On 7 & 8 September, we have our Fine Furniture, Sculpture, Carpets, Ceramics and Works of Art auction. The auction features nearly 765 lots, including a number of private collections. Here, we take a look at just a few of the highlights from the sale.
Barnwell Manor, Northamptonshire
Barnwell Manor, Northamptonshire
The majority of the auction is comprised of items from Barnwell Manor in Northamptonshire, home to Windsor House Antiques since 1999.
Established in 1957 by chairman Kevin Smith, Windsor House Antiques has grown from a small one-man operation into a globally recognised company. Kevin’s love of wonderful antiques and fine art has resulted in a lifetime of collecting. What is clear is Kevin’s compulsive and affecting desire to form and collate a collection which is unapologetic in its breadth, depth and evident quality. This insatiable appetite for collecting pieces of quality and historical importance has given rise to a cornucopia of objects, from over 60 years of experience and assiduous collecting.
Highlights from the collection include Lot 95, a fine George III mahogany and inlaid serpentine fronted commode, made in the manner of William Vile, dating to circa 1765. A serpentine commode by William Vile incorporating a similarly gadrooned edge to the top is currently in the Sitting Room at Harewood House, Yorkshire (this piece was formerly at St. James's Palace). Another commode incorporating this design feature and attributed to Vile is held in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (64.101.1142).
Lot 95: A fine George III mahogany and inlaid serpentine fronted commode, in the manner of William Vile, circa 1765 | Est. £80,000-120,000 (+ fees)
We then have Lot 195, a large mid-18th century carved giltwood wall mirror, possibly Swedish, made in the manner of Burchard Precht.
This mirror bears many of the stylistic qualities seen in mirrors by Burchard Precht (1651-1738). Originally from Germany, Precht moved to Sweden in 1674 to become the Royal court sculptor. Known for being a furniture maker and sculptor, his work covers a wide range of categories including; church furnishings and epitaphs, furniture, ornamental mirrors and picture frames. He is possibly best known for contributing to the furnishings of Stockholm and Uppsala Cathedrals.
Lot 195: A large carved giltwood wall mirror, mid-18th century, possibly Swedish, in the manner of Burchard Precht | Est. £10,000-15,000 (+ fees)
Another highlight from the collection is Lot 39, a rare set of eight George II walnut chairs, dating to circa 1730. These were once owned by Robert Wood Bliss (1875-1962), an American diplomat, who co-founded the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington D.C.
During the Second World War (1942-1945), Bliss worked at the State Department, during which time he arranged a succession of important diplomatic meetings at Dumbarton Oaks in 1944 known as the 'Dumbarton Oaks Conference' whose delegates collaborated over proposals for the foundation of an organisation to maintain world peace and security. The culmination of these meetings was the 'United Nations Charter' which was adopted in San Francisco in 1945. In later life, Bliss held a number of senior positions with American art institutions, museums and political organisations including the American Federation of Arts, the Smithsonian Art Commission, the Carnegie Institution and the American Foreign Service Association.
Lot 39: A set of eight George II walnut chairs, circa 1730 | Est. £40,000-60,000 (+ fees)
There is then Lot 375, a rare pair of French parcel gilt and bronze figural torcheres by Barbedienne and Guillemin, dating to circa 1870. The 'Deux Femmes Japonais' were cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne from the models by Emile-Coriolan-Hippolyte Guillemin (1841-1907). They are made in the form of standing Japanese female figures, wearing traditional Japanese dress, their kimonos embroidered with cranes and prunus respectively, each figure depicted holding aloft five candle arms in the form of lilies. These were formerly gasoliers, but are now wired for electricity, on gilt metal mounted and inset onyx bases. Each is signed to cast "E le Guillemin" and "F. BARBEDIENNE FONDEUR".
Lot 375: A rare pair of parcel gilt and bronze figural torcheres by Barbedienne and Guillemin, French, circa 1870 | Est. £30,000-50,000 (+ fees)
A private collection from the Isle of Wight
The auction also features a private collection from the Isle of Wight. Comprising 18 lots, this collection offers a varied group of largely 17th & 18th century English furniture.
A particular highlight is Lot 570, a pair of George II giltwood wall mirrors, dating to circa 1755. The design for these mirrors is closely related to drawings by John Linnell (1729-1796) which are preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The design is in the Georgian 'Roman' fashion and the crossed palm fronts symbolise victory, triumph, peace, and eternal life.
Lot 570: A pair of George II giltwood wall mirrors, in the manner of John Linnell, circa 1755 | Est. £10,000-20,000 (+ fees)
From another property, we have Lot 519, a late 17th/early 18th century Indo-Portuguese teak, ebony and ivory parquetry contador or cabinet on stand, from Goa.
Amin Jaffer in Luxury Goods from India, comments on a comparable cabinet on stand, 'This cabinet is of a form that was much reproduced under Portuguese patronage in India. The pattern of stars and intersecting circles that adorns this cabinet is perhaps the most commonly reproduced motif... found on articles commissioned by the Portuguese. The most distinctive feature of such furniture is the sculptural treatment of the legs, which are usually conceived as supporting figures. These assume a variety of human and animal forms. The most common are creatures with the upper body of a man or woman and a scaled lower body like a sea serpent. Past scholars have identified these with nagas and naginis, Hindu snake divinities that are considered auspicious and are believed to provide protection from dangers, including snake bites.'
Lot 519: Y An Indo-Portuguese teak, ebony and ivory parquetry contador or cabinet on stand, Goa, late 17th/early 18th century | Est. £20,000-30,000 (+ fees)
Take your virtual auction tour
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Wednesday 7 & Thursday 8 September | 10.30am
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
Browse the auction: Day 1
Browse the auction: Day 2
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- Viewing at Barnwell Manor, Barnwell, Near Oundle, Peterborough, Northamptonshire PE8 5PJ:
- Friday 2 September: 10am - 5pm
- Saturday 3 September: 10am - 5pm
- Sunday 4 September: 10am - 5pm
- Monday 5 September: 10am - 5pm
- Tuesday 6 September: 10am - 5pm
- No viewing on auction days
- Dreweatts 360 Virtual Auction Tour | Available from Friday 2 September
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