A set of royal antique cabinets, kept at Alnwick Castle since 1930, are ready to be put on display again following a lengthy period of Restoration. People visiting the Northumbrian castle from across the border in Cumbria will see the antique cabinets restored to their full glory, when the castle reopens in April.
Alnwick will be familiar as the setting of Hogwarts, for Harry Potter fans in Cumbria. The Victorian dining chairs , antique chests and state room interiors are a joy to behold for Renaissance Revival fans, as much of the interior was remodelled in Victorian Italianate style in the 1860s. Prior to this, Robert Adam had redesigned the rooms in Strawberry Hill Gothic style – some of which remains.
Alnwick’s furniture collection has been amassed by successive generations of the Percy family, and there are a number of rare 17th and 18th century European pieces among the later Victorian styles. And there’s a particularly impressive treat in store for lovers of Louis XlV furniture in Cumbria. The antique cabinets being placed back on show are by Italian master craftsman Domenico Cucci, and originated from the Sun King’s Palace of Versailles. Shamelessly OTT, they have been described as the most valuable pieces of furniture in the world. Dating from around 1670, they are two of only three Cucci cabinets ever made. The third was auctioned at Christie’s two years ago, for £4.5 million.
Louis XlV Revival furniture became very popular in the 19th century. Far more sensibly priced (if a touch less elaborate) than that of Versailles, good examples can be found at many antique dealers in Cumbria. Victorian dining chairs and antique desks were both made in this style, and make good investments.
No comments yet.