And yesterday’s book giveaway winner is Marlis Bennett, who correctly guessed the Tweed River!
Yes, we head North today to the Borders region of Scoltand for a visit to two Scottish “stately homes” and more of Baker’s Stately Homes collection. Our first stop is just across the Scottish border , Mellerstain House, in Berwickshire, Scotland. Mellerstain House is home to The Right Honorable The Earl of Haddington.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same can be said of Mellerstain. Begun in 1725 and finally completed in 1778, this grand stately home has a unique architectural history , as the result of a fruitful collaboration between the Baillie family and famous architects William and Robert Adam.
The splendid Robert Adam interiors with their classical plasterwork friezes and glowing colours, have survived the fads and fashions of successive generations, giving us a remarkably complete picture of a stately home as it would have been 240 years ago. Millerstain is filled with fabulous paintings, embroidery, china and furniture collections and surrounded by glorious gardens. This is quite a romantic stately home and one of Scotland’s greatest Georgian houses.
When the Baker showroom in High Point placed me in the lovely Stately Homes vignette, I immediately fell in love with this Irish Chinese Chippendale Mahogany Cabinet! This fine Irish Chinese Chippendale carved mahogany cabinet has a moulded and shaped pediment carved in relief with scrolls, swags and ribbon ties. I love the fact that it has three doors (as opposed to two or four) with an elaborately carved and pierced frieze below, centering a scallop shell carved in high relief . The square chamfered legs are carved with a classical reeded motif , terminating in block feet. This exquisite piece is Irish circa 1765. I think the proportions of this cabinet are perfect for today’s interiors.
As we head north east, we come to another lovely stately home on our journey, Floors Castle , in Oxburghshire, Scotland, which is the home of His Grace The Duke of Roxburghe. The Duke’s family has been well recorded as chieftains, farming the very same lands since the Norman Conquest in 1066. A superb athlete, who also won Military Academy Sandhurst’s prized sword of honour, the present Duke lives at Floors with his young wife and family.
Oddly enough , in the same vignette , I fell under the spell of a a beautiful walnut bombe chest. This George II walnut and inlaid commode of bombe form has a rectangular top inlaid with cross-banded borders and unusual chequer pattern bands, with two short and four long graduated drawers. I was drawn to the brass swan-necked handles and shaped back plates and the “bear paw” feet with laurel leaves in relief. This piece of Baker’s Stately Home collection is English circa 1735.
Well, that is quiet enough travel for today. Rest up, because I have saved the very best until last! The beautiful “Emerald Isle”!! Hope you have read The Collected Tabletop, because today’s clue lies in “A Wee Irish Surprise”! Tomorrow our first stop is Crom Castle in County Fermanagh, Ireland. My grandfather was born and raised in Northern Ireland. Guess the county where Patrick Lowery Colville was born and raised and you will win a signed copy of The Collected Tabletop! One small clue, it has a well known golf course…but doesn’t most every county in Ireland!
See you tomorrow in certainly one of the most beautiful places on earth!