Ranger's House Collection
The works of fine and decorative art which make up the collection displayed at Ranger's House were assembled by Sir Julius Wernher. Wernher made his fortune from the diamond mines of South Africa, and from the 1880s he collected art works from London, Paris, Berlin and Frankfurt. The collection is extremely varied, consisting of ivory carvings, Limoges enamels, Renaissance jewellery, bronzes, maiolica pottery and Sèvres ceramics. It contains more than 700 pieces and represents one of the most extraordinary collections of medieval and early modern European art to have been put together by one person.
Originally displayed in Wernher's townhouse, Bath House, Piccadilly, the collection was first publically accessible at his country house of Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire. After the death of Sir Julius's grandson and the sale of Luton Hoo in the 1990s, much of the collection returned to London. In 2002 the trustees of the Wernher Foundation made a 125-year loan of the collection to English Heritage, thus safeguarding it for the nation's enjoyment.