Taking place on Tuesday 4 October we have our auction offering the selected contents of Chilham Castle in Canterbury. Over the centuries Chilham has been under many different ownerships, having been home to a host of colourful and sometimes eccentric families and since 2002, Chilham has been home to Stuart and Tessa Wheeler.
With the help of their long-time friend and interior designer, Christopher Gibbs, together with Jane Ormsby-Gore, and his partner Peter Hinwood, they set about transforming Chilham Castle into a family home. Here, Peter Hinwood tells us more about the project and picks out some of his favourite items from the collection.
Chilham Castle, Canterbury | Image courtesy of Knight Frank
Our friendship with Tessa Wheeler stems back several decades, with fond memories both in London and Tangier. When Stuart bought Chilham Castle, the three of us (Christopher Gibbs, Jane Ormsby-Gore and myself) were summoned to transfer it from a rambling mansion into a comfortable home for a family of five. It is from these sumptuous rooms you will find many of the specially selected items offered in this auction.
For me, and indeed Christopher, Chilham always had an ethereal quality where history collided with comfort and where a bohemian fusion of the English country house married with our deep love of the colour and rich textures of Tangier.
Today Chilham remains at the centre of the local and idyllic community, a legacy which was carried on by Tessa and Stuart – its interiors playing host to memorable events and weekend parties. I shall never forget working on this project, it was a labour of love and although it is sad for it to be dispersed, I hope these pieces will find brilliant new homes as people build their own collections.
A living country house should always be in a state of evolution and I am pleased to have been a part of this fleeting moment in Chilham’s long history.
Peter Hinwood's Top Picks
Lot 387: A modern elm wake table, supplied by Coryndon | Est. £400-600 (+ fees)
"This elegant oval topped Irish table in the pale elm, is a perfect anchor to set off any room."
Lot 321: A large pair of blue and white dishes for the Islamic market, Kangxi period | Est. £7,000-9,000 (+ fees)
"Here we have a pair of refined, large and beautiful blue and white Chinese dishes made for the Islamic market. They come with an interesting provenance, having previously been in the collection from Easton Neston, the 17th century house designed by architect Nicholas Hawksmoor."
Lot 356: A Moroccan inspired painted pine bureau bookcase, late 19th century and later | Est. £300-500 (+ fees)
"This painted bureau is designed with unusual Moroccan gilt decoration. It was originally in the collection of Scottish artist James McBey and wife Marguerite McBey, a close friend of Tessa Wheeler who features in her book 'Spirits of Tangier'."
Lot 378: A Moroccan red painted root-form open armchair, 'Now on the Ocean', designed by Umberto Pasti | Est. £300-500 (+ fees)
"For an item of furniture that will give a lift to any room however sophisticated, there is this red painted root chair made by Moroccan villagers."
Lot 339: Caucasian runner, 19th century | Est. £150-250 (+ fees)
"Finally, I have picked out this Caucasian runner with Kufic border. It features a pathway of flower heads surrounded by a border of stylised Islamic script first seen in 16th century Lotto carpets."
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Tuesday 4 October 2022 | 10.30am
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
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VIEWING IN NEWBURY (FULL SALE):
Venue: Dreweatts, Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
Thursday 29 - Friday 30 September: 10am - 4pm
Saturday 1 - Sunday 2 October: 10am - 3pm
There is no viewing on Monday 3 October or the day of the auction.
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