Walter Horace Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted, owned the merchant bank, M. Samuel & Company and was Chairman of Shell Oil. He was a generous philanthropist, and a prominent art collector. His home, Upton House, housed an art collection to rival many national collections.
As mentioned in Part 1 he and his wife moved out of their home, Upton House, at the outbreak of war, and the staff working for his merchant bank moved in. To mark the 70th anniversary of the ending of WWll, the National Trust have recreated the atmosphere in the house that existed when the bank staff lived and worked there.
The 'Typing Pool' was housed in the Long Gallery
where nostalgic music and songs from the war years added to the atmosphere
May be this was Joe's Air Raid Warden outfit!
These bronze medallions, which are the size of dinner plates, were created by Austrian born Jewish sculptor Professor Arthur Immanuel Loewental. He fled to England in 1934 from Berlin, and Lord Bearsted was one of those who helped him to establish himself and obtain British nationality in 1941
On the home front knitting socks for the 'boys' began in ernest
Bedroom used by the male bank staff
Female bank staff bedroom
Lord Bearsted served in the WWl with the West Kent Yeomanry. He was decorated with the Military Cross, Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal showing oak leaf spray on the ribbon meaning he was mentioned in despatches. In WWll he had a secret role using the code named K; he never divulged his mission.
As war progressed Lord Bearsted became increasingly concerned for the safety of his valuable painting collection; the building of an RAF station at nearby Shenington was a great worry to him. He wrote a letter to Kenneth Clark, the then Director of the National Gallery, asking if his paintings could be placed alongside the national collection in a secret disused slate quarry. In the light of his service to the gallery and the importance of his collection the request was accepted. The location in Wales was top secret, but his paintings remained safe for the duration of the war in a chamber alongside paintings belonging to the King.
Off into the secret location they go
to be kept safe until the end of the war
Three paintings from Lord Bearsted's collection
El Greco - 'El espollo' - the Disrobing of Christ - showing the drama of the poignant moment when Christ stands on Cavalry whilst his cross is being prepared for his Crucifixion; his scarlet robe is about to be ripped off. In the bottom lefthand corner stand the three Marys
This is a smaller version of the same painting seen in Toledo Cathedral, Spain, where it hangs in the Sacristy above a marble altar
Follower of Fra Filippo Lippi - Three Acts of Charity
On the Day of Judgement, people would be judged according to the acts of charity they had carried out in their lifetime. In the first scene on the left, Christ, as the unknown stranger, is handed drink; in the second he is handed food; and in the third he is offered shelter
Puccio di Simone also known as Master of the Fabriano Altarpiece - The Last Supper
Christ is sitting at the left hand end of the table and St. John rests his head on his lap. He has just spoken the words 'But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table'. Judas (shown without a halo) raises his hands in protest.
To finish this is Lady Bearsted's glamorous red and silver Art Deco bathroom
The bathroom walls are covered in a fine layer of aluminium leaf