The next generation
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My favourite object
What better way of exploring our collections than by asking our staff and volunteers to tell us about their favourite objects.
As the South West's Regional Director, Mark Harold has visited all the properties in the region and seemed the natural person to ask first. But surely, being a regional director is much like being a parent - you're not supposed to have favourites. Click through the tabs alongside to find out what they are.
An amber elephant
Despite being only 16cm high this little elephant regularly catches Mark's eye for 'the beautiful way light shines through the amber and because the amber itself brings to mind the perfection of insects preserved for millions of years.'
The shutters in the Dining Room at Kingston Lacy are neither plain nor simple but intricate garlands of fruit, game birds and lobsters. On the walls are more panels of finely detailed birds, berries and flowers.
It's their quality and detail that appeal to Mark especially as they are carved out of wood, where even the slightest slip of the chisel could cause a rethink of the design, or the need to start again.
An amazing invention
Otto Overbeck's rejuvenator 'looks so Heath Robinson and daft in conception, but made Otto enough money to eventually leave Overbeck's to the Trust.'
The 'electrical rejuvenator' was patented in the 1920s and Otto claimed that users could defy the ageing process by applying the electrodes to their skin.
Nowadays Mark champions the National Trust across the South West and has even biked 750 miles in just 12 days visiting 35 National Trust properties along the way - nothing scares him! As a child, he wasn't quite up to the challenge of the Samurai armour, which terrified him when he visited Snowshill Manor.
They have obviously left a lasting impression.