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Old painting back home at Oxburgh Hall

PUBLISHED: 18:48 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:50 08 July 2010

National Trust property manager, Teresa Squires, left, with the portrait of Lady Arundell of Wardour back in the Saloon of Oxburgh Hall where it used to hang. With her are Sheila and Charles Milner, the volunteer managers of the Gunroom  Bookshop where th

National Trust property manager, Teresa Squires, left, with the portrait of Lady Arundell of Wardour back in the Saloon of Oxburgh Hall where it used to hang. With her are Sheila and Charles Milner, the volunteer managers of the Gunroom Bookshop where th

AN important painting sold with other family collectables in the aftermath of the second world war has returned to Oxburgh Hall.

The portrait of Mary Lady Arundell of Wardour which had been in the family since the 18th century parted company with the hall in 1951.

AN important painting sold with other family collectables in the aftermath of the second world war has returned to Oxburgh Hall.

The portrait of Mary Lady Arundell of Wardour which had been in the family since the 18th century parted company with the hall in 1951.

But now the painting is on display in the hall's saloon, attracting many curious looks from visitors.

The painting returned to the collection thanks to efforts by volunteers who raised more than £11,000 to buy back Enoch Seeman's masterpiece.

The portrait underwent conservation work in London and was finally brought to Oxburgh at the end of March.

Charles and Sheila Milner and a dedicated band of volunteers have run the second-hand bookshop at the National Trust property for six years, raising around £10,000 each year.

After raising more than £11,000 last year they decided to bid for the portrait at an auction held at Sotheby's in London last November.

“We are very pleased to have the painting which is currently on display on an easel in the saloon,” said Teresa Squires, property manager.

“It is here for everybody to enjoy and we hope it will attract a large number of visitors.”

Earlier this year, Mr Milne said volunteers had been anxious over the sale price.

“We were very anxious as we had been warned that the pre-sale estimate of £4,000-

£6,000 was likely to be exceeded,” he said.

“Clearly other bidders were interested. We were all overjoyed when we heard the news that the trust had been successful with a final price of £11,644.

“Many people have generously donated books to us for the benefit of the property. We welcome this opportunity to thank all the donors and purchasers for supporting the bookshop which has enabled the trust to acquire the portrait.”

The property manager said the acquisition was “encouraging” and said the hall was looking to acquire further items which were lost and could now be returned.

Anyone who might know of other items which belonged to Oxburgh Hall can contact Teresa Squires on 01366

327 247.

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