The February 2012 issue of Architectural Digest arrived in my mailbox this weekend. And, boy is it good. On the cover: Prince Charles and his newly renovated historic mansion, Dumfries House. The article is excellent, chronicling the history of the property (which is totally fascinating). Built by the Earl of Dumfries in 1759, the Palladian estate is located in Ayrshire, Scotland. The property contains over 50 (yes, 50!) commissioned pieces of furniture from an up-and-coming 18th century designer named Thomas Chippendale. Can you believe it? One Chippendale cabinet, which resides within the home, is valued at $8 million.
Dumfries House has remained mostly vacant for the last 150 years. And in 2005, the owners found it just too much to handle. So, they contacted Christies Auction House and decided to sell it and all it's belongings. That's when the drama unfolds... Just weeks before the historic auction is set to take place, Prince Charles decides to buy the 2,000 acre property and everything in it. Trucks full of furniture, on their way to London, literally turned around and went back. Great story, right? The palace has been lovingly restored, with exceptional attention to detail. It now stands as a proud historical testament to British art & architecture. The Dumfries House is also open to visitors, and Prince Charles returns to the property about 5 times a year.
Easily my favorite shot from the AD feature:
love the fabulous historic portraits, ceilings, and layered rugs.
For more fabulous images of the estate, pick up the February 2012 issue of Architectural Digest, or click HERE to see the slideshow.
Here are some additional images of the property from other sources:
a craftsman carefully restoring the plasterwork
Dumfries House 18th century Chippendale cabinet
On a royally related note, it's also the Duchess's 30th Birthday today.
(wearing an Alice Temperley lace dress)
Party it up, Duchess.