There's nothing wrong with a line drawing of a heart. Or a photograph of a sandy beach. They are calm and undemanding. But you won't find these holiday cottage staples on the walls of a Landmark. Instead there are paintings and engravings, watercolours and prints, each one chosen for that place and that position. They're not Old Masters - they're rarely masterpieces of any description.
A detailed map can be found at Auchinleck House, Ayrshire.
Many cost twenty quid from a flea market. But they’re apt and interesting, historic pieces that set the scene for that particular building. They might make you sense something - a mood or a style or a moment – they might make you feel something - sympathy or curiosity, surprise or outrage. They might make you think, they might make you smile. They are inconsequential, but infinitely interesting.
The semaphore flag above the bath at the Semaphore Tower in Surrey, reads 'man overboard.'
When Heart are Trumps, William Henley Bradley's cover for Tom Hall's 1894 book of poetry hangs in the Dining Room at Winsford Cottage Hospital. Everything about it, the typography, the colours, the printing, the art nouveau figures speak of the moment at the very end of the 19th century when a new modernism was taking hold and when Charles Voysey was designing this progressive new hospital.
At Coed y Bleiddiau, on the Ffestiniog Railway, a copy of the famous depiction of the slate mines of Penryhn hangs framed over the cottage fireplace. Henry Hawkins' epic painting shows an almost post-apocalyptic scene of the quarry, worked by thousands of men dangling perilously on ropes to heave off the giant slices of rock. Thus was the slate extracted that the railway was built to carry. Thus were fortunes were generated, jobs created and lives claimed. A photograph of a beach is bland and undemanding.
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Landmark furnishings consultant John Evetts, shared this lovely image on Instagram.
The pictures in Landmark aren't always so, but they give infinitely more in return.