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3rd Oct / 2020

George IV 1820-2020: Fresh Perspectives on the King's Furniture The Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London W1 3UN Saturday, 3 October 2020 10am - 5pm

ANNOUNCEMENT 13 March 2020

We have been watching the developing situation relating to the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United Kingdom carefully.

Official projections predict the peak of infections will begin around the end of March, which has caused us to review the situation with our society’s annual symposium at the Wallace Collection, currently scheduled for the 28th.

In order to protect the health of all attendees, and to ensure it remains a worthwhile endeavour, the FHS has reluctantly taken the decision to move its annual symposium to the 3rd October 2020.  

If you have a ticket already and are able to attend the new date your ticket will obviously be transferred automatically. If however you wish to request a refund then you can do so by contacting the Events Secretary. 
At the moment we are still planning to go ahead with the visit to the exhibition ‘George IV: Art & Spectacle’ at The Queen’s Gallery on Friday 27 March 5.30-6.30pm. Members with a ticket for the Symposium will be able to attend.  The exhibition closes on the 4 May.


In the bicentenary year of George IV’s accession, the Furniture History Society symposium will present new lines of research on the king’s long career as a patron and collector of furniture and furnishings.  It aims to re-examine the driving forces behind his activities in this field, relationship with makers, activities as a collector, as well as his contemporary impact and longer-term legacy.


10.00-10.25: Registration and coffee/tea

10.25-10.30: Welcome by Christopher Rowell, Chairman of the FHS, Senior Curator of Furniture, National Trust

10.30-10.35: Introduction to the day, Sir Jonathan Marsden (Chair)       

10.35–11.05: David Oakey - 'Painting it and Putting Handsome Furniture Where Necessary' – George Prince of Wales’s Early Furnishing of Carlton House

11.05–11.35: Rufus Bird, Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art - Tatham & Co. at Carlton House

11.35-12.05: Cristina Alfonsin Barreiro The Valliamys: From Clockmakers to Merchants of Luxury           

12.05–12.35: Dr Diana Davis - 'Quite éblouissant’: George IV and the Anglo-Gallic Interior

12.35–13.00: Q&A


13.00-14.00: LUNCH (Provided for those FHS Members who have booked it (on Eventbrite) in the Meeting Room at the Wallace Collection.  Otherwise, there are various cafes/restaurants nearby or the Wallace Collection Restaurant.)

2.00–2.30: Kathryn Jones, Senior Curator at Royal Collection Trust - Of the Utmost Beauty and Newest Fashion’, George IV and Modern Manufacturing

2.30–3.00: Dr Alexandra Loske, Art Historian, Curator & Editor - The Interior Decoration and Colouring of Brighton Pavilion

3.00–3.30: Dr Helen Jacobsen Senior Curator and Curator of 18th century French Decorative Arts, The Wallace Collection - Shared Tastes: George IV and the 3rd Marquess of Hertford 

3.30–4.00: Michael Hall, Curator at Exbury House - George IV's legacy and the English Rothschilds                            

4.00–4.15: Q&A

4.15: Summing Up

4.15–5.00: Tea/Coffee

There will also be an opportunity for attendees to see the ‘The 3rd Marquess of Hertford as a collector’ – a trail around the Wallace Collection galleries highlighting objects that the 3rd Marquess of Hertford collected, helping to illuminate his taste and drawing parallels with that of George IV.

Associated events:

On Friday 27 March 5.30 PM – 6.30 PM there will be a chance to see the exhibition George IV: Art & Spectacle at The Queen’s Gallery led by Kathryn Jones, Senior Curator at Royal Collection Trust. Limited tickets will be made available to attendees of the Furniture History Society’s Annual Symposium, on a first come, first served basis.  If you are attending the Symposium, and would like to attend this additional event, please email

George IV is arguably the most magnificent of British many of these works by the finest artists of the day. Bringing together Dutch and Flemish masterpieces, magnificent portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence and Sir Joshua Reynolds, delicate French porcelain, intricate goldsmiths' work and elegant books and drawings, this exhibition will present George IV's life through the art that enriched his world.


George IV by Thomas Lawrence, 1822 © Wallace Collection, London

Contact to register interest.

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