Bible of British Taste
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  • October30th

    Years ago, when our children were young, our generous friend Mary took us all for summer holidays at her family house, on one of the outermost islands in the Outer Hebrides. There in the rain, with white sands and beach lunches cooked for 22 people, I met Domenica and her husband the screenwriter and author Charlie Fletcher. She is so modest that it was only a few years ago that I found out what she was doing. Domenica was an art student, the child of two more artists, who had once worked on The World of Interiors and Elle Decor  in London and LA. But she was a maker at heart, fashioning dolls, toys and dolls clothes for her daughter, ‘who wasn’t the least bit interested. But I became more and more obsessed.’ The extraordinary canine menagerie that she began to make after that features at the end of this photo essay. But first, the house.

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    A top floor bedroom.

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    The hall.

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    Domenica’s father, the artists Harry More Gordon (b.1928) who died last year, taught at the Edinburgh College of Art. The painted hall floor was executed by two of his students. Bobs, one of two family dogs, the cheerful mongrel bitch whom he befriended on holiday in Greece.

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    Harry’s choice. An early Hockney poster, The Rake’s Progress.

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    Harry’s painting of Domenica, garden flowers.

    p1150537And two more of his watercolour portraits propped on the hall bench.

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    The house,a few miles north of Edinburgh towards the sea, austere, sandstone, dated 1748 in the pediment, built for Archibald Shiells. Domenica’s parents Harry and Marianne, bought it in run-down state in the 1960s when she was three years old. They found its furnishings in local auctions and junkyards.

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    And the back, with dog, semi-couchant.

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    Dining Room. Marianne More Gordon’s textile hangings made with a local community sewing group for Remembrance Sunday 2015 appliqued with doves and poppies, the work in progress on the table.

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    Harry More Gordon, lively, outspoken, ‘the best dancer ever, and unlike most fathers, never embarrassing’, one time picture and layout editor at Vogue.

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    Francis Kyle exhibition poster, another family portrait. Domenica in bed and James Holloway, director of the Scottish Portrait Gallery at the time and a keen biker, on the sofa.Watch out for this four poster bed later on.

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    Domenica’s younger sister Zillah, ill in bed. Harry More Gordon loved painting pattern and oriental fabric.

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    The first floor spine corridor, icons, Staffordshire porcelain and two Chinese portraits that Zillah gave to her parents.

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    View into the Drawing Room.’Dad’s taste was much more flamboyant, more twentieth century, whereas Mum would be much more eighteenth century, most of what is here is Mum’s. This house  is all about Mum and family and roots’.

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    House plants, one in a chamber pot planter.

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    End wall of the Drawing Room, the next photograph is a detail of the watercolour by Harry More Gordon hanging on the right.

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    Domenica, Zillah and tigerskin rug painted on the same spot.

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    Seat cushion and 3D textile (detail below) by Marianne More Gordon [nee Thompson-McCauseland], who trained at the Central School of Art. This house with its aqueous colour and pattern is another of her works of art.

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    Marianne’s bedroom.

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    Ditto, with ironing board.

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    Harry and Marianne painted in 3 poses by their friend, Patrick Procktor, who inspired Harry to use watercolour without any preliminary pencil drawing thereafter.

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    The crimson bed in that poster, hung by Marianne with a document linen bought at a local junk yard that she painstakingly washed and restored.

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    Harry More Gordon designed textiles and scarves for Libertys, this is one of his designs, hung in an upper corridor above the jugs that were often props in his paintings.

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    Top floor lavatory painting, the gift of one of his students.

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    [My] guest bedroom.

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    View from the back of the house across open fields, a scattering of wee raindrops.

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    Another guest bedroom.

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    Exquisite antique textiles and linens collected by Marianne, who was responsible for decorating and arranging the house’s many rooms.Tulip paintings by Rory McEwan.

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    My favourite portrait.

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    Zillah by Harry More Gordon, post-school, with home made badge, ‘Piss Off.’

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    The top floor spine corridor, with eighteenth century mural of country pursuits, commissioned by the house’s builder and first owner, Mr. Shiells. Dolls house at the end of the enfilade, outside Charlie’s writing room.

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    Charlie’s writing room, with another of Harry More Gordon’s designs for Libertys, and a landscape oil painted by an illustrator for the ‘Ladybird’ book series, bought for £5 in the fabled local junk yard. Here he wrote his compelling stories of British folklore and the supernatural, the mesmerising Stoneheart trilogy for children and now The Oversight, his darkly atmospheric adult novels set in Victorian London.

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    How to decorate a bathroom.

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    When Charlie, Domenica and their two children came back from living in LA, they moved into the house’s generously proportioned raised basement. This is one corner of their long room, both sitting room and kitchen. Orkney chair with one of Domenica’s dog cushions designed for Chelsea Textiles.

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    Tablescape.

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    Window-seat.

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    Paper tree birthday card made by Domenica.

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    Lunch and garden flowers in the little vase that Domenica found on our trip to the mythical junk yard.

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    Sitting room overmantle.

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    Late still life by Harry More Gordon. Objets trouves, the ceramics, feathers and the things picked up around the house that habitually made up his compositions.

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    A jolly nice bath.

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    And the bathroom corner cupboard. Euthymol toothpaste.

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    Domenica’s studio in an old stone pavilion building in a corner of the courtyard.

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    At last! The dogs. Sculpted from felted wool, conceived and hand made by Domenica.

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    Domenica’s worktable. If you see the same things in two different places it is because these pictures were taken on two visits made about seven months apart.

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    Sharp pencils.

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    Archie is a beloved, elderly black and tan Lakeland Fell terrier, the family pet for many years now. He was Domenica’s principal muse and model, and then became the hero of her books written and illustrated for children.

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    Hand knits, tartan, Fair Isle and roller skates. Note the minute elastic striped belt.

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    Bride dog, work in progress, seen in autumn 2015.

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    Domenica’s eye for costume detail is immaculate, She cuts and tailors and sources everything herself. Back on the Hebrides one summer we took 2 Calmac ferries to the island of Barra, where in the local history museum she pored over old photographs of crofters and their children in homespun jumpers, hand -me-downs and Harris tweed. All this knowledge percolates through.

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    Braces.

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    Bride dog resplendent.

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    Now Domenica has taken her menagerie much further back in history, creating a troupe of characters who enact the narrative of eighteenth century Grand Tourists, and writing and illustrating the story of their travels in watercolour. You can see some of her work on her instagram feed here.

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    Cobblers workbench with minute eighteenth-century shoes being made in all sizes.

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    I chose dogs because they are such good channels of emotion, ideal for capturing that childhood intense connection with an object [They] are usually with me in my studio and I have to be careful to keep my work out of their reach as I have found some of my wool dogs in a fairly battered state in their dog baskets.  I take it as a compliment and feel that I have achieved a certain level of intense connection… Actually, I think it’s the smell of the wool…’

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    Studies of ceramics.

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    Vignettes and character sketches for the new book.

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    These dogs have a sweet, toy-like quality, the smallest fit into the palm of your hand. Domenica’s next exhibition, Noble Dogs, is at Arts and Sciences in Kyoto from 18 November 2016. Or you can buy your own felting kit and make a dog of your own. Domenicamoregordon.com

    Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to bibleofbritishtaste, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

    Grateful thanks to Domenica and Marianne More Gordon and Charlie Fletcher. All photographs copyright Domenica More Gordon and bibleofbritshtaste.

    NB: You can read Charlie’s privately published short story, Safe Home, here. It was written as a ‘venting exercise,’ in response to the Iraq war and the Chilcot enquiry. I  highly recommend it.

  • October23rd

    I photographed my friend Julia de Pauley’s house here  a couple of years ago. It changes all the time. She was designing some belts under her pseudonym, ‘shophound’ but her perfectionism meant that things were never finished. There again in September and October,  I took some more pictures. Here they are.

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    A trio of John de Pauley’s small stone sculptures on the hearthstone.

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    Equine plaster by John de Pauley.

    The sitting room doubling up as a leather finishing workshop.

    The sitting room doubling up as a leather finishing workshop.

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    Tablescape in the corner of the sitting room, something like one of David Hicks’s but less knowing.

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    John de Pauley’s small cast metal sculpture.

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    Inside the front door

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    New uses for a silver pepper pot

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    Aidan in the hall, Jim Dandy belt

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    Georgia de Pauley, Bamboo.

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    Guardian horse figurine and horseshoe around the sitting room door lintel

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    Julia’s worksheet

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    The dining room with sheets drying

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    and an old wooden tea caddy bought that morning at Bridport market

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    Julia, drying linen and their dog Rocky, a handsome old Pointer cross who died on September 21st, after a slow sad decline.

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    Kitchen cupboard, Greek Key design cups by Susie Cooper for Wedgwood.

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    Tea ceremony. Julia likes gold cups, I think most of hers are by Royal Worcester. I covert the peculiar but charming Staffordshire dog milk jug.

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    Charlie McCormick, florist, gardener and dealer in antiques, did the kind favour of standing in as model at the Old Parsonage, in shooting trews, old Harris tweed and his ‘Jim Dandy.’

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    Archaeological lion belt.

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    Julia has been working on these things ever since I’ve known her.  They are part of her very exquisite aesthetic, intrinsic to the way that she lives.   rapsondepauley.com

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    All photos copyright Julia de Pauley and bibleofbritishtaste.com

    Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to bibleofbritishtaste, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

    NEXT WEEK: Domenica More Gordon, a maker and her family home in Scotland.

  • February28th

    The front steps, landing and railings were reinstated in 2015.

    Thirty years ago this old house, built in the 1740s and set back behind a high wall on a main thoroughfare in London’s East End, was a wreck, sans joinery, window frames or fireplaces, its basement filled with debris and 200 cubic yards of rubble. It was restored as a place of domestic habitation and a fabulous, unique house museum by Tim Knox, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum and Todd Longstaffe Gowan, garden designer and historian. The house’s front steps, landing and railings were finally  reinstated just a few months ago in 2015.

    A statue of St Aloysius Loyola, garnished by Chinese ceramics. The seventeenth century panelling behind was reused by the speculative developer Thomas Andrews who built two houses on the site of an older mansion which he demolished.

    Top floor bedroom; see below.

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    The house alomgside its left-hand neighbour,
    now home to Romilly and Charles Saumarez Smith.

    Crayon portraits of Todd and Tim drawn by Glynn Boyd Harte in 1991 hang under a shelf supporting 'twig ware' baskets and vases.

    The Spitalfields Trust had bought both houses to prevent their demolition; the one on the right was then sold on to Tim Knox, and Todd Logstaffe Gowan who took the black and white picture showing the old shopfronts  and a tyre and exhaust fitting workshop on the left in 1998, shortly before they were swept away and the long task of restoration began. These crayon portraits of Todd and Tim drawn  in his Hockney manner by Glynn Boyd Harte in 1991 hang under a shelf supporting ‘twig ware’ baskets and vases.

    Plaster portrait medallions sculpted by Christopher Hobbs, Xmas 2002 ( set designer for the films of Derek Jarman and Ken Russell) are the defining elements of a gigantic 'biographical' overmantle trophy above the ground floor reception room fireplace, where there was previously only a gaping hole in the chimney breast. It includes the likenesses of their two dachshunds Tiger and Sponge, garden implements and architectural devices and a human skull (excavated in the early 1970s in the site of the YMCA in Tottenham Court Rd).

    I have been lucky enough to know Tim and Todd since about 1989 when we met across a friend’s supper table in Hampstead. I was so smitten by them that soon afterwards I acquired a bear-like taxidermised dog of indeterminate breed from a specialist dealer in Portabello Market at their eager urging. In the intervening years their friends have watched with mingled admiration and incredulity as a collection of taxidermy and religious statuary begun with Tim’s sure and curious eye was gradually enlarged by their all-consuming combing of markets and auction houses all over England and beyond. The first major find was a museum quality bust of Sir Walter Scott by the neoclassical sculptor Bertel Thorwaldsen, Todd has gone on to buy hundreds of Old Master paintings, drawings and objects of Virtu; there are many more stuffed animals particularly dogs, ethnography, an elephant’s skull and a pair of servants livery coats, rare survivals and examples of needlework of the highest order fished from a Portabello stall by Tim. Changing all the time, their collection is arranged as a wunderkammer, a cabinet of curiosities and a series of aesthetically beautiful and romantic roomscapes.  After living here for  a few years, Tim and Todd commissioned this ‘biographical’ overmantle to fill a gaping hole in the chimney breast of the ground floor front reception room. Plaster portrait medallions sculpted by Christopher Hobbs in Xmas 2002 ( set designer for the films of Derek Jarman and Ken Russell) are its defining elements. It includes the likenesses of their two dachshunds Tiger and Sponge, garden implements and architectural devices and an ancient human skull (excavated in the early 1970s in the site of the YMCA in Tottenham Court Rd).

    Light switches of painted tulip wood copied from those in an upstairs room were part of the first wave of building work undertaken in 1998. The notice is a postcard reproduction of one at Stratfield Saye, the Duke of Wellington's Hampshire seat.

    Light switches of painted tulip wood in the entrance hall copied from those in an upstairs room were part of the first wave of building work undertaken in 1998. The notice is a postcard reproduction of one at Stratfield Saye, the Duke of Wellington’s Hampshire seat.

    The marble tondo relief on the left is a portrait of the Duke of Albany, son of Queen Victoria, prototype for one on his funeral monument in Whippingham Church on the Isle of Wight.

    Romantic Interior in the manner of Abbotsford. The marble tondo relief on the left is a portrait of the Duke of Albany, son of Queen Victoria, prototype for one on his funeral monument in Whippingham Church on the Isle of Wight.

    In the basement kitchen, a stoneware sink decorated with Vitruvian scroll pattern was retrieved from a skip.

    Their restoration and fitting up of the house has been both imaginative and conservative. In the basement kitchen, a stoneware sink decorated with Vitruvian scroll pattern was retrieved from a skip.

    Although scraps of the original kitchen overmantle were discovered amongst rubble and debris excavated from this room, it was only partially reconstructed; a stuffed dogfish sits on top of the kitchen range. It was bought at Lord St Levan's sale at St Michael's Mount In West Cornwall.

    Although bits of the original kitchen overmantle were discovered amongst rubble and debris excavated from this room, it was only partially reconstructed; a stuffed dogfish sits on top of the kitchen range. It was bought at Lord St Levan’s sale at St Michael’s Mount in West Cornwall.

    Four Modern Movement paintings by Thomas Frederick Stalker Miller (1912-2006) surround Robert Medley’s painting of a woman mourning over a dying Minotaur. Medley (1905-94) was a schoolfriend and sometime lover of W.H. Auden, friend of Francis Bacon, David Hockney and Elizabeth Frink. A plaster death mask of Napoleon sits upon the chair.

    During the last decade Todd has begun collecting twentieth century British art. Four Modern Movement paintings by Thomas Frederick Stalker Miller (1912-2006) surround Robert Medley’s painting of a woman mourning over a dying Minotaur. Medley (1905-94) was a schoolfriend and sometime lover of W.H. Auden, friend of Francis Bacon, David Hockney and Elizabeth Frink. A plaster death mask of Napoleon sits upon the chair.

    This is the Sarcophagus Room. Christopher Hobbs's fantastic overmantel is bookmarked by giant atlantes of an African and an American Indian, symbolic of the lands in which Tim and Todd spent their respective childhoods. In the foreground a carved table from northern Europe carries the remains of a 2nd century marble statue excavated by Charles, 8th Lord Kinnaird in Italy in the 1820s. An enormous Dogon ladder from Mali leans against the pillar,

    This is the Sarcophagus Room. Christopher Hobbs’s fantastic overmantel is bookmarked by giant atlantes of an African and an American Indian, symbolic of the lands in which Tim and Todd spent their respective childhoods.
    In the foreground a carved table from northern Europe carries the remains of a 2nd century marble statue excavated by Charles, 8th Lord Kinnaird in Italy in the 1820s. An enormous Dogon ‘spirit’ ladder from Mali leans against the pillar,

    In the Nun's Parlour a marble bust by Scheemakers once in the Temple of Friendship at Stowe and a gilded Viennese porta-busto guard a marble topped table carved with a mask of Hercules draped in the skin of the Nemean Lion, based on an C18th original by Matthias Lock. The presiding bust which stands upon it is an antique Homer from Wilton House, once in Cardinal Mazarin’s Collection.

    In the Nun’s Parlour a marble bust by Scheemakers once in the Temple of Friendship at Stowe and a gilded Viennese porta-busto guard a marble topped table carved with a mask of Hercules draped in the skin of the Nemean Lion, based on an C18th original by Matthias Lock. The presiding bust which stands upon it is an antique Homer from Wilton House, once in Cardinal Mazarin’s Collection.

    On the opposite wall of the Nun's Parlour is a huge painting from a cycle depicting the story of Actaeon, found by Todd in a Melbourne auction house, Actaeon's muscled torso is modelled from the antique Laocoon group's central figure. The William IV frame which fits it exactly was bought at the Lacy Gallery in Westbourne Grove. Upon the bombe chest lies the highly realistic sacrificial lamb, carved by Joseph Wilton for the 2nd Earl of Bessborough to adorn a Roman marble altar in a temple at his house in Roehampton.

    On the opposite wall of the Nun’s Parlour is a huge painting from a cycle depicting the story of Actaeon, found by Todd in a Melbourne auction house; Actaeon’s muscled torso is modeled from the antique Laocoon group’s central figure. The William IV frame which fits it exactly was bought at the Lacy Gallery in Westbourne Grove. Upon the bombe chest lies the highly realistic sacrificial lamb, carved by Joseph Wilton for the 2nd Earl of Bessborough to adorn a Roman marble altar in a temple at his house in Roehampton.

    The Hopton brothers attributed to Van Dyck - Sir Arthur Hopton was an ambassador in the reign of Charles I - bought at the Barmingham Rectory sale. Propped against the base of the scagliola pedestal is c15th Pegu glazed terracotta panel from Burma bearing two horned deities.

    The Hopton Brothers, attributed to Van Dyck – Sir Arthur Hopton was an ambassador in the reign of Charles I – bought in blackened condition at the Barmingham Rectory sale in Norfolk. Propped against the base of the scagliola pedestal is c15th Pegu glazed terracotta panel from Burma bearing two horned deities.

    Propped on the table is the fragment of a painting by Rubens, Herodias with the head of John the Baptist, cut out of the original canvas in c.1647. It first belonged to Rubens's friend the painter and writer Joachim von Sandrart, and was bought at a sale in Salisbury. Above the head of a water buffalo from an Irish country house.

    Propped on the table is the fragment of a painting by Rubens: Herodias with the head of John the Baptist, cut out of the original canvas in c.1647. It first belonged to Rubens’s friend the painter and writer Joachim von Sandrart, and was bought at a sale in Salisbury. Above, the head of a water buffalo from an Irish country house.

    The upstairs lavatory, a shrine to all things pontifical, is painted in a colour called 'anti-fly blue'.

    The upstairs lavatory, a shrine to all things pontifical, is painted in a colour called ‘anti-fly blue’.

    The Cabinet, or Museum in the Museum A tortoise shell and a brain coral along with many exotic shells, some collected by Dr Knox and Dr Longstaffe Gowan during their far flung childhoods, fossils, dried and preserved bird speicimens, skeletons, lapidary treasures and ethnographic curiosities. On the wall behind, the giant engraving made up of nine plates is The Mocking of Christ after Van Dyck.

    The Cabinet, or Museum in the Museum : A tortoise shell and a brain coral along with many exotic shells, some collected by Dr Knox and Dr Longstaffe Gowan during their far flung childhoods ( Todd’s in Chile, Dominica, Barbados, Panama and Canada, Tim’s in Tanzania, Nigeria and Fiji), fossils, dried and preserved bird specimens, skeletons, lapidary treasures and ethnographic curiosities. On the wall behind, the giant engraving made up of nine plates is, The Mocking of Christ, after Van Dyck.

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    The 'Idol Cabinet' in the Museum Room.

    The ‘Idol Cabinet’ in the Museum Room.

    A fire-gilt bronze statuette of John the Baptist found at Portabello Market is attributed to Susini, after a lost original by the early Renaissance Florentine sculptor Michelozzo di Bartolommeo. The overmantel is a C18th Prussian overdoor carving, flanked by shell sconces made by Belinda Eade.

    A fire-gilt bronze statuette of John the Baptist found at Portabello Market is attributed to Susini, after a lost original by the early Renaissance Florentine sculptor Michelozzo di Bartolommeo. Acquisitions like these are not ‘lucky finds,’ but the fruits of vast knowledge and meticulous research. The overmantel is a C18th Prussian overdoor carving, flanked by shell sconces made by Belinda Eade.

    The devotional painting of a Penitent Magdalene after the original by Guido Reni is the first large oil that Todd bought, found at Christies in c.1988. The largest canvas is a portrait of Miss Markham of Wardour, and was one of a pair of ancestor portraits painted for the house in the 1770s.

    The devotional painting of a Penitent Magdalene after the original by Guido Reni is the first large oil that Todd bought, found at Christies in c.1988. The largest canvas is a portrait of Miss Markham of Wardour, and was one of a pair of ancestral portraits painted for the house in the 1770s.

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    A seventeenth century portrait of Cicely Arundel in a frame by James Moore; on her right is Adrien Carpentier's portrait of Dr. Ruby, who was afflicted with hare lip. The elaborately carved and gilded table was formerly in the collection of the Getty family in Los Angeles The taxidermy goat beneath it came from shop window in Kelvedon in Essex, and was found in the Criterion Auction House in Islington.

    A seventeenth century portrait of Cicely Arundel in a frame by James Moore; on her right is Adrien Carpentier’s portrait of Dr. Ruby, who was afflicted with a hare lip. The elaborately carved and gilded table was formerly in the collection of the Getty family in Los Angeles
    The taxidermy goat beneath it came from shop window in Kelvedon in Essex, and was found in the Criterion Auction House in Islington.

    A garniture of Chinese porcelain on the chimneypiece in Tim's first floor study

    A garniture of Chinese porcelain on the chimneypiece in Tim’s first floor study, photographed in raking winter sunshine.

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    Small busts, porcelain and obelisks lined up in the first floor study

    Small busts, porcelain, translucent alabaster and obelisks lined up in Tim’s study

     Looking from the Green Room into the first floor study

    Looking from the Green Room into the study, sphinx parked on the floor.

    A pair of state liveries encrusted with armourials, made for the 3rd Earl of Ashburnham in 1829, and bought by Tim at Portobello Market, flank a bust by Christopher Moore of Robert Holmes – ‘Father of the Irish Bar’. Tim & Todd have been trawling the market together for almost 30 years.

    A pair of state liveries encrusted with armourials, made for the 3rd Earl of Ashburnham in 1829, and bought by Tim at Portobello Market, flank a bust by Christopher Moore of Robert Holmes – ‘Father of the Irish Bar’. Tim & Todd have been trawling the market together for almost 30 years.

    A seventeenth century Flemish cabinet given by Christopher Hobbs is married up with a sturdy Victorian Pussy Oak table

    A seventeenth century Flemish cabinet given by Christopher Hobbs is married up with a sturdy Victorian Pussy Oak table

    The Trophy Hall and staircase; some of these specimens come from the collection at Eton College

    The Trophy Hall and staircase; some of these specimens come from the collection at Eton College

    Tim's mother's Sanderson-fabric-covered armchair in the huge bathroom

    Tim’s mother’s Sanderson-fabric-covered armchair in the huge bathroom, memorials to the Victorian dead.

    Tim's first stuffed dog, rescued from a skip in his early youth. On the right the wooden case housed a hand pump that once raised water to the top floor of the house.

    Tim’s first stuffed dog, rescued from a skip in his early youth. On the right the wooden case housed a hand pump that once raised water to the top floor of the house.

    The fire escape leading to the uncertain safety of the roof, relic of the print workshop and typewriter rental company that operated from the lower floors here in the twentieth century.

    The fire escape leading to the uncertain safety of the roof, relic of the print workshop and typewriter rental company that operated from the lower floors here in the twentieth century.

    A statue of St Aloysius Loyola, garnished by Chinese ceramics. The seventeenth century panelling behind was reused by the speculative developer Thomas Andrews who built two houses on the site of an older mansion which he demolished.

    A statue of St Aloysius Loyola, garnished by Chinese ceramics.The seventeenth century paneling
    behind was reused by the speculative developer Thomas Andrews who built two houses on the site of an older mansion which he demolished.

    Behind the panelling was once a night close or dry closet (not a water closet); a small section of panelling was removed in the c18th for ventilation.

    Behind the paneling was once a night closet or dry closet (not a water closet); a small section of paneling was removed in the C18th for ventilation.

    The four poster from the manor house is Buckingham is hung with Spanish and oriental antique fabrics.

    The four poster from the manor house is Buckingham is hung with Spanish and oriental antique fabrics.

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    Tim's window sill cactus theatre.

    Tim’s window sill cactus theatre.

    The bust of St James is an eighteenth century devotional object from a pilgrimage church in northern Spain, made of lead over a wooden core, bought in Westbourne Grove.

    The bust of St James is an eighteenth century devotional object from a pilgrimage church in northern Spain, made of lead over a wooden core, bought in Westbourne Grove.

    A nineteenth century plaster bust of Christ and a made-up bird skeleton composed, inter alia, of chicken bones.

    A nineteenth century plaster bust of Christ and a made-up bird skeleton composed, inter alia, of chicken bones in Todd’s top floor study.

    n the top floor back bedroom, a landscape by John Nash, and David Bomberg's self portrait.

    In the top floor back bedroom, a landscape by John Nash, and David Bomberg’s self portrait.

    New Zealand tree fernery by Todd in the garden to the rear.

    New Zealand tree fern forest by Todd in the garden to the rear.

    ‘Imagines de vestir’, a pair of religious statues or lay figures, finished with real human hair, originally devotional figures that were dressed in the appropriate robes or vestments according to the liturgical calendar, found at Portobello. Packing cases and boxes signal the removal of the house's entire contents to a new, larger and more spectacular house museum in the country outside London.

    ‘Imagines de vestir’, a pair of religious statues or lay figures, finished with real human hair, originally devotional figures that were dressed in the appropriate robes or vestments according to the liturgical calendar, found at Portobello. Malplaquet House’s role as the most distinguished private house museum in London, second only to Sir John Soane’s Museum (of which Tim was recently Director), is now at an end. The packing cases and boxes here signal its recent dismantling .

     

    Grateful thanks to Tim Knox  and Todd Longstaffe Gowan.

    All images copyright bibleofbritishtaste/Tim Knox and Todd Longstaffe Gowan. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to bibleofbritishtaste.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.