Wood into Gold: Re-gilding the frame of The Paston Treasure

at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Norfolk

Funded

£14,818 raised
166 funders

Funded 2 April 2015

0% funded

102% funded

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.

For funders only

Log in to see more

For funders only

Log in to see more

For funders only

Log in to see more

Today's the day!

The Paston Treasure frame went off to the gilders this morning... Read more

For funders only

Log in to see more

For funders only

Log in to see more

100% funded!

The re-gilding of The Paston Treasure is now fully funded by Art Happens donors... Read more

Deadline extension

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... Read more

The Pastons and their royal connections

Find out more about Charles II's visit to Norfolk in 1671... Read more

A remixed Paston Treasure

A group of local children recreate the painting... Read more

New Reward – visit Oxnead Hall

At home with the Pastons... Read more

Robert Paston

Meet the man behind the Paston family's amazing collection of objects, which appear in The Paston Treasure... Read more

Time!

A word about time and timepieces in the Paston Treasure... Read more

Funding and flowers

Our running total, and another look at The Paston Treasure... Read more

The mysterious third person

There was originally another person in this painting – who was she, and why was she painted out?... Read more

Wood and gold tote bags

We're thrilled to reveal the design of our £25 reward... Read more

The tortoiseshell cup

Learn more about the Indian star tortoiseshell cup, one of the stunning natural objects in The Paston Treasure... Read more

Donations update and Blaeu's globe

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... Read more

The Strombus Shell Cup

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... Read more

A Great Start

Thank you to everybody who has made early offers of donations... Read more

With thanks to...

Sarah Allatt
London

Elizabeth Walsh
Sheringham

John H G Archer
Stockport

Anonymous

Anonymous

Phil Morris
Norwich

Daphne Roberts
Brampton

Lynn ROBERTS
Tunbridge Wells

Anonymous

Cynthia Gowing
Norwich

Dudley Gore
Broadstairs

Anonymous

Mary Bustin
London

Nancy Ewing
Atlanta

Constance Squire
Vancouver

David Burgess
London

Harriet Loffler
Cambridge

Anonymous

Esther Morgan
Bungay

Caroline Clarke
Norwich

Anonymous

Anonymous

Nicholas Baring
Marlborough

Anonymous

Anonymous

Anne Mclean
York

Anonymous

Anonymous

Anonymous

Stephen Elford
Ilford

Miranda Rowlands
Norwich

Anonymous

Anonymous

Anonymous

Anonymous

John Drackley
Matlock

Dan Shay
Glasgow

David Rock
Harleston

Anonymous

Anonymous

Vivien Perutz
Cambridge

Anonymous

Graham Jones
Bracknell

Anonymous

Loveday Charitable Trust
London

Anonymous

Catherine Baines
London

Julia Davenport
London

Anonymous

Sarah Steed
Norwich

Nicholas Ireland
Norwich

Anonymous

Lesley Taylor
Barnard Castle

Lesley Mulhall
Lowestoft

Helen Wilson
Norwich

Kathleen Middleton
Norwich

Anonymous

Anonymous

Adam Pyke
Dereham

Anonymous

Anonymous

Sarah Gray
Oxford

Anonymous

Anonymous

Vicky Diaz-Vilas
London

Sarah A M Turner
Great Missenden

Sheila Day
Norwich

Ann Head
Norwich

Home Education English Group
Norwich

Peter Dawkins
Dorking

Anonymous

Anonymous

Peter Wilson
King's Lynn

Susan Oswell
Aylesbury

Christina Tilstone
Wolverhampton

Carolyn Young
London

David Hedges
London

Timon Screech
London

Anonymous

Beryl Bowen
Warwick

jane Pettit
King's Lynn

David McDougall
Liverpool

Anonymous

John Drain
Romford

Richard Jewson
Norwich

Roger HESLOP
London

Ian Byrnes
Thrapston

peter sutton
York

Anonymous

Anonymous

John Last
Norwich

Tessa North
Norwich

Keron Beattie
Cromer

Julian Fisher
London

Sonya Leydecker
London

Anne Hickley
Thetford

Janet England
Sale

Annie Brundrit
Norwich

Anonymous

Anonymous

Katie Phillips
West Bromwich

Anne Peoples
Londonderry

Ian Hill
Woodford Green

Anonymous

Jo Warr
Norwich

Anonymous

Kerry Leathley
Norwich

Mary Yule
Norwich

Anonymous

Lisa Morgan
Norwich

Donna Chessum
Dereham

Lindsey black
Richmond

Catherine Mason
London

eleanor steinitz
Petworth

Helen Pierce
Aberdeen

Anonymous

Robin Jesson
Norwich

Anonymous

Margaret Maddison
Newcastle upon Tyne

Joan Luckhurst
Norwich

Anonymous

Schroder Charity Trust
Norwich

Jennifer Freeman
Norwich

Company of Goldsmiths
Norwich

Lynne Middlemiss
Norwich

Sue Gibbons
Norwich

Anonymous

Anthony Gordon-Gray
Norwich

Jane Horne
Heathfield

Rachel Cockett
Tenbury Wells

Anonymous

Liz Dixon
Norwich

Karen Michlmayr
Norwich

Rebecca Fletcher
Epping

Anonymous

jane le cluse
Billingshurst

Ann Farrant
Norwich

Polly Lansdowne
London

Clare Barker
Diss

Pepita Allsopp
Guildford

Anonymous

Genevieve Rudd
Great Yarmouth

Anonymous

Natasha Hutcheson
Dereham

Alex Owen
Evesham

John Ward
Norwich

Deborah Ward
Oldham

Anonymous

Diana George
Norwich

Dan Kelly
Norwich

Anonymous

Anonymous

Joanne Shannon
Alcester

Anonymous

Elinor Andrew
London

Steven Miller
Norwich

Bethan Holdridge
Norwich

Helen Parkin
London

Hazel Flavell
Ashmanhaugh

Jennifer Chamberlin
Diss

Christine Birchall
Norwich

Vanessa Trevelyan
Norwich

Alan Edwards
Norwich

Barbara Suzuki
Norwich

Barry Sharp
Norwich

Neil Powell
Norwich

Add comment

Donate to make it happen

£

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)