This week’s antique of the week is a collection of antiques inside an antique. I first saw this place on BBC’s The Country House with Dan Cruickshank. I watched the whole series on YouTube, but this was my favorite. I’ll post the episode at the bottom of the page.
The house is located in Northern Ireland and is home to Lindy Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava. She inherited the estate from her cousin and husband, Sheridan Frederick Terence Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 5th Marquess of Dufferin and Ava. In this case, I think the incest was tolerable because Sheridan was a dandy, and they produced no offspring.
Lady Dufferin’s father was an interesting fellow. He was a member of parliament, one of the first citizens to own a private plane in England, and financed Jacquea Cousteau’s ship, Calypso.
But anyway, this house was made cool by Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava. I’ve spent some time researching this but don’t necessarily recall all my sources so don’t take anything I say as fact. He inherited the house when he was young. His father died of an opium overdose overseas. Or maybe it was on the sea, I can’t remember.
He wasn’t good with money. He was always trying to make improvements on the house. The estate used its land to make money, but many tenants were in arrears and the 1st Marquees was kind hearted. When the local economy tanked, he employed his tenants and gave breaks on rent. But he also had to keep up with appearances.
He was an intrepid explorer. He took out a loan to commission a schooner, Foam, for travels across the sea. I think at some point he traded it in for a steamship to head to Egypt.
His extensive travels gave him a unique understanding of the world, which helped his diplomatic career. It also helped that he was very close with Queen Victoria. His first major appointment was as the Governor General of Canada, which he held for 6 years. Returning to England, he became the Ambassador to Russia and shortly after the Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.
When he returned from Constantinople, his dream came true. He was appointed the Viceroy and Governor General of India.
Lucky for us, onto of all of those appointments and travels, Lord Dufferin was a collector. He brought everything back from everywhere.
How about those Narhwal tusks!
Here’s a link to the episode: