Dreweatts is delighted to have been appointed to sell the contents of Weston Hall in Northamptonshire, a seat of the illustrious Sitwell family since the early 20th century and their ancestors since the 18th century. The 2-day auction will be hosted at Dreweatts Donnington Priory salerooms on 16 and 17 November 2021.
This spectacular sale charts the history of an eminent family of esteemed writers, eccentrics, pioneers and creatives through the centuries. Weston Hall was also the family home of journalist and renowned food critic and MasterChef judge William Sitwell. The sale, titled 'Weston Hall and the Sitwells: A Family Legacy', offers a once in a lifetime’s chance to capture a piece of literary history the like of which has not been seen on the market for some time.
Amongst the maze of principal rooms and nine attics at Weston Hall lay untold stories and exciting finds. From a Tiepolo drawing discovered in the safe, to clothes and jewels that adorned the writer Dame Edith Sitwell, known for shocking society with her eccentric behaviour and fashion sense, during the infamous era of the ‘Bright Young Things’.
From Weston Hall’s 18th century library are wonderful tomes, comprising works by this unique literary family, amongst primary editions by other great writers, such as Milton, that would satisfy any bibliophile. Art works and photographs by some of the greats, such as Thomas Lawrence and Cecil Beaton offer us a pictorial history of the Sitwell family and their ancestors and transport us through the history of England from the 1700s to modern-day. The Sitwell family were the subject of a critically acclaimed exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery in 1994, titled: ‘The Sitwells and the Arts of the 1920s and 1930s’ and many of the exhibited works will be offered in the sale.
As some parts of the house were untouched since various generations of the family left, it has been a treasure trove of exciting discoveries that tell their own story of Weston Hall, alongside the people who occupied it and their passions for collecting, writing and creating. Weston Hall is a veritable time capsule of British history, with its 18th-century library, 19th-century Justice Room and Victorian conservatory. William Sitwell, who continues the family’s literary legacy, relays in his first manuscript of his proposed new book, that gathering the contents of Weston Hall together for this sale, took him on a wonderful journey of discovery, exploring, even, rooms he hadn’t ventured into before.
Commenting on the sale, William Sitwell said, “This sale offers countless individuals and collectors the chance to own items and collections that are part of the fabric of English history. It’s extraordinarily diverse, representing the wide interests and experiences of my family and our ancestors. After the sadness of leaving Weston it will be heart-warming to think that works of art and furniture, which are like so many close friends to myself and my family, will find new homes and become part of new, wonderful collections.”
Joe Robinson, Head of House Sales at Dreweatts on taking up the mammoth challenge of cataloguing the works, said, “Weston Hall was a fascinating encapsulation of not just the Sitwell family history, but also the social history of Britain over the last few centuries. With the extensive collection of works having been preserved in the house for so long, it has been thrilling to go on a journey of discovery with the family, to uncover so many hidden treasures with such wonderful provenance. The stories behind the works truly enrich the pieces and when you purchase a work from this sale, you know you are buying a true piece of history.”
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The auction will take place at Dreweatts Donnington Priory on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 November 2021.
Highlights exhibition at Dreweatts London from Tuesday 28 September - Friday 1 October 2021:
16-17 Pall Mall
Full auction on view at Dreweatts Donnington Priory from Wednesday 10 - Monday 15 November 2021:
Berkshire RG14 2JE
To book an appointment, please email: email@example.com or call 44 (0) 1635 553 513.
The catalogue will be available and online in October. If you wish to purchase a printed catalogue, the cost including postage is:
USA / Africa / Asia: £50
To pre-order a catalogue, please pay online here. Please put 'SITWELL AUCTION CATALOGUE' in the 'Invoice number' field and ensure you complete all other fields.
General enquiries: + 44 (0) 1635 553 553 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Press enquiries: email@example.com
Cecil Beaton Photographs featured in video: Courtesy of The Sitwell Family Private Collection | ©The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive
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