View all projects Wood into Gold: Re-gilding the frame of The Paston TreasureArt Happens

101%

Funded

By Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Norfolk

Francesca

Francesca Vanke

Keeper of art


  • £14,758Raised
  • 190Funders
  • Happening15 Oct 2015

We want to re-gild the frame of this magnificent painting before it goes on display as the centrepiece of a major international exhibition.


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Do you have the Midas touch?

The Paston Treasure, (Dutch School, c.1670s, oil on canvas) is one of Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery’s rarest and most famous paintings, popular with visitors of all ages. It was painted by an unknown Dutch artist at Oxnead Hall in Norfolk around 1670 and portrays some of the treasures collected by the famous Paston family. These objects are dispersed around the world but the painting has always stayed in Norfolk, a vital part of the county’s heritage.

Research has shown that the ornately carved frame was in all likelihood made for the painting, but it would not have looked like this in the 17th century. It would have been gilded – the dazzling finishing touch to the depiction of a dazzling collection. Six years ago, we raised money to have the painting cleaned and conserved. Now we want to re-gild the frame and restore this masterpiece in its entirety to its former glory.

This is the ideal moment to go for gold. We at Norwich Castle are planning, in partnership with the Yale Center for British Art in the USA, a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition – to bring together as many of the Paston treasures as we can and reunite them with this picture for the first time in 350 years. To prepare for this major exhibition planned for 2018, we want the painting to look as it did when it was new, and as the artist intended – with the frame this remarkable painting deserves.

Gold has an eternal mystique and appeal. Robert Paston, the original owner of the collection and the painting, practised alchemy. He spent his life trying to understand the mysteries of nature, and trying to make gold. We now know this is impossible, but to turn this wooden frame into gold is easy – all we need is your help! To gild a frame, fragile sheets of gold leaf are carefully laid onto a prepared surface. Why not become a modern day alchemist and help us turn this frame gold, piece by piece?

Take a closer look at The Paston Treasure below.

Latest updates

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  • Deadline extension
  • 30 March 2015
  • By Francesca Vanke
  • Our project is 93% funded with just a few hours to go – to ensure we hit our target, we've decided to extend our project deadline.

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  • Robert Paston
  • 16 March 2015
  • By Francesca Vanke
  • Meet the man behind the Paston family's amazing collection of objects, which appear in The Paston Treasure.

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  • Time!
  • 27 February 2015
  • By Francesca Vanke
  • A word about time and timepieces in the Paston Treasure.

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  • Donations update and Blaeu's globe
  • 18 December 2014
  • By Francesca Vanke
  • We've already reached £400 from a total of 20 donors. Thank you very much to everyone who's started the ball rolling! In our latest update, we look at another magnificent treasure from the painting.

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  • The Strombus Shell Cup
  • 15 December 2014
  • By Francesca Vanke
  • In preparation for our exhibition, we're looking at all the treasures in the painting, trying to find out more about them – starting with the magnificent Strombus Shell Cup.

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