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(Belvoir Castle) Eller, Rev. Irvin

The history of Belvoir Castle, from the Norman conquest to the nineteenth century : accompanied by a description of the present castle, and critical notices of the paintings, tapestry, statuary, &., with which it is enriched.
London, R.Tyas (and others) 1841.
Price: 195 GBP
Reference: 14181

Full Description

8vo. viii + 410pp, steel engraved frontispiece, emgraved title leaf, 2 other steel engraved plates, 3 ground plans with an accompanying text leaf additional to pagination, and a folding printed genealogical table. Publisher’s cloth, with gilt-stamped arms of Duke of Rutland on upper cover, neatly rebacked using original spine. A good, clean copy.
Belvoir Castle, the principal residence of the Dukes of Rutland, was largely rebuilt for the 5th Duke between 1801 and 1816 to designs by the architect James Wyatt, was then severely damaged by fire and was rebuilt again to slightly altered designs under the supervision of the local Rector, a keen amateur architect, who, rather surprisingly, was “knighted by George IV when Prince Regent”. Although the historical part of the present volume is creditable, the book’s real interest lies in the author’s detailed description of the castle’s interior, contents and grounds (occupying pp 189-353), which shows how its principal rooms were arranged and what paintings and other works of art the Dukes of Rutland possessed in the second quarter of the nineteenth century : a list on pp 127-32 reveals that yards of portraits by Sir J.Reynolds had perished in the fire of 1816, but most of the best older Italian and Dutch paintings had survived, and recent Dukes had acquired objets d’art, miniatures, items of sculpture and so on.

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