The Brussels Picture Gallery by David Teniers the younger

Art & collections

A pair of jawbones flank the door in the Great Hall at Cotehele in Cornwall

The whale’s tale: the puzzle of Cotehele's giant jawbones 

For nearly 150 years, a mysterious pair of whale jawbones have flanked the doorway in the Great Hall at Cotehele in Cornwall. Cutting edge DNA analysis and a recent housekeeping discovery have shed new light on the bones and how they came to Cotehele.

Portrait of the Marquis de Champcenetz by Thomas Gainsborough

A noble return: Gainsborough’s portrait of a French marquis 

A story of friendship in a time of war and revolution - discover the history behind Gainsborough's elegant portrait of a French nobleman, returned to Knole after an absence of more than 80 years.

Exhibition highlights

A 17th-century kitchen with dog-wheel

Cooking with dogs: How man's best friend powered the kitchens of the past 

Meet the most unlikely of kitchen helpers from a bygone age, the turnspit - a now extinct breed of dog, harnessed to cook food over an open fire.

Scallop shell dish set, c. 1756, Ickworth House

Shining tales: The silver treasures of Ickworth 

A symbol of wealth, power and fashion, discover the stories of the one of the most important collections of 18th-century silver in Europe.

View of the Inlaid Chamber at Sizergh Castle

The return of a Tudor treasure 

Is it possible to lose a room? Discover how one of the great treasures of the Elizabeth age – the acclaimed Inlaid Chamber at Sizergh Castle - was lost and later restored to its original home.

Garniture of Chinese porcelain jars and vases / The Argory, County Armagh

'Vase madness' at the V & A 

We look after the world’s largest collection of vase sets. Also known as ‘garnitures’, 15 of our most remarkable vase sets are brought together in a major display at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Recent acquisitions and loans

Explore our collections

The majority of objects in our care are recorded in our online database. You'll find many intriguing items to explore at places near you