Walpole Treasure Hunt

As restoration work continues at Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, the Strawberry Hill Trust is hoping to acquire missing items which were once part of Walpole’s massive collection of art and objects. The Trust has launched an appeal with the hope of restoring Walpole’s collection to its original setting. Strawberry Hill will open to the public for the first time next year following a £9 million restoration. As part of the celebrations, the V&A will host an exhibition on Walpole and his collection starting on 6 March until 4 July 2010.

Have you seen any of these items?

Bust of Poussin’s wife
A terracotta bust of Anne Marie Dughet, the wife of the artist Nicolas Poussin, by Francois Duquesnoy, circa 1630. Bought in 1842 auction by John P Beavan.

Wedgwood Plate

A set of 12 Wedgwood plates, featuring cameos of brown, white and blue festoons, designed by Lady Diana Beauclerk, circa 1777.

Henry VIII’s dagger
Of Turkish design, with a steel blade damasked in gold and a case embellished with diamonds and rubies (date unknown). In the 1842 auction, it was bought by the actor Charles Kean, who is said to have used it on stage. It was sold at Christie’s in 1898 to someone named “Haigham”.

Bust of Vespasian
Ancient Roman basalt bust of the Emperor Vespasian, formerly in 10 Downing Street and later at Strawberry Hill. The bust was last recorded at Christie’s in 1882 where it was sold by the Duke of Hamilton.

Gothic dining table

Commissioned by Horace Walpole in 1754, designed by Richard Bentley, the surface of the table is made of Sicilian Jasper. Last recorded in 1953 in the collection of the antiquarian HL Bradfer-Lawrence, of Ripon, Yorks, who died in 1965.

Read the full story here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-news/6889607/Hunt-begins-for-lost-Horace-Walpole-treasures-at-Strawberry-Hill.html

The US version of the Walpole exhibition is on show at the Yale Center for British Art until 3 January.

Find out more at The Art Newspaper.

The exhibition catalogue is available to fill the gap before the V&A version opens.

You can find out more about the Strawberry Hill Trust here: http://strawberryhilltrust.org/

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