Nottinghamshire's Portland Collection set to re-open for first time since theft of diamond-encrusted tiara

The Portland Collection is back with a new exhibition.
The Portland Collection is back with a new exhibition.

Nottinghamshire’s historic Welbeck estate will re-open its Portland Collection gallery after an extended closure following the theft last November of its treasured Portland Tiara.

The gallery, near Worksop, has been given a fresh look while extensive additional security measures have been put in place in time for the re-opening on September 14.

The new display will showcase the historic Portland Collection, which was brought together over 400 years by the Dukes of Portland and their families who have lived on the ducal estate since 1607.

Alongside the internationally significant collection, will be the empty armoured glass case where the Portland Tiara was displayed before the theft.

It is hoped one day the tiara will be recovered and returned and so it was important to highlight this to visitors.

Visitors will be able to find out more about the Portland Tiara during their visit.

It is hoped one day the tiara will be recovered and returned.

It is hoped one day the tiara will be recovered and returned.

The Tiara, commissioned from Cartier in 1902 for the coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, is an important piece of the family history and was seen by more than 100,000 gallery visitors before the theft.

The free admission gallery, situated within the country estate on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border, gives visitors the chance to see world class art in a rural location and delve into the history of one of the Midland’s ancestral country estates.

The displays have been designed by Real Studios, the team behind the record-breaking ‘David Bowie Is…’ exhibition at the V&A Museum in London.

They have recreated the décor of a stately home to enable visitors to imagine how the artworks and furniture might have looked within their original setting of Welbeck Abbey.

The family’s forward-thinking female ancestors form a large part of the new ‘Men, Women and Things’ exhibition.

Lisa Gee, director of The Harley Gallery, said: “Our displays shine a light on the extraordinary women in the family’s ancestry. From the first sci-fi writer to a natural historian and a great philanthropist, strong women have a history of thriving at Welbeck.

"With rare and beautiful portraits to wonderful china and silverware, the displays offer visitors the opportunity to study the wonderful treasures amassed by this single aristocratic family and now shared freely with us all.”

During the opening weekend, visitors will also be able to hear a talk by the former head keeper of silver and metalwork at the V&A Museum, Philippa Glanville OBE.

She will talk about silver in The Portland Collection and about food history and culture.

She also will reveal insights into 18th century dining customs, and how food was served and displayed. Tickets for the talk on 14 September cost £7.50 and are available via www.harleygallery.co.uk.

READ MORE: DIAMOND-ENCRUSTED TIARA STOLEN IN NOTTINGHAMSHIRE 'COULD BE WORTH MILLIONS'