Nude postcards found at Temple Newsam House hidden in desk

Nude postcards found at Temple Newsam House hidden in desk

A collection of classical nude postcards was discovered hidden in an antique desk at a stately home.

The “cheeky” French postcards from the early 20th century were found during “routine upkeep” at Temple Newsam House near Leeds.

Curator Maya Harrison said it was “definitely one of the more unusual finds” at the 500-year-old mansion and “certainly made staff laugh”.

The postcards were hidden inside a secret compartment disguised as a book.

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Temple Newsam House is a Tudor-Jacobean mansion near Leeds and the birthplace of Lord Darnley, husband of the notorious Mary Queen of Scots.

Ms Harrison said it was a family home for much of its history and is now home to important collections of fine and decorative arts.

“[The nude postcards] are not something we’d normally expect to discover but it certainly did give us all a laugh,” she said.

“The desk has been at the house for a very long time and we’d never realised that the books were actually secret compartments before.

“It was really exciting to think what might be inside but we’d never have guessed in a million years what they actually contained.”

Ms Harrison added: “We can only speculate who might have hidden the postcards and why, but it does go to show that most objects in a museum have a story to tell and that history is full of surprises.”

Temple Newsam House is currently closed to visitors due to Covid-19 restrictions.

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