Hollycombe House: The Collection of Tim and Virginia Hoare | 15 & 16 June 2021

Hollycombe House: The Collection of Tim and Virginia Hoare | 15 & 16 June 2021

Hollycombe House: The Collection of Tim and Virginia Hoare | 15 & 16 June 2021

Dreweatts is delighted to be holding the sale of 'Hollycombe House: The Collection Tim and Virginia Hoare' on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 June.

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Inline Image - Hollycombe House
Hollycombe House

Hollycombe House

The first house at Hollycombe was built by John Nash in 1798 in his fashionable cottage ornée style complete with thatched roof, charming thatched veranda and aviary. The patron, Sir Charles Taylor (1770-1857), was a close friend of the Prince Regent, later George IV, and a member of the ‘Carlton Set’. The design drawings and plans were executed by George Stanley Repton, the son of the pre-eminent landscape designer Humphrey Repton. 

Inline Image - Designs for Hollycombe by George Stanley Repton
Designs for Hollycombe by George Stanley Repton

In 1866, the estate was sold to Sir John Hawkshaw (1811-1891), a prominent civil engineer involved in many major schemes including the construction of the Suez Canal. Sir John was succeeded by his son, J.C. Hawkshaw, also a civil engineer, but it would seem Hollycombe became his primary passion. Following a fire in 1892, the house was extended and aggrandised with Tudor-style additions. It is to this period of renovation we owe what we see today!

Inline Image - The garden front of Hollycombe House circa 1900 after J.C Hawkshaw's alterations
The garden front of Hollycombe House circa 1900 after J.C Hawkshaw's alterations

Successive owners throughout the 20th century left their own marks on the estate’s landscape and architecture. Whether it be its long sweeping approach, its neo-classical gate houses, its arboretum; Hollycombe evolved to become one of the most complete sporting estates in Hampshire, commanding its position across its own valley.

Inline Image -

In 1990 Tim and Virginia Hoare bought the house and began the restoration to bring Hollycombe back to life, creating a warm family home whilst retaining original features such as the painted ceilings by John Nash. For the next thirty years the house experienced a renaissance - once more life and art filled its walls.

Inline Image - The Drawing Room
The Drawing Room

Tim was a great raconteur and was much loved. He hosted memorable weekend parties, and seasonal shoots filling the house with good friends and fine wines! Those who were lucky enough to attend will remember the generous hospitality that met them. Tim’s vivacious personality combined with an atmosphere infused with laughter created wonderful memories reflective of his love of life.

The collection at Hollycombe has at its heart a number of wonderful paintings, drawings, sculptures, furniture and works of art spanning the centuries. Over the past thirty years it has been very well curated together with Robert Kime, whose work is synonymous with colour, detail and interest. As you walk through the house one is immersed in a collection that is perfectly at ease with itself and exudes a certain subtle yet confident taste.

Inline Image - The Inner Hall
The Inner Hall

Hollycombe’s interior cleverly combines the magic of a Scottish Baronial shooting lodge with a Gentleman’s London Club. Spun like a fine textile with the flare and incomparable eye of Robert Kime, the collection of furniture and objects offers a unique twist on the Country House style. Muted tones alongside traditional fine and decorative furniture in parts, such as Gothic console tables relating to examples at Scone palace (lot 203) and furniture by David Linley, combine with confident pallets, colourful fabrics and a stellar collection of carpets in others. Items from the family’s former Belgravia home have also been included throughout this sale, again all masterfully selected by Robert and his expressive design style. 

Inline Image - Lot 203: A pair of early Victorian Gothic mahogany side tables, circa 1840 | Est. £6,000-8,000 (+fees)
Lot 203: A pair of early Victorian Gothic mahogany side tables, circa 1840 | Est. £6,000-8,000 (+fees)

The collection of fine art has the perfect mix of pictures that you would expect to find in a traditional sporting estate fused with a group of outstanding contemporary pieces. Works by Thomas Gainsborough (Lot 210), Thomas Sydney Cooper (Lot 313), Frederick Lee (Lot 211), and William Anderson (Lot 299) are hung beside works by key Impressionist and 20th century artists such as Marc Chagall (Lots 119, 120), Salvador Dali (Lot 37), Dorethea Sharpe (Lots 231) and Laura Knight (Lot 90). A particular highlight is the collection of paintings by Augustus John which is led by the ‘Portrait of David’ (Lot 196) an expressive depiction of the artist’s son. 

Inline Image - Lot 196: λ Augustus John (British 1878-1961), 'Portrait of David, the painter's son (1902-1944)', oil on canvas | Est. £40,000-60,000 (+fees)
Lot 196: λ Augustus John (British 1878-1961), 'Portrait of David, the painter's son (1902-1944)', oil on canvas | Est. £40,000-60,000 (+fees)

Many people will have life-long memories of Hollycombe, memories as cherished as the items in this sale. This catalogue offers the buyer an unmatched variety, inspiration, and knowledge that each lot has been carefully chosen and well loved. It is a true lesson in eclecticism at a time when we are progressing out of a period of minimalism. 

Auction Details

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The auction will take place at Dreweatts (not Hollycombe House):

Donnington Priory
Berkshire RG14 2JE

Day 1 – Lots 1-286: Tuesday 15 June (10.30am)
Day 2 – Lots 287-430: Wednesday 16 June (10.30am)


Viewing dates: Wednesday 9 June - Sunday 13 June 2021: 9am - 5pm

Viewing is strictly by appointment only and in accordance with government Covid-19 regulations.  Please do not turn up without having pre-booked an appointment.   Entrance with catalogue only (to purchase a catalogue see below).  Please note there is no viewing on the day of the auctions.  If you are wanting to view on Saturday or Sunday, please ensure you have booked your appointment by 12 noon on Friday 11 June, and that you have received an email confirmation of your appointment from us.  To book an appointment to view, please email: housesales@dreweatts.com or call 44 (0) 1635 553 553.

Hollycombe House
GU30 7LP 


The Dreweatts 360 Virtual Auction Tour will be available from Friday 28 May.  The service provides a virtual tour of the rooms at Hollycombe House, allowing you to walk through each room, browsing and interacting with the lots as you go, just as if you were there in person, all from the comfort of your own home, at your own pace and at a time that suits you! 


  • Online bidding is available via dreweatts.com with no additional online bidding fees applicable. Please register at least 48 hours in advance of the auction as you may be asked to provide documents to verify your identity.  To create an online bidding account or register to bid click here
  • Telephone and commission bids: bid@dreweatts.com 
  • Commission bids may also be placed via your online bidding account.  
  • General enquiries and condition reports: +44 (0) 1635 553 553 | housesales@dreweatts.com

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