Collection Description

Collection name Apsley House
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Description Apsley House is the London townhouse of the Dukes of Wellington. Primarily known for its paintings collection, The Wellington Collection, this includes several paintings with musical subjects, such as “A musician” (Cecco del Caravaggio, approximately 1610); “The mystic marriage of Saint Catherine”, featuring a lutenist (late sixteenth-century to mid-seventeenth-century); “A musical party” (Willem Cornelisz Duyster, approximately 1634); “A village festival on St. George’s Day”, featuring a bagpiper and violinist (David Teniers II, 1655); “A wedding party” (Jan Steen, 1667); and “A musical party” (Pieter de Hooch, approximately 1675).

Besides the paintings, the House also contains the oldest surviving English grand piano, made by Americus Backers in 1772. The piano is certainly indigenous, although it is not known whether it was originally purchased for Garret Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington (noted composer, and father of the 1st Duke of Wellington); for the 1st Duke’s wife, Catherine “Kitty” Wellesley, who certainly played this piano; or for someone else entirely.

The paintings may be viewed on or

Jonathan Frank, July 2020

Date range -
Associated People and Organisations Cecco del Caravaggio - Willem Cornelisz Duyster - David Teniers - Jan Steen - Pieter de Hooch - Backers, Americus - Mornington (Garrett Colley Wellesley, Earl of Mornington) - Catherine Wellesley -
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Associated Times 17th Century 18th Century
Associated Content Piano
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English Heritage, Apsley House

149 Piccadilly Hyde Park Corner W1J 7NT Open Map
Building Information The London townhouse of the Dukes of Wellington.
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For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

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