Antiqua Print Gallery Devonshire House
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Devonshire House

Devonshire House in Piccadilly was the London residence of the Dukes of Devonshire, one of England's most prominent aristocratic families, for around 200 years until it was demolished in 1924.
Devonshire House was built on the site of the earlier Berkeley House, occupied by Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland, a mistress of Charles II.
It was a Palladian mansion, which was built to designs by William Kent to replace an earlier house on the site which had been destroyed in a fire in the early 18th century (before purchase by the Duke of Devonshire it has been known as Berkeley House). It had a main block and two flanking service wings. The building was compared to a warehouse, by a critic at the time. An austere exterior concealed sumptuous interiors, which housed the bulk of the Devonshire art collection, which was one of the finest in the United Kingdom. Some of the pictures are now at Chatsworth House, but many were sold in the 20th century, some of them to pay death duties.
In 1897, the house was the location of a massive ball to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The guests, including Albert Edward, Prince of Wales and The Princess of Wales, all dressed up in fancy dress for the occasion.
After the First World War many aristocratic families abandoned their traditional London residences. Devonshire House was sold to developers and a hotel and a block of flats were built on the site. The building fronting Piccadilly, now offices, is called Devonshire House. It was the headquarters of the War Damage Commission during the Second World War.

(Source Wikipedia)