Over 150 paintings, sculptures and curiosities from the magnificent collection of the celebrated 18th century collector Horace Walpole have been reunited in their original setting at Strawberry Hill for the first time in 176 years.
Horace Walpole was one of the most important collectors of the 18th century. Between 1748 and 1790 he created the glorious gothic revival villa Strawberry Hill, filling it with a remarkable collection of objects which were dispersed across the globe following the great “sale of the century” in 1842. A major three-year treasure hunt has led to the discovery of Walpole’s objects in public museums and private collections around the world. To date more than 200 objects have been uncovered by curators from the Strawberry Hill Collection Trust, with hundreds more treasures still at large. Highlights from the discovery include Cardinal Wolsey’s hat (sixteenth century), a limewood cravat carved by Grinling Gibbons (c. 1690) and a portrait of Sarah Malcolm, a notorious serial killer, in prison, by William Hogarth (1733).
Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill: Masterpieces from Horace Walpole’s Collection will provide a unique opportunity to view the collection as Walpole intended, with works displayed together in their original setting and position in the fine rooms of Strawberry Hill based on detailed descriptions left by Walpole throughout the house. The exhibition will feature over 150 works drawn from 55 collections. A richly illustrated book about Walpole and his collections, written by Silvia Davoli accompanies the exhibition.