Chiswick House scoops historic works from Chatsworth auction

  • 13 October 2010

Thanks to a 100% grant from us, English Heritage has acquired a selection of historic items at 'The Attic Sale' auction at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.

These items will now be returned to their original home - Chiswick House in west London.

Chiswick House was formerly the residence of the Dukes of Devonshire, owners of Chatsworth. Following conservation, the historic furniture and furnishings acquired will go on public display in Spring 2011.

Seven lots were secured in total. They relate to two important periods of Chiswick's history: that of the House's architect and first owner Lord Burlington (and his protégé William Kent), and the 5th Duke of Devonshire and his famous Duchess, Georgiana. Items include one of the earliest known design drawings of Chiswick House, a pole screen designed by William Kent, an assembled group of furniture, and a writing desk that were used by Georgiana and the Devonshire family in the late 18th century.

Our director Stephen Deuchar said: "We’re always pleased to be able to help the return of items to historic homes where they have a particular resonance, where they can be enjoyed by the public. That’s why we’re delighted to have given the full amount required to enrich Chiswick Houses’s beautiful collections with items from this unusual and important Chatsworth sale."

Cathy Power, Senior Curator at English Heritage, said: "We are delighted to be able to return these wonderful objects to Chiswick House for public display. These pieces will help bring to life the history of the House from its early days as an innovative 18th century Palladian villa in England to when Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire threw her incredibly fashionable parties there in the late 18th century. The Art Fund has entirely funded these important purchases and we are extremely grateful for its support."