Our Fine Furniture, Sculpture, Carpets and Works of Art auction on 30 June comprises over 500 lots of fine and rare items. The auction also features a series of private collections, including selected items from the collection of Sir David Scholey CBE FRSA (Lots 70-92). Ahead of the auction, Head of Dreweatts Furniture department, Ben Brown takes a look at some of the highlights.
Sir David Scholey CBE FRSA achieved success as a merchant banker in the City of London during a career which saw him rise to become Chairman and Chief Executive of S G Warburg. A director of the Bank of England and governor of the BBC – his commitment to the arts was reflected in his roles as Chairman of Trustees of The National Portrait Gallery -as well as a Director of the London Symphony Orchestra and a trustee of Glyndebourne.
A lifelong interest in music and art has been shared with his wife Alexandra and together they furnished Heath End House, Hampstead. Regular purchases from the leading London antiques fairs and dealers allowed them to add to those pieces passed down from their families – including a special penchant for Chinese porcelain, English furniture and silver cream jugs.
Sir David and Lady Scholey are now moving to smaller quarters in Florence and it is therefore time to scale down and let go of some of many of the antiques, paintings and works of art which have given them so much pleasure during a lifetime of collecting
An interesting sculpture included in the collection is Lot 75, a bronze full length portrait of James Abbott McNeill Whistler. The home of Sir David and Lady Scholey, Heath End House in Hampstead, was in fact once the residence of American artist, James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903). Whistler's most famous work is Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1, painted in 1871, also known as Portrait of the Artist's Mother or Whistler's Mother.
The present sculpture is by sculptor Angela Conner (b. 1935). Conner, in her early life, was a sculpture assistant to Barbara Hepworth. After leaving Hepworth, Conner became known for large mobile sculptures as well as portrait work including commissions for Lucien Freud, H R H Prince of Wales and Elisabeth Frink.
Another lovely piece is Lot 74, an Irish George III extending dining table, circa 1800. With six additional leaves, this is an early example of a much later reproduced design of concentric leaf extensions.
To the underside of the base, one can find an unusual Irish stamp R&JS, 14 GEORGE ST LIMERICK. The details of the maker are yet to be located and identified!
A rather eclectic and unusual item from the collection is Lot 80, a George IV mahogany drum library table, circa 1825. It is designed with a tooled leather inset top above the panelled frieze which is spaced with book shelves.
It is extremely rare for a table of this type and size to have book recesses to the frieze. To date, research has not revealed any closely related examples.
One of the top highlights of the sale, also from this collection is Lot 81, a Chinese Export reverse-painted wall mirror, from third quarter 18th century. The mirror plate depicts figures in traditional dress, with various animals, in a hilly river landscape. It comes in a later carved gilt wood frame, made in George III style.
These unusual Chinese Export reverse-painted wall mirrors make a real visual statement. Due to their highly interesting background with regards to the Chinese Export market to the United Kingdom in the 18th century, these are highly sought after in the market right now, and have historically attracted all types of buyers. The present lot carries an estimate of £20,000-30,000 (+fees)
Wednesday 30 June | 10.30am
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
This is a live online auction with an auctioneer.
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