Our latest acquisitions

Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex

We are committed to developing our collections by acquiring items that have special connections with our places, so they can be enjoyed by current and future generations. We benefit from gifts, bequests and occasionally purchase items, often with the support of generous donors and funders. We are also a major beneficiary of the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme, which allocates items to national bodies which have been accepted by HM Government in lieu of tax.

2021

Chichester carriage for Arlington Court, Devon

A family travelling carriage made for Robert Chichester (1804–82) of Hall, North Devon in c.1840 has been generously donated to the National Trust by Mr Garth Pedler. 

The carriage was made as a town chariot and converted at a later point in the 19th century to a slightly larger and less formal carriage for regular family use. Robert Chichester was a cousin of Colonel John Chichester (1769–1823), of Arlington Court, now home to the National Trust’s Carriage Museum, where over 40 carriages are on display in the former stable block.  

Chichester carriage, c.1840, built by Pettle of Barnstaple, National Trust Carriage Museum, Arlington Court, Devon / NT 2900385
Chichester carriage, c.1840
Chichester carriage, c.1840, built by Pettle of Barnstaple, National Trust Carriage Museum, Arlington Court, Devon / NT 2900385

Portraits by Daniel Mytens and Thomas Gainsborough to Knole, Kent

Two superb portraits of family members that have been on display at Knole for over 200 years have been accepted in lieu of tax by HM Government and allocated to the National Trust. 

The first is a 1620 portrait of Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex (1575–1645), by Daniel Mytens (c.1590–1647/8), which shows Cranfield in his robes of state and with the white wand of the Lord High Treasurer.  

Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex, 1620, by Daniel Mytens, Knole, Kent / NT 129887
Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex
Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex, 1620, by Daniel Mytens, Knole, Kent / NT 129887

The second, a portrait of Lord George Sackville (1716–85) by Thomas Gainsborough (1727–88), continued the family tradition of patronising fashionable court artists. It was painted in the early 1780s, at a time when Gainsborough was favoured by George III (1738–1820) and at the height of his powers.

Lord George Sackville Germain, 1st Viscount Sackville, c.1784, Thomas Gainsborough RA, oil on canvas, Knole, Kent / NT 129926
Lord George Sackville Germain, 1st Viscount Sackville
Lord George Sackville Germain, 1st Viscount Sackville, c.1784, Thomas Gainsborough RA, oil on canvas, Knole, Kent / NT 129926

2020

Van Steenwyck perspective for Ham House, Surrey

An oil on copper perspective, based on Antwerp Cathedral by the important Anglo-Dutch painter Hendrick van Steenwyck (1604–49), was purchased for Ham House. 

Van Steenwyck's perspective painting used to hang in the Green Closet at Ham. When Ham House was transferred to the National Trust in 1948, this work remained with a member of the historic family. In April 2020, with generous support from the Art Fund and a fund set up by the late Simon Sainsbury, the National Trust was delighted to be able to purchase the work, and it now hangs once again in the Green Closet.  

Cathedral Interior, 1621, Hendrick van Steenwyck, the Younger, oil on copper, Ham House, Surrey / NT 1140914
Cathedral Interior, 1621
Cathedral Interior, 1621, Hendrick van Steenwyck, the Younger, oil on copper, Ham House, Surrey / NT 1140914

2019

Saint Agatha by Carlo Dolci to Osterley Park and House, London

A painting by Italian artist Carlo Dolci (1616-1687) of the early Christian martyr Saint Agatha has been acquired by the National Trust for Osterley Park and House in Middlesex thanks to a grant from Art Fund and other generous donations.

The painting is a dramatic depiction of Agatha of Sicily, a Christian martyr, who suffered dreadful torture at the hands of the Romans. It is an example of the work of the Baroque master Carlo Dolci, a leading figure of 17th-century Florentine art, whose passionate depictions of holy figures aimed to inspire reverence and empathy for the divine. It captures the miraculous moment when Saint Peter the Apostle appeared to Saint Agatha in a vision and healed her wounds. 

Saint Agatha by Carlo Dolci (1616 – 1687), oil on canvas, c. 1665-70, Osterley Park and House, London / NT 2900293
Saint Agatha, by Carlo Dolci
Saint Agatha by Carlo Dolci (1616 – 1687), oil on canvas, c. 1665-70, Osterley Park and House, London / NT 2900293

The painting was purchased by Sir Robert Child (1674-1721) at the beginning of the 18th century and became one of the works in a great picture collection at Osterley. It was recorded in a 1782 inventory, however, it was later sold along with other family heirlooms in the 1930s. 

‘Saint Agatha’ was purchased for £248,750 at the Christie’s Old Masters Evening Sale in London on 5 July 2018 thanks to a grant of £85,000 from Art Fund, support from private donors, Trust members and visitors to Osterley Park, and from a fund set up by the late Simon Sainsbury to support acquisitions for the historic houses of the National Trust. 

The Breakfast Table by George Clausen to Standen, West Sussex 

The Breakfast Table by Sir George Clausen, RA has been bequeathed to Standen by the artist's granddaughter.

The painting shows Clausen’s wife Agnes Mary and their two daughters Meg and Kitty. It was painted in the early 1890s when the artist was influenced by the French Impressionists, becoming preoccupied with the play of light and shade. In this domestic interior, morning sunlight falls over the table catching the glaze on the blue and white porcelain.

The Breakfast Table by Sir George Clausen, RA (1852-1944), oil on canvas, 1891-2 / Standen NT 2900207
Painting by George Clausen
The Breakfast Table by Sir George Clausen, RA (1852-1944), oil on canvas, 1891-2 / Standen NT 2900207

Clausen is primarily known for his figure and landscape paintings of scenes of rural life. Born in London, he was elected a Royal Academecian in 1908. 

The Breakfast Table can be seen at Standen near works by Clausen's fellow artist friends including William Nicholson, Stanhope Alexander Forbes and Henry Herbert La Thangue.

2018

A Game of Bowls by John Singer Sargent to Ightham Mote, Kent

A Game of Bowls, by American painter John Singer Sargent, was acquired for Ightham Mote in Kent following a successful campaign to raise funds to purchase it for the nation.

The large-scale painting is a rare and original piece of Ightham Mote’s history, capturing a unique view of the 14th-century moated manor house, still very much in evidence today.

It depicts the house in 1889, with its American tenant at the time, Mary Lincoln ‘Queen’ Palmer, and Palmer's daughter, Elsie, enjoying a game of bowls on the North Lawn with their friends. Singer Sargent’s youngest sister Violet is amongst them.

John Singer Sargent, A Game of Bowls, 1889, Ightham Mote, Kent
A Game of Bowls by John Singer Sargent
John Singer Sargent, A Game of Bowls, 1889, Ightham Mote, Kent

The painting is an example of Sargent in his experimental mode. It is a large-scale landscape in the English manner, but painted in a modernist French style. Due to the size of the painting, it was clearly composed with exhibition in mind, and it appeared in Joe Comyns Carr's New Gallery the year after it was painted.

A friend and protégé of Claude Monet and a member of the British avant-garde, Sargent was yet to be fully accepted by either critics or the public at the time this picture was painted. As with many of his previous pictures, A Game of Bowls was classed as 'eccentric'. 

The painting had been on loan to the National Trust as part of Ightham Mote's 2018 John Singer Sargent exhibition.

The painting was purchased with funding from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and from funds raised thanks to the generosity of visitors and supporters of Ightham Mote.

 

Art & collections

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