For the first time, visitors to Waddesdon will be able to enjoy the historic Rothschild manor in a new light - literally.
Specialist energy efficient lighting, which relies less on heat, has been installed in many of the rooms to bring them to life in a totally new way.
Traditionally the rooms at Waddesdon were viewed in very low light, with the blinds closed, to protect the precious treasures from being damaged.
But ‘blinds open’ once a month was introduced last season on a rotating room basis; and this year the lighting will compliment that.
The result is quite staggering, with the treasures, artwork and furniture brought to new life, with everything looking lighter and brighter.
When CEO Sarah Weir welcomed the first guests of the new season she said: “This year we have worked with light in several of the rooms, the way you see things has changed, we have used the latest technology to illuminate the treasures.
“We are using less energy, but the result is 10 times more beautiful and 10 times more energy efficient. We have worked with three different lighting firms and the team of curators has done a terrific job.”
And the brightness will improve further when new mesh blinds are gradually installed throughout the manor, enabling visitors to see out even when they are closed.
One of the new exhibitions presented across three rooms in the manor, is Beyond All Price by Jane Wildgoose.
This focuses on mourning, and espeically the visit of Queen Victoria in 1890. Still in mourning for Prince Albert, who had died almost 30 years previously, her host Ferdinand de Rothschild had also suffered great loss. After just 18 months of marriage his young wife Evelina died in childbirth and their son was stillborn.
Ferdinand built a classical mausoleum for Evelina in East London and also founded the Evelina Hospital for Sick Children in Southwark, for which he provided financial support throughout his life, and left a substantial bequest on his own death.
In the bedroom of the display stands a model representing Queen Victoria on her visit to the manor.
A long black piece of material flows from her back, billowing across the floor of the room, as a metaphor for grief, to give an ide aof the tidal and elemental feeling of grief in the 19th century.
In those days people often created pieces of mourning jewellery which contained hair from the deceased.
Sarah Weir and Jane Wildgoose are pictured above examining a mirror decorated with pieces of hair which was created in a workshop at the manor earlier this year.
The house and gardens, including wine cellars, are open Wednesdays to Sundays and Bank Holidays from noon to 4pm on weekdays and from 11am to 4pm at weekends.