Wallace Collection

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by zabelle on October 21, 2001

I love the Wallace Collection. What I hate is getting to it. It is not directly on a bus route so you will have to walk quite a way no matter which one you take. You can take the tube to Oxford Circus which is also a long walk. This is one time I recommend you take a cab, its just easier.

Once you get there you are in for a treat. This is one of the premier decorative arts collections in the world. The art collection here is first class. It also has the best collection of arms and armour , second only to the Tower of London collection.

The collection was assembled primarily by one man, the 4th Marquess of Hereford. It was his illegitimate son and heir Richard Wallace whose wife left the collection to the nation with the stipulation that it be kept together, nothing added, nothing taken away. Now on one hand this means a stagnant collection but given the quality of the collection there is very little that could improve it.

We began our visit with a trip to the Fakes and Frauds section. Things that are not what they are suppose to be. Some purposeful and some accidental. Its a good lesson for a would be antique buyer.

There is a marvelous collection of French Boulle marquetry furniture here. Probably the best in the world.

The museum does have the most outstanding collection of Sevres in the world. There are 6 pieces of Empress Catherine the Great's turquoise blue set delivered to the Hermitage in 1776. The 4th Marquise aquired about 100 pieces looted from the Hermitage during a fire and after deciding to keep the six. He sold the other pieces back to Tsar Alexander II.

The Grand Picture Gallery will knock your socks off. There is Rembrandt's picture of his son Titus, Titian's Perseus and Andromeda, Poussin's A Dance to the Music of Time, Reuben's The Rainbow Landscape and Franz Hals' laughing Cavalier. There are also works by Watteau, Philippe de Champaigne, Delacroix, Fragonard, Boucher, Laurence, Reynolds, Gainsborough and many, many more. There are case after case of miniatures. Way too many to describe.

If you still have any energy walk through the rooms of armour and arms. This can take several hours to enjoy. Take your time, its too good to rush.

There is no entrance fee but a donation is highly recommended. The collection is open daily 10am-5pm, Sunday noon to 5pm.

Wallace Collection
Hertford House
London, England, W1M 6BN
+44 20 7563 9500


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