Furniture Returns Home to Chiswick

Thanks to a 100% grant from The Art Fund, English Heritage has acquired a selection of historic furniture and furnishings at 'The Attic Sale' auction at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire

Thanks to a 100% grant from The Art Fund, Chiswick House will see the return of a selection of historic furniture and furnishings that were secured by English Heritage at 'The Attic Sale' auction at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.

The seven lots include one of the earliest known design drawings of Chiswick House, a pole screen designed by William Kent and an assembled group of furniture, including French chairs and a  writing desk that were used by Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and the Devonshire family in the late 18th century.

Following some conservation work the items will be on public display from Spring 2011.

Cathy Power, Senior Curator at English Heritage, said, 'We are delighted to be able to return these wonderful objects to Chiswick House for public display. These pieces will help bring to life the history of the House from its early days as  an innovative 18th century  Palladian villa in England to when Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire threw her incredibly fashionable parties there in the late 18th century. The Art Fund has entirely funded these important purchases and we are extremely grateful for its support.'

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said, 'As the national fundraising charity for works of art, we’re committed to helping bring beautiful and inspiring works of all kinds to places where they will be shown in their best light. We’re always pleased to be able to help the return of items to historic homes where they have a particular resonance,  where they can be enjoyed by the public.  That’s why we’re delighted to have given 100% grants to help Chiswick House enrich its beautiful collections with items from this unusual and important Chatsworth sale.'

The return of these items to their original home presents an exciting opportunity to display exhibits with a clear Burlington or Devonshire provenance, and to bring a new layer of history to Chiswick House. 

The Bedchamber was Lady Burlington’s room, furnished with a grand bed and hung with expensive tapestry hangings.   ©: Country Life/Bedford Lemere
The sale presents an exciting opportunity to collect original contents of the house and to develop a new period room display in the Bedchamber relating to the residency of the Dukes of Devonshire, informed by the period photograph, (Country Life/Bedford Lemere), c1890, above.

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