Miniature portraits on display at Selkirk

A rare collection of miniature portraits has gone on display at a stately home in Selkirk.

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Miniature masterpieces on show at Selkirk

The most important collection of miniature portraits outside of the one owned by the royal family has gone on display in the Scottish Borders.

The tiny paintings of kings, queens, dukes and animals have gone on display at Bowhill House, the family seat of the Duke of Buccleuch.

It was down the the obsession of one of the Dukes ancestors that the mini masterpieces ended up in Selkirk. Our Scottish Borders reporter Jenny Longden has been to see them.

Selkirk Miniature collection was Duke's 'obsession'

The Duke of Buccleuch with one of the miniature pieces and a £2 coin Credit: ITV Border

A collection of miniature portraits on display in Selkirk came to the Borders due to the obsession of a Duke that once lived at Bowhill House.

Walter Francis, the fifth Duke of Buccleuch, collected the tiny paintings in the 19th century.

There are around 750 of them still at the stately home, which are on display in special cabinets during July.

The current Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Scott, said they are there thanks to his ancestor's obsession with miniature portraits:

'He and his wife Charlotte Anne began collecting in the 1830's, and they went on throughout their married life, he didn't die until 1884, and they bought huge quantities.

There are over 750 still in the collection now, we have got the bills, they bought 10 here, 20 there, and I think they were absolutely intrigued as to who these people were.'

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Mini masterpieces on display in Selkirk

A rare collection of miniature portraits has gone on display at a stately home in Selkirk.

The exhibition of tiny masterpieces was unveiled by the Duke of Buccleuch at his Selkirk seat, Bowhill House.

The miniatures are considered to be the most important collection in private hands, excepting the Royal Collection.

They include the famous unfinished portrait of Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper.

The Buccleuch Collection will be exhibited at Bowhill House during July for visitors to enjoy.

The unfinished portrait of Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper Credit: ITV Border
The miniature Portraits in specially made display cabinets Credit: ITV Border
A portrait of Queen Elizabeth is one of the smallest in the collection Credit: ITV Border
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