Rooms full of priceless objects

I accidently discovered The Wallace Collection when I had an appointment in Baker Street, which runs parallel to Manchester Square, where the Wallace Collection is displayed in Hertford House.

When I saw it, my first thought was that it had something to do with Wallace Simpson.

But I was wrong. It is an amazing collection of art that was accumulated by one family; five generations, four Marquesses, and Sir Richard Wallace.

It is now a national museum with free entry, and it’s well worth a visit!

I walked from room to room, gazing at paintings, ornate chandeliers, furniture, vases, plates, and much much more, all dating from the 14th-19th centuries, when the entire collection was given to the British nation in 1897.

Everything is set out on tables, mantelpieces and walls, like in somebody’s home.

Nothing’s protected in glass cases, except in the Armoury. I wouldn’t like to even wildly guess at the value of it all!

There are paintings by Rubens, Reynolds, Velasquez, Van Dyke, Canaletto and Rembrandt, to name but a few.

Gallery

A falchion; a short sword popular in the 16th century, belonged to Cosimo 1 de Medici.

An ornate black and gold shield was owned by Henri II of France in 1558. And a black and gold Partizan, which was a long-handled spear, was used as a ceremonial weapon by the bodyguards of Louis XIV.

The Armoury covers three rooms, with two and a half thousand objects! There is armour for man and horse, weapons, and lots more.

magnificent staircase

Hertford House was one of numerous properties owned by the Seymour-Conway family, (The Marquesses of Hertford) and it was bought and adapted specially to house the donated collection.

The first two Marquesses were modest collectors, but the third Marquess was the family’s greatest collector. He acquired several French collections that were being sold at low prices due to the French Revolution.

His son, the fourth Marquess, (1800-1870) lived in Paris and was a recluse. He lived for collecting, and it was an obsession with him.

Gallery

Sir Richard Wallace was his illegitimate son and he brought the collection from Paris to London, which must have been hard work. I don’t think bubble wrap had been invented then!

He added the collection of arms and armour, and his French wife Amelie donated the collection to the British nation on her death in 1897.

The house is absolutely packed with things to see, and I couldn’t take it all in on one visit.

Restaurant

Upstairs there is a huge restaurant and café where you can relax for a while, and there are seats around the house.

Restaurant

I intend to go back, and spend a lot more time there. It’s an absolutely fascinating place to visit!

Hertford House is open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm.

www.wallacecollection.org

0207 563 9500.

The Wallace Collection

Hertford House

Manchester Square

London W1U 3BN.

Entry is free, but a donation of £5 is welcomed.

Photos without flash are permitted.

Outside the house

About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd www.andrewsuk.com No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.