Perhaps it seems vulgar to comment on the price of the furniture saved at Dumfries House by the intervention of Prince Charles through his Trust.
But the figures are staggering, so indulge me, if you will. In the Blue Drawing Room, (first picture), the Thomas Chippendale chairs have been recovered in a blue silk damask woven to the Dumfries House pattern. In this room there are four chairs, but in other rooms, (in the family parlour there are many more), and scattered throughout the house - 14 in total, and they were delivered to Lord Dumfries, (the 5th earl) in 1759. The chairs and the two sofas, (one only partially seen in this photograph) cost GBP63 and GBP22 respectively. The breakfront bookcase also delivered from Chippendale in 1759 cost just over GBP47.
You may know that the saving of the house and furniture was very last minute. The guide informed us that the furniture had already been packed and was being transported by van to Christie's in London. Each chair had bids of GBP1m on them. The bookcase started off at a bid of GBP4m, but we now know there was a bid of GBP25m. As the only one of its kind, it is perhaps not surprising that it attracted a great deal of interest from potential buyers world-wide.
The Pink Dining Room, is apparently one of the Prince's favourite rooms. Lovely though it was, it did not shine for me quite like the picture gallery on one of the upper levels, (not shown).
The testers of the Chippendale bed are covered in silk damask, and the skill with which this has been applied is truly remarkable:
The mirror above the chimneypiece in this bedroom is by Chippendale and is again valued at some staggering figure - several millions of pounds.
The monetary values aside, there is great beauty to behold, and if you ever get the chance, go and visit. You have to book, but the personalised tour is an extraordinarily great experience.
All images are from postcards, or from the Dumfries House guide book.