Norfolk - - History -

Shells, an os­trich egg, and an adored lit­tle girl are just some of the trea­sures of the Pas­ton fam­ily, recorded in a 17th cen­tury paint­ing on show at Nor­wich Cas­tle Mu­seum.

Next sum­mer an ex­hi­bi­tion will fo­cus on the paint­ing, called The Pas­ton Trea­sure and, in part­ner­ship with ex­perts from the Yale Cen­tre for Bri­tish Art in the USA, some of the 200-plus trea­sures col­lected by two gen­er­a­tions of Pas­tons will be re­united.

One of the cups in the paint­ing is al­ready in Nor­wich Cas­tle Mu­seum; a sil­ver-gilt flagon is com­ing from the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum of Art in New York,and more ob­jects will be lent by mu­se­ums in Hol­land. The ex­hi­bi­tion will also in­clude other arte­facts sim­i­lar to those painted for the Pas­tons, plus paint­ings, sculp­ture and fur­nish­ings they might once have owned and which would once have filled glo­ri­ous Oxnead Hall, near Ayl­sham, now it­self just a sin­gle wing of the orig­i­nal man­sion.

The Pas­ton Trea­sure in­cludes a por­trait of young Mary Pas­ton, hold­ing a song sheet with words about death. She prob­a­bly died dur­ing its com­ple­tion. Around the same time the fam­ily was strug­gling with debt and the Pas­tons, who had risen to promi­nence in just three gen­er­a­tions, vir­tu­ally dis­ap­peared within half a cen­tury.

Rob Knee plays Sir William Pas­ton, founder of Pas­ton Col­lege North Wal­sham

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