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The long-lost Paston Collection

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Laura Brassington.

This talk will consider some aspects of a 17th-century collection of natural history, paintings, literature and musical instruments that was housed at Oxnead in North Norfolk in the 17th century. The collection was assembled by Sir William Paston and his son, Robert Paston, both of whom were famed for their hospitality and learning. The collection’s core included objects obtained on Grand Tours and fabricated from materials derived from the Americas, Pacific, China and India. The full extent of the collection is known only through house inventories and auction lists, since it was dispersed by Robert Paston, 1st Earl of Yarmouth and his son, William Paston, 2nd Earl of Yarmouth. Approximately 1% of the collection’s items was depicted in a monumental still-life painting of c.1664. The talk will outline the nature of exchanges implied by the collection and its painting.

This talk is part of the Cabinet of Natural History series.

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