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

Francesca Vanke at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Norfolk

Funded

£14,757 raised
175 funders

Funded 1 April 2015

0% funded

101% 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.

A Great Start

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

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 tortoiseshell cup

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

Wood and gold tote bags

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

Funding and flowers

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

Time!

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

Robert Paston

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

New Reward – visit Oxnead Hall

At home with the Pastons... Read more

A remixed Paston Treasure

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

The Pastons and their royal connections

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

100% funded!

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

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Today's the day!

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

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With thanks to...

Elinor Trigg

Margaret Maddison

John Archer

Neil Powell

Clare Barker

Victoria Diaz-Vilas

David Goldser

Stephen Elford

Lindsey Black

R Eaton

Judy Vaknin

Jennifer Dooge

Hugh Bain

Peter Sutton

David Hedges

Kathleen Middleton

Esther Morgan

Anne Peoples

Adam Pyke

Clive Cotton

Rosy Gray

Janet England

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Lesley Tollett

Helen Pierce

Anthony Gordon-Gray

Mary Yule

Francesca Vanke

Kerry Leathley

Jane Pettit

Sarah Gray

Graham Jones

Paris Agar

Joan Luckhurst

Margot Chappell

Richard Jewson

John Drain

Michael Lilley

Maggie Jesson

David Harding

Lavender Patten

Anne Mclean

E Elliot

Sophie Forgan

Lesley Taylor

A Robb

Dorothy Phillips

Susan Gibbons

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Ann Farrant

Liz Dixon

Alan Edwards

Lynne Middlemiss

Lisa Morgan

Vanessa Trevelyan

R Heslop

Helen Mcginty

Carolyn Young

Christina Tilstone

Sarah Steed

Catherine Baines

Jackie Rodger

David Bowen

Jane Le Cluse

Bishop Of Norwich

Harriet Loffler

Elizabeth Holt

Mary Bustin

Daphne Roberts

Susan Oswell

Simon Muirhead

Katie Phillips

John Last

John Drackley

Richard Lewis

Judith O'Shea

Shaw Warnock

Angela Fogg

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Jean Rivington

Bethan Holdridge

Helen Parkin

Christine Birchall

Barry Sharp

Jennifer Chamberlin

Polly Lansdowne

Barbara Suzuki

Hazel Flavell

Joanne Shannon

Kathleen Churchley

V Perutz

Sarah Turner

Lesley Mulhall

David Rock

Caroline Clarke

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Nicholas Steinitz

Rebecca Fletcher

Patricia Waters

Martyn Woollett

Jo Warr

Lynn Roberts

Anthony West

Patricia Parkes

Ian Byrnes

Joan Rees

Richard Debenham

A Nelki

J Davenport

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Keith Morris

Alexandra Owen

Pepita Allsopp

Peter Dawkins

Nicholas Baring

Judith Hodgson

Sarah Gore

Charlotte Blake

David Burgess

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