One of the pieces of furniture on loan to Kenwood House. Courtesy Kenwood House
For the first time in 50 years, an important suite of hall furniture has been reunited at Kenwood House.
A little detective work by experts at Kenwood verified the furniture, which was being loaned to the house, as being part of the same set and the pieces are now on display together, as originally intended.
"We were delighted to discover that further pieces of the hall suite existed, and grateful for the generosity of the owner in lending them to Kenwood," said Laura Houliston, curator of Kenwood House. "This in-focus display celebrates their reunion after many years and is the first time they have been displayed together for the public."
This is the first opportunity for the public to see the suite side by side. The display consists of three settles and six chairs. The furniture is in excellent condition and a very good example of the top-quality craftsmanship of the time (c.1775) with sharp carving.
Hall furniture is traditionally in mahogany (no upholstery) and not intended to be comfortable. It served simply for 'servants and strangers waiting for business', as described by the cabinet-maker Sheraton in 1803
The furniture will be on display, free to visitors, until the beginning of October 2008.