A look at some of the lesser known treasures of the National Gallery of Ireland which are not normally on public display.

One of Ireland's most important cultural institutions the National Gallery is a showcase for a wonderful collection of paintings but also houses some wonderful objects.

The National Gallery of Ireland is best known for its famous collection of paintings and sculptures. What's not so well known is the fact that it receives a great many examples of other types of work mainly through bequests and gifts.

James White, Director at the National Gallery of Ireland, talks to Ciaran McGonigal about some of his favourite pieces. The desk in his office, a painter's desk once used by the miniature artist Charles Robinson. It was made from mahogany by John Kirkover, father of the artist Henry Kirkover, in the late 18th century. The clever design allows the artist to sit at it surrounded by all the tools of his trade. The desk was presented to the National Gallery by Kirkover's great-grandson E Stanley Robertson in the early 20th century. 

Many of the objects have been hidden from sight for many years and are stored in the vaults and attic. They have been taken out of storage, especially for this programme.  

One of the most unusual items is an elaborate travelling canteen set, which was presented to the gallery by the widow of 6th Earl of Milltown, whose family gifted a major contribution to the gallery over the years. The story goes that the canteen was taken at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The pieces date back as far as 1738 with newer pieces dating from 1803. Made from gilt silver and glass, the services contains at least one hundred pieces which are all French in origin. It is likely that the canteen may have been used for Napoleon on the scene of a battle.  

'Folio: The Hidden Gallery' was broadcast on 27 February 1978. The reporter is Ciaran McGonigal.