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“A Treasure House”
Review of Wallace Collection

Wallace Collection
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US$ 123.07*
and up
Private Custom Tour: London in a Day
Ranked #15 of 1,728 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Owner description: Both a national museum and a prestigious private collection of art bequeathed by Lady Wallace in 1897, this attraction features one of the world's best collections of French 18th-century pictures, porcelain and furniture, plus a fantastic array of 17th-century paintings.
Reviewed 27 May 2012

The Wallace Collection, Hertford House is a very short walk from Oxford Street and shouldn't be missed by anyone who'd love to see how a privileged few were once able to live. It's free. It was originally a wealthy man's country house but he spent very little time there. Instead he travelled Europe, snapping up the most magnificent collection of art and armour and sending it all back to London.. The famous "Laughing Cavalier" painting is in the superb ballroom. There are Canalettos aplenty and if you've ever had any kind of interest in the Rococo, for goodness sake, make a beeline to The Wallace Collection. It has an excellent shop, a lovely restaurant and the best toilets in London, with the possible exception of the toilets in The Queens Gallery. The Wallace Collection is great.

Thank paintingsecrets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,502 - 4,506 of 5,634 reviews

Reviewed 26 May 2012

Over many visits to London, I somehow managed to miss this superb collection, perhaps because I never expected to find a museum of this caliber just blocks from the commercial bustle of Oxford St. Still, better late than never - this is a wonderful addition to any list of London highlights.

The perfect jewel box of a mansion - with its beautifully proportioned rooms, elegant pastel moldings, and sumptuous wall coverings - is worth a visit on its own. But world-class collections of art and historical artifacts make this a truly singular destination. The galleries of paintings include many remarkable works, including groups by Canaletto, Fragonard, and many, many more. Displays of miniatures - some lovely, some intricate, some simply bawdy - are handsomely presented, with explanatory texts detailing the subjects. Admirers of ceramics will find an excellent display - the Turkish pottery, Italian majolica, and lustreware kept me lingering, and lingering. The ground floor is largely dedicated to an impressive array of arms and armor, from a wide range of European weapons and mail to magnificently worked Indian and Persian ceremonial armor; life-sized models of horses display the protective devices crafted for valuable mounts.

A short walk from Marble Arch, just a couple of blocks above Selfridge's flagship site, the museum is served by numerous Tube and bus lines. It's open 7 days a week, including public holidays, and - amazingly - does not charge an entrance fee.

Thank ayyar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2012

I loved the eclectic collection. The building is also lovely to visit

Thank jcclutter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2012

In a lovely little mansion in Marylebone, the walls are lined with paintings in gold frames. You have seen some of these before -- the Old Masters -- and they are exquisite. It's shocking to me that they were all in one home -- such unimaginable wealth!! -- but now you can see them for free (do make a donation). If you can take your eyes off the walls, the furniture and porcelain are equally breath-taking. Most memorable for me: a portrait of a toddler by an unknown artist, said to be recently cleaned. I wonder what would happen to the Old Masters if they dared to clean them -- would some darkened, muddy colors become as vivid as this? Most memorable for my husband: the armor and weapons, which take up half the ground floor. I will have to go back to see them because he says they are absolutely incredible. Take advantage of the collecting mania of the very rich of a previous century, and see the Wallace Collection when you're in London.

Thank Ellen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2012

I've been selfish too long, enjoying my occasional visits to this grand house partly because it is never heaving with other visitors. So it's time to share.

The collection of paintings (mainly 16th to 18th century, festuring the likes of Reubens, Canaletto, Fragonard, Hals, Watteau and Gainsborough) is surprisingly huge and well displayed in the impressive side rooms and Great Gallery. The fine porcelain, sculptures, furniture, armour and weapons also reward attention.

The nation should be grateful for the clever collecting of five generations of Marquesses of Hertford and to Lady Hertford who bequeathed the results to us.

The now glass-enclosed central courtyard houses a pleasant restaurant that I recommend as a midway refreshment source as you spend a joyous at least three hours exploring these marvels. The fact that tranquility reigns throughout the house a mere five minutes from bustling Oxford Street is a delightful bonus!

Oh, and did I mention that it's free? Any donation will be both deserved and warmly welcomed.

Thank roberty87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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