Staff and volunteer favourites

When Mrs Greville passed away in 1942 she left the estate of Polesden Lacey with its collections, and those of her house in London, to the National Trust. She asked that "all my pictures and objects [sic] d''art... shall be taken to Polesden Lacey... to form a picture and Art Gallery" as a memorial to her father, Mr William McEwan. Here are the favourite pieces of our staff and volunteers.

Part of an image of a boy with a sheep. The boy is wearing a dress and has his hand on a sheep which is cropped out of the image.

Painting: A One-year-old Boy with a Sheep

Gillian, House Tour Guide. "All children of this age wore skirts, a boy is indicated by the wearing of a sash with gold medal under the arm, as shown in this portrait. I'm very much in a minority liking this painting, which can be found in the library. I look at his little chubby face and wonder who he was and what became of him." The painting is attributed to Cesar van Everdingen (1606-1679) or Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1690).

Kangxi biscuit teapot moulded to resemble bamboo canes and painted with birds and flowers.

Ceramics: Kangxi biscuit teapot

Fiona, member of staff. "I really love this item, I've never seen anything like it elsewhere. The colours are amazing and the detail is really sweet. I can just imagine how much effort and love went into making it since it's such an unusual shape. We don’t know much about it in terms of Mrs Greville's story, she may have picked it up on her travels in Asia or been given it as a present, we're not sure. What we do know is: it is a Kangxi biscuit teapot or wine pot, moulded to resemble bamboo canes and painted with birds and flowers, made in China, about 1700-20."

A bust-length portrait of a young woman with red hair. On the reverse is a portrait of a saint.

Painting: Unknown Woman (and a secret)

Penny, House Tour Guide. "In the house there's a painting of an unknown lady, who isn't the greatest beauty but hides an intriguing secret, which I really enjoy. Apparently, on the reverse of the painting is a portrait of a saint. Perhaps this enabled the owner to turn the picture around and hide the lady very easily.. I'd love to know their story! I always mention this to visitors, if I'm on duty near the West Corridor."