Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Clandeboye

I've been a little behind on my magazines and have been trying to catch up before the mammoth March issues arrive and I'm so glad I finally got through February's W magazine. I'm still marveling at the extraordinary life of Lindy, the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava who lives in Clandeboye, a 2,00 acre estate in Northern Ireland. I guess she could be described as eccentric but in a good way. She grew up in and also married into the Guinness family, spent the winter of her 14th year with her father, step-mother and Truman Capote in Palm Beach, sailed with Jacques Cousteau, and with her husband became "central figures in the contemporary art scene in London" where she became a collector of David Hockney, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud who also became a brother-in-law by marriage. Today, she continues preserving the family home that she and her late husband restored which is filled with British empire furnishings. The entire story by James Reginato had me enthralled and can be read online at W magazine.

The entry hall above is decorated with souvenirs and treasures from East Asia that were collected by the First Marquess of Dufferin and Ava who was an ambassador.

Lady Dufferin doesn't mind getting dirty in her garden!

Al the bedrooms are named after places that the First Marquess was sent as an ambassador and the beautiful room above is "Paris."

The gallery has beautiful furnishings and amazing floor to ceiling windows.

A lovely portrait hands above the bed in the "France" bedroom.

The bookcases in the library are inscribed with the names of Greek gods in gilt and is home to beautiful leather bound editions.

This whole story reminded me of the type of home that would have been chronicled in watercolors similar to those I saw at the show at the Cooper Hewitt this past weekend and I wasn't wrong but in this case, they were painted by the lady of the house in oil. Lady Dufferin or Lindy Guinness as she is known in the art world painted The Library at Clandeboye, Morning Light above in 2003. An exhibition of her paintings will open in April at the Browse & Darby Gallery in London. I may have to plan a trip across the pond for it because I can already imagine that it will be quite an event!

One of the most interesting rooms is the inner hall which houses heraldry, weaponry and hunting prizes. And the outside of the estate below is just as majestic as the interior and the story of Clandeboye!

Photos by Simon Watson

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