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National Trust acquires £5.7 million worth of art for Nostell Priory

Objects sold by former owner

Wakefield

The National Trust has acquired important works of art for Nostell Priory, a stately home near Wakefield, Yorkshire. These are being sold by the Sixth Lord St Oswald, whose family used to own the house, and although many of the items are currently on public view there, others are from the private apartments. The sale represents a major part of a £5.7 million package, which includes the purchase of parkland and stables. The main pictures are Rowland Lockey’s 1592 copy of Holbein’s huge painting of “The family of Sir Thomas More”, Guercino’s “Persian Sybil”, a Pieter Claesz still life and Angelica Kauffman’s “The artist hesitating between the arts of music and painting” —the most requested painting in a National Trust house for loan to exhibitions. Important furnishings acquired by the Trust include a suite of Regency seat furniture attributed to Gillows, bookcases possibly by Adam and a pair of 17th-century Japanese lacquered cabinets, along with the entire book collection in the library and billiard room. The purchase was assisted by a £4.2 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The National Art Collections Fund has also provided the full cost of £294,000 for Hogarth’s “Ferdinand paying court to Miranda.” Finally, it is expected that further Nostell Priory furniture by Gillows will come to the National Trust in lieu of inheritance tax.