning to the
   Apart from regular dredgings, the Lake retained this appearance          Lake itself and to its true function as a glorious reflective surface,
until the latter part of the 19th century.4 A recently discovered           the triumph of John Aislabie’s design and its crowning glory.
photograph shows the Lake in all its glory (see photograph on
                                                                                                  Christopher Gallagher, Gardens and Parks Curator
the previous page), but this effect was significantly marred by the
creation of the island sometime before 1890,5 most likely out of
dredgings from the Lake itself.                                             1
                                                                                Newman, Mark: Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Estate – An Archaeological
   It was common in the 18th and 19th centuries to use small islands            Survey, 1996.
                                                                            2
                                                                                Cooper, Anthony Ashley (3rd Lord Shaftesbury): The Moralists; a
to disguise the boundaries of lakes and hence to make them appear               Philosophical Rhapsody in Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times
larger. However, a device of this kind works most effectively on the            Vol II, 1711. See also Addison, W.H: The Spectator, 1712.
more ‘naturalistic’ lakes of that period, and even then they must
                                                                            3
                                                                                Jacques, David: The Grand Manner: Changing Style in Garden Design 1660-
                                                                                1735 PhD Thesis, Courtauld Institute, 1999.
be carefully located. At Studley, the island disrupted the reflective        4
                                                                                Ordnance Survey: 1st Edition 6˝ Plan, 1854.
qualities of the Lake, much as a partial eclipse might obscure the          5
                                                                                Ordnance Survey: 1st Edition 25˝ Plan, surveyed 1890.



                                                    house and from gifts and bequests to the          GUNBY HALL, LINCOLNSHIRE
          ACQUISITIONS                              National Trust, and with a grant of �€5,000       An antiquarian book by Matthew Smith,
                                                    from the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund.             Memoirs of Secret Service, 1699, with a prov-
                                                                                                      enance from Henry Massingbird of Gunby,
   BELTON HOUSE,                                    SMALLHYTHE PLACE, KENT                            was purchased from Blackwell Rare Books,
   LINCOLNSHIRE                                     Two items relating to Ellen Terry (1847-          Oxford, for £625. Gunby has one of the best
   A landscape with figures bathing near classi-     1928), the ‘Queen’ of the Victorian and           examples in National Trust ownership of an
   cal ruins by the Dutch painter Bartolomeus       Edwardian stage, have been purchased from         early library assembled by a country gentry
   Breenbergh (1598-1657) was purchased at          a US estate for Smallhythe Place.                 family.
   auction at Sotheby’s, Amsterdam, for �€10,625.      The acquisition includes a letter from           This volume still contains one of the
   The painting originally came to Belton from      Terry to James Carew (1876-1938), the             hand-written book labels that were added
   the collection of Sir Henry Bankes (1714-        American actor who became her third               to the books in the Gunby library in 1781,
   1774), a wealthy London merchant, whose          husband in 1907, and a sketchbook of the-         probably marking how they were arranged on
   daughter Frances Bankes (1756-1847) married      atrical costumes by Terry’s daughter Edith        the shelves. The acquisition was funded by a
   Sir Brownlow Cust, 1st Baron Brownlow            Craig (1869-1947), who was instrumental           £200 grant from the Friends of the National
   (1744-1807).                                     in creating the shrine to her mother at           Libraries and from gifts and bequests to the
      The picture was sold from Belton in 1984,     Smallhythe which is now managed by the            National Trust.
   just before the house came to the National       National Trust. The £1,000 purchase price
   Trust. The acquisition was funded by Belton      was funded from gifts and bequests.                                             Emile de Bruijn
                              a rts|buildings|collections bulletin                                                                                                              9


                      EASTERN APPROACHES TO WESTERN ARCADIA
                      The craze for Chinese decorative elements in English gardens
                      ‘EASTERN APPROACHES’ was the theme                                                                            her gown’, while decoy ‘Chinese Birds’
                      of the 2010 Ashridge Garden History                                                                           floated in the water outside. The style of
                      Summer School, organised in association                                                                       these pavilions had only the most tenuous
                      with the National Trust. The programme                                                                        connection with real Chinese architecture,
                      covered the influence of China, Japan, India                                                                   but ‘China’ had nevertheless become a clear
                      and Egypt on British gardens. In this short                                                                   trope in English design.
                      article I will focus on the Chinese elements                                                                     Chinese-style garden pavilions remained
                      that keep popping up in the history of                                                                        very fashionable for the next twenty-five
                      English garden design.                                                                                        years or so. During this period a number of
                         Chinese goods began to be imported into                                                                    gardens that we now think of as epitomizing
                      Britain in significant numbers following                                                                       the English ‘Arcadian’ landscape incorpo-
                      the foundation of the East India Company                                                                      rated Chinese-style structures without any
                      in 1600. Throughout the 17th century the                                                                      apparent sense of stylistic incongruity. At




                                                                                                                              NTPL / STUART COX
                      influx of Chinese objects gradu-                                                                               Shugborough, Staffordshire, a rectangular
                      ally increased. John Evelyn, the diarist and                                                                  Chinese House was built on an island in
                      antiquary, noted in his journal sightings                                                                     about 1747, and a pagoda nearby in 1752,
                      of East Asian lacquer and porcelain from                                                                      right in the middle of a park full of copies
                      the 1650s onwards. English craftsmen                                                                          of classical monuments and ruins. At about
                      soon began to produce imitation lacquer,                                                                      the same time an extraordinary design for
                                                                              Japanned decoration on an English 18th-century
                      often known as japanning. Because of the              longcase clock at Snowshill Manor, Gloucestershire.     a pagoda fountain was submitted to Ralph
                      books published by Jesuit missionaries, and            These second-hand motifs seem to have influenced        Allen, the owner of Prior Park, Bath. The
                      because of the technical sophistication of               the design of Chinese-style pavilions in English     nine-storey pagoda would have stood in the
                      lacquer and porcelain, China became associ-            gardens just as much as authentic Chinese designs      lake, but in the end a Palladian Bridge was
                      ated with material luxury, public virtue and                                                                  built there instead. 2 In the mid-18th century
                      sound government.                                                                  the garden at Stourhead contained a Chinese Alcove, a place to rest
                         The first application of East Asian aesthetics to English gardens                and view the lake halfway up the hill north of the Temple of Flora. 3
                      came with the publication of Sir William Temple’s essay ‘Upon the                     In many cases the building of chinoiserie pavilions and bridges in
                      Gardens of Epicurus’ in 1690. Basing his opinions on the available                 the garden went hand in hand with similar decoration indoors. At
                      books on China and on the decorative patterns on East Asian goods,                 Osterley Park, for instance, the Robert Adam interiors of the house
                      he praised Chinese gardens for their asymmetrical and naturalistic                 contained many Chinese and Indian furnishings. By 1772 there was
                      design, holding them up as examples for British garden designers.                  also a boat in a lake described as ‘a sampan brought from China’ (but
                      However, it took until the 1730s for Chinese-inspired features to be               more likely made in England). Ten years later this had been joined by
                      actually incorporated in English gardens. The catalyst may have been               a Chinese-style summer house which contained a bamboo sofa and
                      the publication in 1735 of a lavishly illustrated book on China, Jean              chairs, wooden tables inlaid with tortoise-shell and beds covered with
                      Baptiste du Halde’s Description ... de l’Empire de la Chine, which was             blue chintz. 4
                      almost immediately translated into English.                                           A German visitor, Sophie von la Roche, said about the Osterley
                         At around this time several Chinese-style pavilions appeared in the             summer house that ‘... all the furnishings come from China, arranged
                      garden of Richard Bateman’s residence in Old Windsor, Berkshire.                   in the custom and taste of the country,’ 5 and regardless of whether this
                      They were soon followed by a Chinese House at Stowe, Viscount                      was strictly true or not, the new emphasis on authenticity was prob-
                      Cobham’s seat in Buckinghamshire. This small wooden pavilion, first                 ably influenced by the publication in 1757 of Sir William Chambers’s
                      recorded in 1738, was placed on piles in a little pond, accessed by a              Designs of Chinese Buildings. In this book Chambers attempted to
                      bridge ‘adorn’d with Chinese Vases, with Flowers in them’.1 Inside                 provide accurate and representative elevations of certain types of
                      was a figure of ‘a Chinese Lady as if asleep, her hands covered by                  Chinese architecture. Because he had visited China, albeit briefly,
                                                                                                         and because of his credentials as an architect and the apparent
                                                                                                         thoroughness of the illustrations, Designs acquired an air of authority.
                                                                                                         It became the default template for chinoiserie architecture and decora-
                                                                                                         tion, particularly on the Continent. The Chinese House originally
                                                                                                         constructed for Stowe, which had been moved to nearby Wotton
                                                                                                         House in the 1750s, was repainted in the 1820s using motifs from
NTPL / JOHN HAMMOND




                                                                                                         Designs. The pavilion that was brought to Cliveden from Paris by the
                                                                                                         1st Viscount Astor in 1900 is ultimately based on an illustration in
                                                                                                         Designs as well.
                                                                                                            The end of the 18th century saw a renewed interest in China. Lord
                                                                                                         Macartney’s embassy to the Chinese court in 1792-94 was not very
                                                                                                         successful in diplomatic terms, but it did bring China into the public
                                                                                                         eye again. The Chinese views produced by the artist William Alexan-
                      The Chinese House at Shugborough, Staffordshire, shown in close proximity
                      to classical monuments, in a painting by Nicholas Dall, 1768.                      der, who accompanied Macartney, were shown at the Royal Academy
                                  a rts|buildings|collections bulletin                                                                                                                 10

                                                                                                       East Asian plants were also in evidence in the garden at
                                                                                                     Biddulph Grange, Staffordshire, which was created by James and Maria
                                                                                                     Bateman in the 1840s and 1850s. The Batemans had a passion for rare
                                                                                                     and exotic plants, which they collected at Biddulph both indoors and
                                                                                                     in the garden. Their friend the artist Edward Cooke helped them to
                                                                                                     create a ‘Chinese’ garden containing Chinese plants as well as a little
                                                                                                     arcaded temple, an ‘idol’, a miniature ‘Great Wall of China’, a bridge
                                                                                                     and a ‘Joss House’. As at Leigh Park, the Chinese style was combined
NTPL / MICHAEL CALDWELL




                                                                                                     with other elements, here including an Italian and an Egyptian
                                                                                                     garden.
                                                                                                       Ironically, the presence of real Chinese plants in these Regency
                                                                                                     gardens was combined with the use of pseudo-Chinese structures
                                                                                                     that were closer in spirit to mid-18th-century Rococo gardens than to
                                                                                                     Chambers’s avowed authenticity. The development of English gardens
                                                                                                     designed according to authentic East Asian aesthetic principles would
                                                                                                     have to wait until the Japanese craze at the end of the 19th century,
                          The Lower India Room at Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd. The room was
                                                                                                     which falls outside the scope of the present article. The mongrel chi-
                          decorated in the 1830s and its Chinese wallpaper is testament to the       noiserie garden features described above are nevertheless interesting in
                          continuing interest in China in the Regency period.                        their own right as records of the changing meaning of ‘China’ in the
                                                                                                     English consciousness.
                          and reproduced in the published account of the mission. 6 Alexander’s                           Emile de Bruijn, Registrar (Collections and Grants)
                          images were inevitably slightly romanticized, but this accorded with       1
                                                                                                         Benton Seeley: ‘A Description of the Gardens of Lord Viscount Cobham, at
                          the popular view of China, which was increasingly of a country living          Stow in Buckinghamshire’, Buckingham, 1744, in G.B. Clarke: Descriptions of
                          in splendid isolation and outside the flow of history.                          Lord Cobham’s Gardens at Stowe 1700-1750, Buckinghamshire Record Society,
                             The increasingly voluminous trade with China, which had been                1990, pp. 122-143, p. 136.
                                                                                                     2
                                                                                                         John Harris, ‘A Pagoda Fountain for Prior Park: Sambrooke Freeman’s
                          the motive for Macartney’s embassy, brought large quantities of                Unrealized Project’, Apollo, vol. CXLVII, no. 434, April 1998, pp. 9-11.
                          bamboo furniture, ceramics, lacquer, paintings on glass and wallpaper      3
                                                                                                         James Turner: ‘The Chinese Alcove at Stourhead: A Contemporary Sneer’,
                          to Britain. The Prince Regent, later George IV, used an abundance              Garden History, vol. 7, no. 2, Summer 1979, pp. 102-104.
                                                                                                     4
                                                                                                         Clare Williams (transl.): Sophie in London, 1786, being the Diary of Sophie
                          of these items in the interiors at Carlton House, London, and the              von la Roche, London, Jonathan Cape, 1933, p. 228.
                          Royal Pavilion, Brighton. In 1814 he also had a pagoda erected in          5
                                                                                                         Ibid.
                          St James’s Park as part of the celebrations marking the centenary of the   6
                                                                                                         Sir George Leonard Staunton: An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the
                                                                                                         King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China, 2 vols., 1797.
                          Hanoverian dynasty, and he went on to commission a Chinese-style           7
                                                                                                         Patrick Conner: ‘The “Chinese Garden” in Regency England’, Garden
                          Fishing Pavilion at Virginia Water, Surrey. The redecorated Chinese            History, vol. 14, no. 1, Spring 1986, pp. 42-49.
                          House at Wotton fits into this ‘Regency chinoiserie’ phase, as do the
                          garden room at Dropmore (1820s), the pagoda fountain at Alton
                          Towers (c.1830), the Chinese Dairy (1789) and Chinese Temple (1833)
                                                                                                          Chinese-style garden structures
                          at Woburn Abbey and the bandstand at Cremorne Gardens (1836).                   at National Trust properties
                             This period also saw the first use of actual Chinese plants in Eng-           Stowe, Buckinghamshire. Rectangular wooden pavilion in pond, by
                          lish private gardens. Shortly after 1800 Humphry Repton mentioned               1738 (extant, although in different spot)
                          Chinese species in his planting proposals for both Woburn Abbey                 Studley Royal, North Yorkshire. Round pavilion on top of hill, begun
                          and Cassiobury Park, Hertfordshire, and these suggestions seem to               1744, with ‘Chinese Terrace’ nearby and Chinese-style bridges in valley
                                                                                                          below
                          have been followed up to some degree. 7 Similarly there were Chinese
                                                                                                          Calke Abbey, Derbyshire. Pavilion on island, 1746-47
                          plants at Leigh Park, Hampshire, the seat of the East India Com-
                          pany official, Chinese scholar and plant collector Sir George Thomas             Shugborough, Staffordshire. Rectangular masonry pavilion on island,
                                                                                                          c.1747 (extant); six-storey pagoda 1752
                          Staunton. The garden there contained Chinese plants as well as
                                                                                                          Wallington, Northumberland. Square pavilion recorded on map of
                          Chinese-style buildings, a bridge and a boat, eclectically combined             garden, c.1750; design for square pavilion (different from previous), 1752
                          with structures in the Moghul and classical styles.
                                                                                                          Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire. Octagonal pavilion recorded on map
                                                                                                          of garden, c.1752
                                                                                                          Prior Park, Bath. Design for nine-storey pagoda fountain, early 1750s
                                                                                                          Stourhead. Square pavilion or seat, recorded by Fredrik Magnus Piper
                                                                                                          in 1779
                                                                                                          Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire. Octagonal wood and oilcloth pavilion,
                                                                                                          second half 18th century (wall panels extant)
NTPL / NICK MEERS




                                                                                                          Kedleston, Derbyshire. Octagonal wood and oilcloth pavilion, 1769
                                                                                                          Biddulph Grange, Staffordshire. ‘Temple’, ‘Joss House’, ‘idol’, bridge
                                                                                                          and ‘Great Wall of China’, 1850s (extant)
                                                                                                          Cliveden, Buckinghamshire. Hexagonal pavilion on island (extant),
                                                                                                          acquired from the Château de Bagatelle in 1900, originally made
                                                                                                          for the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1868, inspired by a pavilion
                          The Chinese Temple at Biddulph Grange, Staffordshire, s. Although           at Romainville, c.1780 which was in turn based on an illustration in
                          surrounded by Asian plants, the architectural structures are largely the        Chambers’s Designs of Chinese Buildings, 1757
                          product of fantasy
   a rts|buildings|collections bulletin                                                                                                     11



LUFTWAFFE RECORD OF LYVEDEN’S LABYRINTH
Shedding new light on one of Britain’s most elusive gardens
A GERMAN aerial reconnais-                                                                              recusant and architect, make it
sance photograph taken by the                                                                           one of the most extraordinary
Luftwaffe during the Second                                                                             and unique designed landscapes
World War has led to the                                                                                in the country.’
remarkable discovery of what                                                                               One of the oldest surviving
might have been the original                                                                            gardens in Britain, Lyveden
Tudor design for the garden at                                                                          New Bield has been shrouded in
the National Trust’s Lyveden                                                                            mystery since its inception more
New Bield in Northampton-                                                                               than four hundred years ago.
shire. The Luftwaffe photograph,                                                                        Begun by Sir Thomas Tresham
part of a series now held at the                                                                        and steeped in the symbolism
United States National Archive                                                                          of his Catholic faith, the house
at Maryland in Baltimore, was                                                                           and garden remain incomplete
taken in 1944 and shows an                                                                              and virtually unaltered since
arrangement of ten huge con-                                                                            work stopped in 1605 following
centric circles within the garden,                                                                      Tresham’s death. In the same year
measuring approximately 120                                                                             his son Francis was implicated
metres across.                         Detail from the Luftwaffe photograph showing the concentric      in the Gunpowder Plot; shortly
                                                                  circles
   According to Lyveden’s prop-                                                                         afterwards a bundle of Tresham’s
erty manager Mark Bradshaw,                                                                             extensive correspondence was
this is probably one of the most                                                                        hidden away at the family’s prin-
important garden discoveries of                                                                         cipal home, Rushton Hall, amid
recent times: ‘We’re still not clear                                                                    fears of further persecution. The
exactly what these circles repre-                                                                       letters were rediscovered in 1821
sent, but it’s amazing that the                                                                         and deposited in the British
outline can be clearly made out                                                                         Library; over 300 pages, some
in an aerial photograph taken                                                                           describing detailed plans for the
almost 350 years after the garden                                                                       garden, have been transcribed by
was created.’ The Luftwaffe                                                                             historian Andrew Eburne as part
photograph was discovered by                                                                            of the National Trust’s ongoing
National Trust gardens and                                                                              programme of research into the
parks curator Chris Gallagher                 An aerial photograph showing the circles today            garden.
whilst carrying out research. ‘We                                                                          Mark Bradshaw says: ‘Some of
checked the database and found that the photo existed, but               the letters refer to 400 raspberries and roses to be planted
when we ordered up the image it revealed far more than we                within Tresham’s ‘circular borders’, which suggests that these
ever expected. Not only did it expose the remnants of the                are the same circles that appear in the aerial photograph. The
original circular design, set within what Sir Thomas Tresham,            re-planting of this area would make a wonderful addition to
who created the garden, then called his ‘moated orchard’,                the Elizabethan experience. A number of interpretations of
but you can also make out the vestiges of a regular array of             this layout are possible, including that of a labyrinth, which
planting holes, which we have taken to be the last remains of an         was a popular feature of gardens of the 15th and 16th centuries.
Elizabethan fruit garden.’                                               Labyrinths were often symbolic, and it is likely that the plants
   The photograph has contributed greatly to the National                within the ‘circular borders’ were themselves emblematic of
Trust’s understanding of the garden. As a result it has been             religious or regal qualities.’
upgraded by English Heritage to Grade I listing, confirming its              To provide a sense of how Lyveden may have looked when
significance on a national and international level and putting            it was created, the National Trust has established a temporary
it on a par with the greatest gardens in the country, includ-            labyrinth within the gardens made by mowing a pattern into
ing Studley Royal and Stourhead. Tony Calladine, Heritage                the grass sward. Visitors can now follow the contemplative
Protection Team Leader for English Heritage, said: ‘English              journey that many Elizabethan garden visitors might have
Heritage is pleased to be able to recognise the outstanding              once taken and escape the stresses of everyday life in the beau-
interest of the garden at Lyveden New Bield by upgrading                 tiful setting of this atmospheric Tudor garden.
it to Grade I, the highest grade on the Register of Historic
Parks and Gardens. Its remarkable state of preservation and              For more information visit:
its association with Thomas Tresham, the famous gardener,                http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lyveden
       a rts|buildings|collections bulletin                                                                                                   12


‘IT DISPLEASES THROUGH TOO MUCH BEAUTY’
An 18th-century German princess visits Osterley Park

T
          he diaries and correspondence                                                                 Journey to England by Count Friedrich
          of country house visitors have                                                                Kielmansegge of 1761-62; and, as the
          long provided historians with                                                                 garden historian Marcus Köhler has
a rich seam of lively observations. Be-                                                                 shown, the travel diaries of Freidrich
cause of their candour and immediacy,                                                                   Karl von Hardenberg (1696-1763), one
they serve as a valuable complement                                                                     of the first to introduce to Germany
to other contemporary sources such                                                                      new ideas about landscape gardening.
as legal documents, bills, drawings,                                                                       Interest in visiting Britain encour-
county histories and guidebooks. The                                                                    aged the production of guides and
first-hand witness of a small group of                                                                   books of advice. Johann Jacob Volk-
particularly energetic, native travellers                                                               mann’s handbook—Neueste Reisen du-
and commentators—within which                                                                           rch England (1781-82)—was compiled
might be counted Celia Fiennes,                                                                         for German visitors to England and
Horace Walpole, Jemima Yorke,                                                                           provided information on art collec-
2nd Marchioness Grey, John Byng,                                                                        tions, natural history, the economy
5th Viscount Torrington, and Mrs                                                                        and country houses. Others included
Lybbe Powys—is deployed with great                                                                      Carl Philipp Moritz’s Journeys of a
regularity in 18th-century studies. Still                                                               German in England in 1782; Johann
relatively little mined are the thoughts                                                                Archenholz’s A Picture of England:
of foreign visitors to Britain. Locked                                                                  Containing a description of the laws,
up in continental archives, and in a                                                                    customs and manners of England
variety of languages, there are under-                                                                  (1790); and Gebhardt Wendeborn’s A
standable reasons for this.                                                                             View of England towards the close of the
   A recently published volume, Die                                                                     eighteenth century (1791).
Englandreise der Fürstin Louise von                                                                        Amongst the many country houses
Anhalt-Dessau in Jahr 1775 (2007),                                                                      that the prince and princess visited in
edited by Johanna Geyer-Kordesch,                                                                       1775 was Osterley, Middlesex, a place
is, therefore, particularly to be welcomed. In 1775 Louise Henriette     that provoked a range of responses from 18th-century tourists and
Wilhelmine von Anhalt-Dessau (1750-1811) joined her husband,             family guests. Their visit, on 25 July 1775, was made just as Robert
prince Leopold Friedrich Franz (1740-1817), and their architect,         Adam’s last few state rooms were being completed. Walpole’s over-
Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff (1736-1800), on an expedi-           riding impression as a result of his 1773 visit to Osterley had been of
tion to England. Prince Franz and Erdmannsdorff, inveterate travel-      great expenditure and sumptuousness:
lers whose journeys took them across Europe—from Glasgow in the
north, to Pompeii in the south, and Königsberg to the east—had             ‘On Friday we went to see—oh! the palace of palaces! and yet a
been to Britain twice before, in 1763-64 and 1768-69, and were to          palace sans crown, sans coronet—but such expense! such taste!
visit on a final occasion in 1785.                                          such profusion! And yet half an acre [ie. the site, in London, of
   As the 18th century progressed, England became an increasingly          Childs’ Bank] produces all the rents that furnish such magnifi-
attractive place to German visitors, and by 1799 some 30,000 of their      cence. It is a jaghire [revenues of a tract of land] got without a
compatriots were resident in London. The King was of course also           crime. In short, a shop is the estate, and Osterley Park is the spot.
the Elector of Hanover, and some visitors, at least, would have had        The old house I have often seen, which was built by Sir Thomas
relatives or friends at court. Interest gradually shifted from France,     Gresham; but it is so improved and enriched, that all the Percies
traditionally an important component—as had been Italy—of                  and Seymours of Sion must die of envy.’
the German Cavalierstouren, or aristocratic Grand Tour. Paris was
increasingly seen as the centre of a decaying ancien régime system,        While she did not make specific comments on the character of
and as the French Revolution and its chaotic aftermath unfolded,         the principal rooms, Louise left an account that reveals a critical eye
London offered the possibility of alternative social and political       and a sensibility informed by aesthetic theory. Her comments reflect
models; England’s constitution, and her laws, with their arguably        the ideas—about how to live—that she and her husband had devel-
‘Saxon’ origins, were of great interest. Pioneering experiments in       oped during the course of their own architectural and landscaping
agricultural improvement, scientific and industrial advances, Lon-        adventures at Wörlitz, the estate at the heart of their principality, the
don’s teeming docks, and her shops well stocked with manufactures        ideal ‘garden-realm’ of Anhalt-Dessau. Completed two years earlier,
and imports, were all indicators of an inventive and entrepreneurial     Wörlitz is clearly the benchmark by which she gauges Osterley.
culture that might be emulated. The translator of Sophie von La
Roche’s travel diary of 1786—Tagebuch einer Reise durch Holland            ‘We went further on to Osterley Park, where we saw perhaps the
und England—notes: ‘… like a magnet she (England) attracted                most beautiful, the most magnificent, and the most tasteful country
foreigners to her shores to breathe the purer air of Liberty and learn     house, that lies in the area around London. The occupier thereof
the secrets of prosperity.’ Other accounts include The Diary of a          is a banker named Childs, almost, as they say, it is so ugly, that it
        a rts|buildings|collections bulletin                                                                                                                13

  is lovely, but here reason and noble                                                                                    they could not show the house.
  simple-mindedness say why it dis-                                                                                       ‘The Prince, who simply wasn’t
  pleases through too much beauty,                                                                                        delighted by this new fashion of the
  it is true, everything there was full                                                                                   English either, ordered the stage-
  of taste, but it was an overly costly,                                                                                  coach driver to sit up again and to
  artificial, bristling-with-gold taste,                                                                                   drive away. This fellow knew, how-
  so that the extravagance was really                                                                                     ever, who we actually were, and was
  too great and conspicuous. It was                                                                                       ashamed of his fellow countrymen,
  all completely in the antique taste,                                                                                    he hesitated, and said a few words
  like Wörlitz, but everything was                                                                                        in the ear of the servant, whereupon
  ten times bigger, ten times more                                                                                        straight away, really against all our
  expensive, ten times more neatly                                                                                        expectations, doors and gates were
  embellished, and ten times more                                                                                         opened to us. Thereafter we were
  ornamented and finished. This is                                                                                         really delighted that our stagecoach
  the clearest description that one                                                                                       driver had given away our identity,
  can create for those who cannot                                                                                         for one certainly only seldom gets
  see it. And in comparison to this                                                                                       the opportunity to see such a house,
  our beloved Wörlitz seemed to me                                                                                        everything, everything therein was
  a plain, healthy and very agreeable                                                                                     precious—paintings, library, func-
  flower, which a plant-lover sowed                                                                                        tion room, living room, ceilings,
  in his garden, through which he                                                                                         fireplaces, mirrors, floorcarpets,
  passed, and which his friends find                                                                                       chairs, tables, stairs, doors, lamps,




                                                                                                                    V&A
  good, because of its true elegance.                                                                                     every little achievement—every-
  On the other hand, however, this                                                                                        thing, everything, was embellished,
  house of Mr Childs, although                 View of the menagerie at Osterley Park, watercolour drawing                executed in the neatest way. And this
  the same sort of flower, has been             by Anthony Devis (1729-1816). ‘We saw there many unusual,                  beautiful building, shimmering with
                                               beautiful and ugly birds, a Widow [Bird] was also there, and
  transplanted by a rich, ostenta-           two little sweet creatures sat in a small tree. Oh they were pretty,
                                                                                                                          splendour, is honoured only once
  tious and artful florist, stuffed and       very small but very charming in their markings and colour, their             in a while one day a week with the
  so expensively maintained, that is         breast was changeant gris de lair, their wings were in some cases            actual presence of its owner, returned
  has become so large and full, that           reddish, their small little heads and beaks were black, but all            from India and well-laden.
  one can hardly make out its genus           these colours were so pretty, so softly mixed, that to look at them
                                               delighted me; there were 3 large eagles, many parrots, and on
  (very often the really overly forced,      the same day a new guest had arrived in the Menagerie, called a
                                                                                                                 ‘Resplendent, resplendent, all the
  stuffed and high-shooting flowers            Secretary Bird, a ridiculous figure, half monkey, half bird, and    same you beautiful Osterley Park; the
  lose their gentlest quality, sweet                    very similar to the pictures of the Macaronis.’          English eye currently blinded with
  perfume).’                                                                                                     luxuriance will nevertheless soon
                                                                                    find you once more too inferior, too ordinary, luxury increases
  In 1786 Sophie von La Roche commented on the excellent plan-                      too high on British ground, to be able to take much more or even
ning of the bedrooms at Osterley and those of the maids and valets.                 to last. My eyes though are not blinded by it, because they are so
She admired the basement service quarters, the ‘kitchen, bake-                      refined, that only the beautiful nature of the ancestral Fatherland
house, laundry, housekeeper’s lodge—all as spruce and clean as I                    makes them shine and fortifies them and they fix their gaze on the
myself could have desired my whole life long’. She reveals too that                 simple and agreeable art in Wörlitz.’
‘Mr. Burth, whom I met at Count Reventlow’s had sent us a ticket
admitting five people’. Louise von Anhalt-Dessau comments too on                    A fuller account will be published in the forthcoming volume
the service quarters of the house and the circumstances by which her             Innenseiten Des Gartenreiches Die Wörlitzer Interieurs Im Englisch-
party secured access:                                                            Deutschen Kulturtransfer, Heinrich Dilly and Christiane Holm
                                                                                 (eds), published as the proceedings of a conference organised by
  ‘When we had gone through half of this house—for the other is                  the Interdisciplinary Centre for European Enlightenment Studies,
  not yet decorated—the Housekeeper led us out of the house into                 Martin-Luther-Universität, Halle-Wittenburg, and hosted by the
  the dairy, wherein everything is also very lovely—the pails for the            Kulturstiftung Dessau Wörlitz. Contributions on other English
  milk, in which it is kept, are of Japanese porcelain. There the Lady           houses and topics include: Dr Michael Fend (music in country
  Housekeeper, to whom we really owed a great debt of gratitude,                 houses); Richard Hewlings (Chiswick House); Richard Garnier
  advised us that she had orders from the master of this house not               (Twickenham Villa); and Richard Wheeler (Stowe).
  to show anyone around unless they had a note from him—this we
  did not have, and knew Mr Childs as little as we knew the Mogul                  I am very grateful to Dr Olivia Horsfall Turner for translating
  (with whom in fact—comparing on account of his house—he                        Louise von Anhalt-Dessau’s account of Osterley.
  may have liked to have had some similarity). The staff therefore
  answered—since the Prince did not want to give his name—that                                             David Adshead, National Trust Head Curator

                   Find this bulletin at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/abcbulletin               Please pass the link on to your colleagues
Published by The National Trust, Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon SN2 2NA Telephone 0870 600 2127 Fax 01793 817401 Correspondence to abc@nationaltrust.org.uk
             Consulting Editors: David Adshead and James Grasby. Edited and designed by Terence and Eliza Sackett Tel 01237 478170 (www.sacketts.co.uk)

				
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