Milford House

Beecroft grant acquisition report
Milford House in Armagh made a successful application last year for an 18th Century Dutch cabinet that matched one that originally part of the Milford House collection, but was sold, along with the contents of the house, in the 1930 auction after the McCrum family lost everything in the Wall Street crash.

Milford House was awarded £8,075 by the Beecroft Bequest, towards the purchase price of £8,500. Other funding came from the Milford Buildings Preservation Trust, the governing body of Milford House.

Stephen McManus, the curator at Milford House, said: “The cabinet has provided us the opportunity to enrich our displays at the house, it gives visitors a taste of how opulent the house was while the McCrums' were in residence. This is a major acquisition and transforms the display of our Drawing Room.

“Sadly, we don’t have a sales catalogue from the auction. We do have the auction advertisement giving us a guide as to what else might appear in the future. Having searched for years we can find no trace of the original dutch cabinet from Milford House.

“This magnificent inlaid Dutch cabinet made in 1780 from Clifton House Dorset is identical to the one that disappeared in 1930. Other than this, we really must simply keep our eyes open for other lost pieces.”

Simon Brown, the chairman of the Beecroft Bequest, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support the acquisition of this beautiful cabinet for Milford House. We are confident that it will add further depth to the interpretation of the house’s splendid drawing room.

“The Beecroft Bequest is available to support museums in purchasing pre-19th century pictures and works of art, and we are keen to work with as many institutions as possible.”