A MASSIVE Queen Anne cistern, which set a new auction high for English silver when it sold for £2.2m in 2010, is now on display at the Tudor mansion Temple Newsam in Leeds after it was acquired for the nation.
Thomas Wentworth, 3rd Baron Raby's cistern, was ordered from the
workshops of goldsmith Philip Rollos in 1705. It formed part of the
plate used in Raby's capacity as Ambassador Extraordinary to the
King of Prussia in Berlin. Weighing 2597oz (close to 70 kilograms)
and measuring 4ft 3in (1.29m) across, it is the largest of three
similar vessels in the UK - almost big enough to bathe in.
At Sotheby's in July, 2010 it was knocked down to an Asian
private buyer but was subsequently subject to a temporary export
The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and
Objects of Cultural Interest gave UK museums seven months to match
the total auction price (£2,505,250), a sum reduced to £2,073,648
after tax concessions.
The biggest grant, of £1.83m, was secured from the National
Heritage Memorial Fund. The Art Fund added another £140,000 while
the Leeds Art Collection Fund, Leeds City Council and other groups
also made donations.