The Wernher Collection of Renaissance and medieval works of art has provided some spectacular auctions in recent years – now English Heritage has announced a deal that will keep a significant remaining part of the family’s holdings in Britain.
Anyone who missed Christie’s sale in London last year, or Sotheby’s dispersal of Luton Hoo in 1995, will be able to view 650 works of art at the Rangers House in Greenwich Park when the Grade I listed red brick Georgian property reopens to the public next year.
The Wernher Foundation charitable trust had been looking for a permanent home for their antiques since 1991, and the recent transformation of the family seat Luton Hoo into a luxury hotel led to negotiations with English Heritage.
Sir Julius Wernher was one of the great old school Edwardian art collectors, but the diamond merchant was famously so obsessed by industry that he only had time to meet his dealers over breakfast. Visitors to Ranger’s House, on the other hand, can spend all day soaking up his treasures. Old Masters by Metsu, Memling and Lippi, portraits by Reynolds and Romney, Sèvres porcelain, Byzantine ivories and the largest collection of rennaissance jewellery in the country will all be displayed.
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