Nine of the most astonishing objects you can see at National Trust properties, from priceless paintings to a wooden leg to a simple tunic with a heartbreaking tale to tell

We're taking a look at nine of the greatest objects on display in the National Trust's properties across Britain.

The National Trust’s collections are not only vast, but contain objects of astonishing beauty, quality and human interest.

To coincide with the Trust’s 125 anniversary, we asked nine senior curators — including national experts in painting and sculpture, textiles, furniture and decorative arts — to choose their favourite object from among those in their care.

Each of the objects they’ve chosen is discussed in individual articles, but we’ve collected them all together here to make it easier for you to enjoy all of these wonderful items — and plan your trips for 2020 accordingly.


‘An allegorical dream’

©NTPL

Idleness and the Pilgrim of Love by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, about 1872–76, at Wallington, Northumberland.

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The Marquess of Anglesey’s revolutionary wooden leg

©NTPL

The first articulated wooden leg, limewood and leather, at Plas Newydd, Anglesey.

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A red tunic that tells a tale of sinking ships, man-eating sharks and stupendous bravery

©NTPL

Red flannel tunic, part of a uniform of the 12th Lancers by an unknown maker, about 1851, at The Argory, Co Armagh.

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‘A man utterly consumed by passion’

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A Man Consumed by Flames by Isaac Oliver, about 1610. Watercolour and body colour with gold on vellum, at Ham House, Richmond-upon-Thames.

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A great Italian masterpiece brought to life as a woodcut by an English genius

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The Crucifixion (after Jacopo Tintoretto), wooden carving by Grinling Gibbons, at Dunham Massey

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The Rococo silver soup tureens at Ickworth

©Simon Buck/Country Life

Pair of silver soup tureens, Frederick Kandler, London, 1752–53, at Ickworth

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Chippendale’s table that is the ‘epitome of light-hearted Chinoiserie’ at Anglesey Abbey

©NTPL

The Garrick Dressing Table by Thomas Chippendale, about 1775, at Anglesey Abbey.

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A 15th-century altar cloth that survives in almost miraculous condition

©NTPL

Altar frontal of silk, velvet and linen, about 1493–1520, at Cotehele.

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The humane, charming and utterly priceless Velazquez at Ickworth

©Simon Buck/Country Life

Prince Baltasar Carlos, aged six, as a hunter by Diego Velázquez, about 1635–36, at Ickworth.

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