A LONG-MISSING portrait worth £14,500 is set to go on display at a York venue following a successful campaign.

The portrait of the female financier of Fairfax House goes on display this week at the venue in York city centre, after a campaign to raise the money to purchase it.

The existence of this portrait had been known about for many years, but its location was lost. Research undertaken at Fairfax House by collections manager Rachel Wallis revealed that the portrait was in danger of being sold into a private collection and potentially internationally exported.

York Press: The portrait of Elizabeth CliffordThe portrait of Elizabeth Clifford (Image: Supplied)

Fairfax House then launched a campaign to raise enough funds to purchase the portrait - which has been attributed to Sir Godfrey Kneller - and return it to permanent public display. The campaign to raise money to purchase the portrait was supported by Art Fund, the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, as well as generous donations of the public.

Sarah Burnage, curator at Fairfax House said: “We are so grateful that we were able to save this portrait from going into private collection - and are instead able to display it - especially given its significance to the house’s history.”

A wealthy woman in her own right, Elizabeth Clifford married Charles Gregory Fairfax, later 9th Viscount of Emley, in November 1720. Sadly Elizabeth died just six months later from smallpox and Charles Gregory inherited all of Elizabeth’s money and possessions, including a townhouse in London. He used this in inheritance to stabilise the shaky Fairfax finances and later down the line purchased Fairfax House.

The museum now hopes this purchase will support its plan to reveal the stories of other women who have been forgotten by history.

Collections manger Rachel Wallis said: “It is undeniable that Elizabeth’s wealth is the reason that we have Fairfax House as we know it today - and yet we barely know anything about her.

"We want to use this portrait to help support our plan to tell the stories of the forgotten Fairfax women - we have already started undergoing new research into Elizabeth’s life and can’t wait to share what we uncover about her.”

York Press: The grand staircase at Fairfax HouseThe grand staircase at Fairfax House (Image: Supplied)

The portrait goes on display on Friday (August 4) to coincide with York’s Georgian Festival. Children and under go free at Fairfax House and admission for adults is £7.50.

Fairfax House is one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses, set in the heart of York. It was restored by York Civic Trust in the 1980s and has been open to the public ever since. Originally the city home of Ann Fairfax, purchased for her by her father the 9th Viscount Fairfax, Fairfax House’s richly decorated interiors and stucco ceilings make it a masterpiece of Georgian design and architecture.