The Holt Society
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Events and Activities

Searching for Treasure

Members of the Holt Society were treated to a very special talk given by Dr. Francesca Vanke on 15th February 2017. Dr. Vanke is Keeper of Art at the Norfolk Museums Service and has for some time been researching "The Paston Treasure" a 17th Century Dutch painting.

The Paston Treasure

The painting shows a collection of family treasures of the Norfolk Paston family. The picture shows a conglomeration of items unrelated to each other and is representative of the haphazard collections made by families in the 17th and 18th centuries. Commissioned by Sir Robert Paston in the early 1670s the painting was executed by an unknown Dutch artist who stayed at the Paston family residence at Oxnead Hall in order to complete the commission. The objects were collected by Robert and his father, Sir William.

Working with the United States Yale University, the Norfolk Museum Service intends to hold an exhibition in the summer of 2018 displaying as many of the objects shown in the painting as they can discover. Dr. Vanke is directly involved in the search and her talk was enthralling, elaborating the triumphs as well as the disappointments of her searches. She gained the sympathy and excitement of those present in her quest. The Society is determined to make arrangements to visit the exhibition in 2018.