Two antique benches designed by Robert Adam for Kenwood House have been sold back to the nation and will be displayed at Kenwood when it reopens in 2013.
A sharp-eyed antique dealer who discovered two long-lost antique hall benches designed by Robert Adam for Kenwood House has sold them to the trustees of the London stately home following an exhibition. The benches, which are clearly displayed in a 1919 Country Life photograph, were secured through funding from the Iveagh Bequest and the Art Fund. Kenwood, once the family seat of the Mansfield family, is currently undergoing massive Restoration but will reopen in Autumn 2013, when the benches will join other original furnishings. These include four Chinese Chippendale antique dining chairs purchased from Scone Palace, the Mansfield’s Scottish home.
Kenwood House dates from the 1600s, but the magnificent neoclassical façade and interiors are the work of Robert Adam, who radically remodelled the property in the late 18th century under instruction from Lord Mansfield. Once richly adorned with antique cabinets, open bookcases and other fine furniture, including pieces designed by Adam, the house was stripped of its furnishings before being sold by the Mansfield family in 1925. Bequeathed to the nation in 1928 by its new owner, Lord Iveagh, it is today managed by English Heritage, who are responsible for bringing it back to its former glory.
The reopening of Kenwood promises to be a delight for anyone making the journey from Lancashire. Meanwhile open bookcases, Victorian dining chairs and other fine furniture in “the Adams Style” can be found by visiting an antique dealer in Preston.
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