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Talks on the Decorative and Fine Arts by Nicholas Merchant

Nicholas has been a freelance lecturer in the Decorative and Fine Arts for over 15 years. Firstly with the Arts Society and latterly with a succession of the leading Travel Companies. He has achieved a reputation for convivial, and informative talks which he has given from the southern tip of Africa, to the northern tip of Europe. His lectures cover a welter of subjects all of which are designed to inform and amuse.

These talks are all available on power-point, as well as digitally online, and last approximately 45-60 minutes. They are available for interested societies both at home and overseas.

Country Houses

  • Apethorpe, A House Back From The Brink
  • Boughton, An English Versailles.
  • Brodick Castle And William Beckford
  • The 6th Duke Of Devonshire And The Building Of Chatsworth
  • Country Houses Of Cheshire
  • Country Houses Of Northamptonshire And Lincolnshire
  • Country Houses Of North Wales
  • Country Houses Of Sussex
  • Country Houses Of Yorkshire
  • Decline Of The Country House
  • Erdigg, A House Saved From Dereliction
  • Harewood The Creation Of A Country House
  • The Lure Of The Highlands And Islands
  • Two Great Houses; Holkham And Houghton
  • Lowther And The Lonsdales
  • Lady Anne Clifford, Proud Northern Lady
  • Plas    Newydd; The Rex Whistler Mural
  • Plutocrats Houses Of The English Lake District
  • The Rothschilds In The Vale Of Aylesbury
  • Rothschild Houses In Europe
  • Some Country Houses Of The Scottish Borders
  • Waddesdon, The Collection


  • The Architecture Of John Carr (New Lecture)
  • Sir George Gilbert Scott, Architect Of The Gothic Revival
  • Sir Robert Lorimer, The Scottish Lutyens
  • Sir Edwin Lutyens, Architect To Dolls, Dukes And Dynasties.
  • The Other Lutyens, His Work For The War Graves Commission.
  • Who Was Andrea Palladio?
  • Rothschild Houses In Europe
  • Clough Williams-Ellis; The Man Who Built Portmeirion
  • Sir Jeffry Wyattville At Chatsworth And Windsor
  • The Remarkable Mr Burges

Collections & Collecting

  • The Great Collectors And Collections Of The 19th Century
  • A Mania For Marble. The 18th Century’s Obsession With Antique Sculpture
  • Green Vaults Of Dresden
  • The Lady Lever Collection
  • The Forgotten Great Exhibition, Manchester 1857
  • The Golden Age Of Dutch Art
  • The Origins Of The Wallace Collection


  • Thomas Chippendale, Pre-Eminent Cabinet Maker Of The 18th Century
  • Eileen Gray, An Irish Rebel
  • Linley, The Continuing Tradition English Cabinet Making.

Royal Subjects

  • “My One Great Hobby”, The Collecting Interests Of Queen Mary.
  • The Prince Regent And His Collecting Mania.
  • The Prince Regent And His Building Mania.
  • Queen Victoria In The South Of France
  • The Royal Collection; The Reign Of Elizabeth Ii
  • Sandringham, A Royal Bolt Hole
  • The Jacobites. The Romance Of A Lost Cause (New Lecture)

Gold, Silver & Jewels

  • The Art Of The Silversmith
  • The Gold Box, The Must-Have Accessory Of The 18th Century
  • Faberge At The Court Of The Tsar
  • If You Want To Get Ahead….Get A Tiara!
  • The Jewellery Of Rene Lalique
  • Jewels Of The Indian Princes (New Lecture)
  • Paul De Lamerie, Silversmith Supreme
  • The Courtaulds


  • Alchemy And The European Quest For Porcelain
  • Madame De Pompadour And The Porcelain Of Sevres
  • The Lady Ludlow Collection.
  • Meissen And The Spread Of Porcelain In Europe

Period Styles

  • Arts And Crafts In The Cotswolds
  • The Baroque
  • The Baroque Garden

Travel Related Talks

Russian & Baltic Subjects

  • Drottningholm, Its Gardens And Pavilions
  • Queen Christina Of Sweden
  • Palaces In And Around St Petersburg
  • The Collections Of Peter The Great And Catherine The Great.
  • The Work Of Ilya Repin. The Greatest Of Russia’s 19th Century Painters
  • The Hanseatic League, Its Influence On Art And Architecture
  • Treasures Of The Rosenborg


  • The Creation Of The Cote D’azur
  • Belles Demeures De Cap Martin A Bordighera
  • English Gardeners In The South Of France
  • The Private Palaces Of The Cote D’azur
  • The Popes Of Avignon
  • The Romans In Provence
  • The Grand Tour And The River Rhone
  • Two Gentlemen Of Bordighera

Along The Danube

  • The Empress Elizabeth Of Austria And The Great Compromise
  • The Balkan Kingdoms And The Decline Of The Ottoman Empire
  • Prague, At The Centre Of European Politics


  • Potsdam, A Prussian Versailles
  • Bernardo Bellotto And The Creation Of “Florence On The Elbe”
  • The Green Vaults Of Dresden
  • Meissen And The Spread Of Porcelain In Europe


  • Portugal, Introductory Talk
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