The Bute Collection on Loan

Sharing the Bute Collection with local and global audiences.

Take a look below at some of the treasures loaned from the Bute Collection at Mount Stuart to fascinating exhibitions in the UK and around the world.

Loan Requests

The Bute Collection at Mount Stuart is able to lend works to temporary exhibitions, both in the UK and internationally. All loan requests must be sent:

Please read the Mount Stuart Trust Loans Policy which outlines how to submit your loan request to the Bute Collection at Mount Stuart. For more information, please contact:

Present Loans

The Bust of Christ and Duchess of Lauderdale - Now You See Us: Women Artists in Britain 1520-1920, Tate Britain

Spanning 400 years, Tate Britain’s exhibition follows women on their journeys to becoming professional artists. From Tudor times to the First World War, artists such as Mary Beale, Angelica Kauffman, Elizabeth Butler and Laura Knight paved a new artistic path for generations of women. Including over 150 works, the show dismantles stereotypes surrounding women artists in history, who were often thought of as amateurs. The exhibition sheds light on how these artists championed equal access to art training and academy membership, breaking boundaries and overcoming many obstacles to establish what it meant to be a woman in the art world.

From 16th May until 13th October 2024, two magnificent works of art from the Bute Collection at Mount Stuart are on display in Now You See Us: the Italian marble sculpture Bust of Christ (1870) by Mary Edmonia Lewis, and a portrait of Elizabeth Murray, Countess of Dysart and Duchess of Lauderdale (c.1650s) by Joan Carlile. 

Image Credit: © Keith Hunter Photography for The Bute Collection at Mount Stuart

Early Scottish Playing Cards - Scottish Design Galleries, V&A Dundee

A rare set of early Scottish playing cards from the Bute Collection at Mount Stuart - inlaid and bound into a small volume - are on loan to the V&A Dundee. The Cards armorial, containing the coats of arms of the four kingdoms and of the Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, Viscounts, and Lords of the Kingdom of Scotland (also known as Phylarcharum Scotorum gentilicia insignia) were produced by the goldsmith, Walter Scot, and the paper-maker, James Hamilton, in Edinburgh in 1691. The bound volume contains a complete set of 54 engraved cards: 52 playing cards with the Royal arms and arms of the Scottish nobility who sat in Parliament, alongside another card denoting the Lord Lyon King of Arms and one title card.

These early Scottish Playing Cards encapsulate the idea of identity through heraldry, and feature in the 'Design & Identity' display in the V&A Dundee's Scottish Design Galleries from 9th November 2023 to 9th November 2024.

Image Credit: © V&A Dundee

3rd Earl of Bute's Garter Robes - Kensington Palace, Historic Royal Palaces

Magnificent Garter Robes from the Bute Collection at Mount Stuart that were worn in 1762 by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, are on display to the public at Kensington Palace in 2024.

Research suggests that the 3rd Earl's Garter Robes are the earliest to exist in any collection, and are therefore an extraordinary survival of eighteenth-century court dress, made of the finest materials. You can find the 3rd Earl's Garter Robes on display in the King's Council Chamber at Kensington Palace.

Image Credit: © Historic Royal Palaces / The Bute Collection at Mount Stuart

Robert Gardine Coconut Cup - Scottish Design Galleries, V&A Dundee

A fantastic example of Scottish provincial silver from the Bute Collection at Mount Stuart is on loan to the V&A Dundee's Scottish Design Galleries. The Bute Collection's Robert Gardine Coconut Cup is a silver-mounted coconut cup on spreading circular foot, created by the Dundee-based Robert Gardine in c.1612 - a product of the important silver industry in Dundee in the seventeenth-century.

The fascinating Coconut Cup is featured within the 'Scotland and Europe' display at the V&A Dundee's Scottish Design Galleries from November 2023 to November 2026.

Image Credit: © V&A Dundee

The Bute Mazer - National Museums Scotland

The Bute Mazer is a spectacular early example of a Scottish communal drinking cup, possibly made to celebrate a gathering at Rothesay Castle of Robert the Bruce's supporters. The original maplewood bowl has a silver-gilt circular boss in its centre with a slightly raised hexafoil 'platform' with a lion couchant surrounded by five enameled shield-shaped coat-of-arms. Engraved between a beast are flowerheads and foliage, and the bowl and boss are dated to c. 1314-27. The rim and straps were added in the 16th century. The Bute Mazer is on loan to National Museums Scotland, where it is on display in the 'Kingdom Of The Scots' Gallery.

Image Credit: © National Museums Scotland / The Bute Collection at Mount Stuart

Past Loans

The Douai & Cromarty Manuscripts - Tartan, V&A Dundee

Celebrating tartan and its global impact, the exhibition explores how tartan has connected and divided communities worldwide, how it has embraced tradition, expressed revolt, and inspired great works of art as well as playful and provocative designs. 'Tartan' brings together a dazzling selection of more than 300 objects from over 80 lenders worldwide, illustrating tartan’s universal and enduring appeal through iconic and everyday examples of fashion, architecture, graphic and product design, photography, furniture, glass and ceramics, film, performance and art.

Two spectacular manuscripts are on loan from the Archive of the Bute Collection at Mount Stuart to 'Tartan': the Douai Manuscript and the Cromarty Manuscript. Tartan' is open to visitors at the V&A Dundee from 1st April 2023 to 14th January 2024.

3rd Earl of Bute's Garter Robes - Crown to Couture, Kensington Palace

Featuring over 200 items from ball gowns to court suits and handbags to jewellery, this fashion exhibition drew fascinating parallels between the world of today’s red carpet and the Georgian Royal Court in the 18th century. Beyoncé's look designed by Peter Dundas for the 2017 GRAMMY Awards could be viewed up-close, as well as the custom Moschino chandelier-inspired outfit designed for Katy Perry and worn at the 2019 Met Gala. Contrasted with these modern-day looks, the stunning yellow mantua was loaned from National Museums Scotland for the exhibition - the widest surviving court gown in Britain at nearly three metres - plus the exquisite Rockingham Mantua, one of several objects from Historic Royal Palaces' Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection.

Garter robes from the Bute Collection at Mount Stuart that were worn in 1762 by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, were among the wonderful outfits displayed in this showstopper of an exhibition. Crown to Couture opened on 5th April, and closed on 29th October 2023.

Image Credit: © Historic Royal Palaces / The Bute Collection at Mount Stuart

Moncur Trumpet - The Last Voyage of the Gloucester, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

On 6 May 1682, a warship carrying the future King of England and Scotland ran aground in heavy seas off the coast of Great Yarmouth. Within an hour the vessel sank, causing many lives to be lost, and for over 300 years, the wreck and its contents lay buried on the seabed. This major exhibition explores the ship’s dramatic discovery by brothers Julian and Lincoln Barnwell, and displays for the first time some of the fascinating objects recovered from the wrecksite.

The Bute Collection's Moncur trumpet - one of the few surviving trumpets comparable to those on the Gloucester - was on loan to Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery for this exhibition, which began 25th February until 10th September 2023.

Green & Pink Ginger Jar Tapestries - Kaffe Fassett: The Power of Pattern, Dovecot Studios

Kaffe Fassett is one of the most successful artists and designers working in contemporary craft today. His career spans over 50 years with a prolific oeuvre that encompasses knitting, needlepoint, mosaic, quilting, textile design, painting and drawing. The exhibition explores Fassett’s world, drawing on original textile artworks from invited international makers – as well as Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably – garments and archival material, to illuminate the work of this distinctive, influential artist and designer.

Fassett and the Edinburgh Tapestry Company (now known as Dovecot Studios) collaborated on a quartet of colourful tapestries featuring ginger jars. Mount Stuart Trust is delighted that two of these magnificent tapestries - the Green Ginger Jar and Pink Ginger Jar - are on loan to Dovecot Studios for this exhibition, which opens from 31st March until 8th July 2023.

In the Light of Cuyp - Dordrechts Museum

In the Light of Cuyp displays the most significant paintings by Dordrecht's most prominent painter, Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691), temporarily bringing them back to the town where they were created. The two oil paintings on loan from the Bute Collection at Mount Stuart are entitled ‘A Horse, Cattle and a Cowherd resting in a river Landscape’ and ‘Cattle watering by an Estuary’ - both painted in c.1650 in the town of Dordrechts, Netherlands. The loan of these works is particularly exciting as the Bute Collection paintings have never been exhibited in the Netherlands before, and are considered to be two of the best examples of cattle paintings by Cuyp.

The Disputed Reckoning - Pieter de Hooch in Delft, Museum Prinsenhof Delft

The first retrospective exhibition in the Netherlands of the famous 17th century painter Pieter de Hooch was presented at the Museum Prinsenhof Delft in 2019. Together with Johannes Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch is widely considered to be the most celebrated Delft master of the 17th century. The Bute Collection's Pieter de Hooch painting, 'The Disputed Reckoning', joined the Delft exhibition, which opened on the 11th October 2019 and ran until 16th February 2020.

Huntsmen setting out from Southill - George Stubbs 'All Done From Nature', Milton Keynes Gallery

The George Stubbs 'All Done From Nature' exhibition at the Milton Keynes Gallery presented the first significant overview of Stubbs’s work in Britain for more than 30 years. The exhibition brought together 100 paintings, drawings and publications from the National Gallery’s Whistlejacket, to the pieces that had never been seen in public before. The Bute Collection's wonderful George Stubbs painting joined the exhibition which opened on the 12th October 2019 and closed on 26th January 2020.

The Bute Map of Singapore - National Library of Singapore

Dated c. 1819, the Bute Map of Singapore is the earliest known landward map of Singapore, showcasing the early development of the settlement. In 2019, the Bute Map travelled across to Asia to be included in the bicentennial exhibition of the founding of Singapore 'On Paper: Singapore Before 1867'. The exhibitionlaunched on 28th September 2019, and ran until 22nd March 2020 at the National Library of Singapore. The Bute Map joined fascinating material on loan to the exhibition from the British Library, Maritime Museum of Rotterdam, and the National Library of Congress among many others.

What's On

Exhibitions & Loans > The Bute Collection on Loan