Arts and Entertainment

From 18th-century caricaturists to Desperate Dan, the art of talking in picture-form has a long and (mostly) distinguished history

Gilt complex

Gold may have greater value, but silver is no poor second when it comes to making a reliable investment. Winifred Carr reports

VISUAL ARTS The Padshahnama, Buckingham Palace, London; Cassiano dal Pozzo's Paper Museum, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

Two different exhibitions, one currently showing in London, the other just opened in Edinburgh, offer a rare glimpse of the fantastic treasures that lie hidden in the Royal Library at Windsor. At first glance, the shows seem very different, one Indian, the other Italian, but both groups of work date from the 1620s and 1630s and both entered the Royal Library during the reign of George III some 150 years later. In both, the hand of the artist was deemed less important than the subject he depicted and both testify to the extraordinary depths of the Royal Collection.

And through the mist may walk Liz Hurley

THE SUNDAY WALK: Wander through the unspoilt Cotswold town of Winchcombe and its surrounds, just a couple of hours from London

The official style

After being overlooked for 200 years, William Chambers, court architect, builder of Somerset House, a man who held sway over his profession, his government and his king, has been rediscovered. Richard Hewlings welcomes an exhibition of the work of a giant among Georgians

Unfair to George: Letter

Sir: Andrew Graham-Dixon's implied criticism of George III as "a monarch who did not care much for painting" is hardly fair in view of that king's constant patronage of artists and purchase of Consul Smith's magnificent Italian collection. ("Traces of greatness", 22 October).

words : SAD

Sad

Looking for a new England

MILTON IN AMERICA by Peter Ackroyd, Sinclair-Stevenson pounds 15.99

Baby farm via sheep-gut

PASSION AND PRINCIPLE: The Loves and Lives of Regency Women by Jane Aiken Hodge John Murray pounds 15.99

LETTER : Age of monarchy

Sir: By reaching the age of 70 the Queen has acquired membership of a rather exclusive club. Only four of her predecessors became septuagenarians: George II, George III, Victoria and George V.

Gels just want to have fun

The Season opens tonight, but debutantes want unwedded bliss not marriage, says Libby Spurrier

Marquess to sell off family silver

Historic house auction: Aristocrat jailed for drug possession hopes to raise pounds 1m from

Dirty linen of a spurned princess

THE UNRULY QUEEN: The Life of Queen Caroline by Flora Fraser, Macmillan pounds 20

LETTER:The royal 'gift' had strings

JENNIFER Miller is mistaken (Letters, 14 January), both in fact and her historical assertions. George III gave up the revenues from the Crown Estates in 1760 not out of any philanthropic zeal, but to gain a guaranteed income, in perpetuity, and to be absolved from the costs of maintaining the offices of state and the civil service, which at that time were the responsibility of the Crown. The true cost of the monarchy is accepted to be in excess of pounds 150m not counting the perks and privileges that the taxpayer provides.

Treasures from Britain's imperial past saved for the nation by Brunei prince

The Sultan of Brunei's brother, one of the world's richest men, gave three royal crowns and a coronation Bible to the nation yesterday to prevent them being exported.

Millions admit talking to trees

THE Prince of Wales has his troubles these days, but there is at least one piece of good news coming his way: a new survey shows that he is by no means alone in talking to the vegetable kingdom.
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