The Lady Ludlow Collection
The Lady Ludlow Collection is a remarkable collection of about 500 outstanding specimens from all the major English factories that flourished in the 18th century, and represents most of the ‘highpoints’ of English porcelain manufacture in the period 1740-80. The factories of Bow, Chelsea, Worcester, and Derby are particularly well represented, with important or unique items from most of these factories.
This collection was gifted to The Bowes Museum by The Art Fund in 2003. It was formed in the period just after the First World War and bequeathed to The National Arts Collection Fund (now The Art Fund) by Lady Ludlow on her death in 1945. For many years in continued to reside at her family home in Bedfordshire, but in the 1990s financial pressures led to the sale of the house. A new home was needed to display the collections. The Bowes Museum was the natural choice as it already had a highly regarded large collection of porcelain and the expertise required to continue to care for it. The Lady Ludlow collection would thus form a very valuable complement to The Bowes Museum.
To accommodate the collection an existing gallery was refurbished. Original display cases were restored, with introduction of fibre-optic lighting.
Special UV filters and blinds were put on the windows, and a general refreshment of the decoration and furnishings took place, with appropriate graphic panelling and labelling.
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