Rare miniature cabinet commissioned by Sir William Morgan in 1720 returns to Tredegar House

By Culture24 Staff | 07 August 2009
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Showing a miniature 18th century brown cabinet made from walnut wood

(Right) The rare, miniature diminutive 18th century walnut cabinet commissioned by Sir William Morgan. Picture courtesy The Art Fund

A rare, miniature walnut cabinet has returned to Tredegar House in Wales thanks to large donations from the Art Fund and the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund.

The cabinet is believed to have been created in 1720 during the reign of George I and specially commissioned for Sir William Morgan, owner of Tredegar House.

The cabinet, made of walnut and inlaid with boxwood and ebonised lines, is particularly rare because of its size - effectively a scaled down adult's bureau - and may have been made for Sir William's son.

"We were extremely excited when we saw that this pretty cabinet was coming up for auction and knew that we had to try to raise the money to bring it back to Tredegar House permanently," said Emily Price, Curator of Tredegar House.

"Such distinctive and attractive pieces of furniture from the house's original collection do not come onto the market very often, so last month's auction was a rare opportunity to enrich our displays.

"The new acquisition will help give visitors a taste of how opulent Tredegar House was when the Morgan family lived here."

Showing a miniature 18th century brown cabinet made from walnut wood with the upper doors opened and the inner drawers on view

A glimpse into the detailed interior of the 18th century cabinet. Picture courtesy The Art Fund

The Morgan family lived in the house for over 500 years and sold the property in 1951. The collection was dispersed during the 1950s, largely auctioned off, with the cabinet being sold in 1957. Since Newport City Council bought the house in 1974, many original pieces of the collection have been returned to the house.

It is thought that the cabinet has not been on display since 1962 when it was exhibited at the International Art Treasures Exhibition at the V&A.

For further information of Tredegar House and the collection follow the details below.

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