TWO William Burges windows that surfaced at auction in Salisbury last year have been sold back to the house for which they were originally made.
A £125,000 private treaty sale was completed by heritage agency
Cadw on March 31.
The Saunders & Co stained glass panels were the final two
from a 20-light window display produced for Lord Bute's private
chapel at Castell Coch near Cardiff. It appears that Burges's
wooden structure was impractical, possibly due to its exposed
location in the roof of the Well Tower, and was pulled down some
time before 1891, not long after the castle itself was finished. It
is known only from a black and white photograph.
The 20 panels depicting a variety of Welsh and British saints
and key biblical figures were recorded as being stored on site in
1901, but it is thought they were divided between family members
when the third Marquess of Bute died.
Ten remained at Cardiff Castle while eight had previously been
auctioned as a single lot at Christie's King Street and were
purchased by Castell Coch, who have since built a replica chapel.
The whereabouts of the two missing 2ft 4in x 15in (72 x 37cm)
panels of St Michael, St Uriel and St Chamuel and Archangel Gabriel
and St Joseph had been a mystery until they surfaced last year at
Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury.
The vendor, a collector and scholar on the potter William De
Morgan, found them and his initial research led him to believe they
were the missing windows.
A visit to Cardiff Castle enabled Woolley & Wallis
specialist Michael Jeffery to verify the windows next to the
lifesize cartoon drawings held in the collection.
Negotiations with Castell Coch have been ongoing since the
windows failed to sell with an estimate of £150,000-200,000 in the
Arts and Crafts auction on June 23 last year. The panels will be
displayed at Castell Coch in early summer.
By Roland Arkell