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34 NADFAS REVIEW / SUMMER 2011To Advertise Please ContactJessica Barr 020 7430 0730 x 244email: Quiney 020 7430 0730 x 245email:

THE HOLBURNE MUSEUMthrough furniture, portraits and personalitems, as well as his treasuredcollections. No grandee and without alarge income, he bought judiciously andalso inherited family pieces, such as theexport porcelain dinner service orderedby his grandfather in the 1750s, onshow in the Ballroom. In July 1805, aged 11, William joinedthe Navy; he saw action on HMS Orionat Trafalgar and his subsequent medals,and a snuffbox made of timber fromHMS Victory are on show. He foughtaround the world during the NapoleonicWars from the blockade of Toulon in1806, before coming home to Bath onhalf pay in 1815, still a mere youngsterof 21. His parents lived modestly in Bath,but his wider family connections includedthe Lascelles of Harewood House. Hisaunt, Catherine Cussans (1753-1834),also a collector, may have influenced histaste. After her death in 1834 Holburnebenefited from legacies and purchaseda few small items from her sale.One striking exhibit is a series ofpassports or visas recording SirWilliam's 1824 travels through Germanyto the Italian states and cities. Hispersonal Grand Tour had to be deferreduntil he had inherited his father's title andshare of inheritance. He twice visitedRome, with a side trip into Istria before areturn journey via Salzburg, Munich,Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Mainz, down theRhine to Antwerp before visitingAmsterdam, The Hague and Brussels. As a young naval officer, WilliamHolburne had to calculate firingangles and his smallsketchbook of Italiansubjects shows a well-developed sense oftopography. His tour in1824-5 was timely; at lasttourists could see manyworks of art restored to Italianownership after the Frenchoccupation. His taste for Italian 17th-and 18th-century paintings and forclassical bronzes, which are strengths ofthe Holburne today, were honed duringhis tour, along with his considerableinterest in mineralogy. Although the Holburne is not afurniture museum, it has clocks and afew outstanding objects. Contemporarybenches welcome visitors in the Halland upstairs, the exquisite Whitcombejapanned cabinet glows in one corner,its drawers and doors covered withscenes of Chinese gardens, games, tea drinking and other pleasures.For silver enthusiasts, Holburne'santique collection is full of interest. Itwas assembled from the 1820sonwards, when showy Continental,late-Stuart and elaborate Rococo pieceswere in demand and often enriched toplease the market. His Kandler two-handled cup, for example, had beengilded later and had chasing added, whilea handsome Jacobean rosewater basin,which belonged to Queen Charlotte andthen to two of her collector sons, haslater inscriptions. He also bought earlyEnglish spoons, the typical small luxuryavailable in most towns before themodern couvert became fashionable inlate-Stuart England. As a way to learn through experience,the Museum has commissionedfacsimile spoons from Harts of ChippingCamden for its handling collection. Thisis typical of its commitment to education,formal and informal, which includesdrop-in art sessions for disadvantagedgroups. Many volunteers support themuseum both in front of house andbehind the scenes and a generosity ofspirit is evident throughout the institution.Given its limited financial resources andsmall professional staff, the collectiveachievement is extraordinary anddeserves wide acknowledgement. Open Mon to Sat 10am-5pm; Sun11am-5pm; Tel: 01225 388588, REVIEW / SUMMER 201135Above:KandlerCup with Maenadfigure (1736/7)Inset: Silver cowcreamer, JohnSchuppe (1755/6)