Nostell Priory: The Treasury of Chippendale's Masterpieces

Nostell Priory: The Treasury of Chippendale's Masterpieces

July 18, 2016

Nostell Priory was designed in the fashionable Palladian style, intended to be a symbol of the owner’s wealth and fashionable taste. It was almost completely furnished by Chippendale, including the chopping block in the kitchen.

The Top Hall at Nostell Priory remodelled by Robert Adam. The hall chairs, a set of eight, originally  painted white, were designed by Chippendale to match Adam's neat neoclassical hall.

North Staircase at Nostell Priory

An opulent George III period barometer by Justin Vulliamy in the North Staircase at Nostell Priory. The neat case veneered in fine tulipwood with richly carved and gilt ornament was made by Thomas Chippendale in 1768.

Typical Chippendale's Rococo frets on a bookcase in the North Staircase at Nostell Priory

Nostell Priory, The Library, one of the six lyre back chairs, and the exceptional library table, all supplied by Thomas Chippendale. The table is decorated with Kentian motifs and is ornamented with lion's heads and paws.

 Nostell Priory, the North Staircase a gilt metal wall lantern in the Chinese taste (one of a pair)

Nostell Priory, The Billiard Room. An outstanding writing table on cluster column legs and most unusual brass handles

Nostell Priory, The Library, one of the six lyre back chairs, and the exceptional library table, all supplied by Thomas Chippendale. Note the magnificent Adam ceiling.

Nostell Priory, The Library, one of the six lyre back chairs, "the carving exceeding rich in antique taste". The imposing bookcases were designed by Robert Adam in the neoclassical taste and executed by Chippendale in the finest manner.

Nostell Priory, Tapestry Room. An imposing painted and gilt seating furniture suite was commissionned to Gillows of Lancaster and London in 1830's and has been recently restored to its former glory.

Nostell Priory is the only house to preserve an original Chinese hand-painted wallpaper supplied by Chippendale.

State Bedchamber at Nostell Priory. A dressing commode, one of a suite of the green and gold lacquer chinoiserie furniture made by Chippendale for the house. Invoiced in 1771, costing 15 pounds 10 shillings.

State Bedchamber at Nostell Priory. Thomas Chippendale's exceptional gilt and painted pier glass in the Chinese taste. The walls still retain the Chinese hand-painted wallpaper also supplied by Chippendale.

State Bedchamber at Nostell Priory. The original 18th century Chinese hand-painted wallpaper and  two open armchairs from a suite of green painted and gilt seat furniture in the Chinese taste, supplied by Chippendale for the house.

State Dressing Room at Nostell Priory. Most of the furniture is Chippendale dating from 1771 including the `dome bedstead Japan'd green and gold'. Nostell Priory is the only house to preserve an original wallpaper supplied by Chippendale.

State Dressing Room at Nostell Priory. Detail of the Chippendale's "dome bedstead Japan'd green and gold" supplied in 1771

The Crimson Bedchamber at Nostell Priory. Note the one-of-a-kind metamorphic settee, folding out to form a bed. 

The Crimson Bedchamber at Nostell Priory. The imposing serpentine-fronted clothes-press still retains the original marbled paper on the drawers -Chippendale's signature, and the delightful gentleman's dressing-table, also by Chippendale, is still fully fitted.

Nostell Priory. Detail of a typical Chippendale's Rococo chair, as illustrated in The Gentleman's and Cabinetmaker's Director, first published by Chippendale in 1754.

 

The name Nostell Priory refers to an Augustinian priory founded on the site in the early 12th-century, dedicated to St Oswald (an Anglo-Saxon King of Northumbria). After flourishing for over 400 years the priory was surrendered to Henry VIII in 1540. After various owners Nostell was eventually sold to the Winn family in 1654, with whom it has remained ever since.

 

For three generations the Winns lived in what had been part of the old priory. Sir Rowland Winn (3rd Baronet) added a new stable block before his death in 1722, but it was his son, Sir Rowland Winn (4th Baronet) who built a modern house.

 

Sir Rowland Winn (4th Baronet) inherited Nostell in 1722 at the age of 16. After his Grand Tour he returned to Nostell in 1727 and, inspired what he had seen on his travels, commissioned plans for an ambitious new house from the local gentleman architect Colonel James Moyser. The House was designed in the fashionable Palladian style, intended to be a symbol of Rowland’s wealth and fashionable taste.

 

Rowland Winn (5th Baronet) inherited Nostell Priory in 1765 at the age of 26. Rather than asking James Paine to continue working on the house he instead employed the up and coming Robert Adam. Adam started work on the interior of the house in 1766 and over the next 10 years created a magnificent series of rooms, starting with the Library and progressing to the Tapestry Room, Saloon and Top Hall.

 

Alongside Adam worked the painter Antonio Zucchi, the plasterer, Joseph Rose the Younger and cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale. Work on the house came to a sudden halt when the 5th Baronet was killed in a carriage accident on the road to London. The building project was left incomplete and vast sums of money were owed to Adam, Chippendale and Zucchi.

 

Nostell Priory houses a vastly important collection of Chippendale furniture, all made for the house, alongside an equally outstanding art collection.

 

Source: National Trust, Peacock's Finest