On 14 & 15 November, we are pleased to present Bardon Hall by Tomasso, a curated auction of antiquities, 17th-19th century works of art, European art and furniture from the Tomasso collection.
Raffaello and Dino have been steering the Tomasso dealership from the former Archbishop’s palace, Bardon Hall in Yorkshire since 1993. The brothers have been fortunate to have been surrounded by every conceivable aspect of the decorative arts, including European sculpture (with a particular focus on Renaissance bronzes), Old Master paintings and drawings, along with arts of the ancient world. They have always had a particular penchant for coloured marble, a subject which is strongly represented in their catalogue; Bardon Hall, by Tomasso. Dino and Raffaello are excited to offer the opportunity to share in the enthusiasm for their different interests in their forthcoming auction.
Dino and Raffaello Tomasso | Image: Alex Wallace Photography
Raffaello and Dino's Top Picks
Lot 19: A set of eight George III mahogany, sycamore and marquetry chairs, in the manner of John Linnell (1729-1796), circa 1780 | Est. £3,000-5,000 (+ fees)
"Our love of the English Neoclassical, which is epitomised in this elegant set of eight chairs, germinates from growing up only a few miles from Robert Adam and Thomas Chippendale’s masterpiece, Harewood House. Even as children we absorbed the atmosphere of the Great Age of Enlightenment through architecture and decorative arts, of which these chairs are a primary example. We were fortunate enough to spend our childhood in a house whose architecture was designed by John Carr, who worked alongside Robert Adam at Harewood."
Lot 49: An oak and burr oak settle, 18th Century | Est. £1,500-2,500 (+ fees)
"Dating from the 18th century this oak and burr oak settle retains all its originality in terms of patina and condition. During our formative years, as young dealers, one thing we quickly came to understand was that an untouched piece of furniture, which this utterly charming settle sums up, would always garner a premium in a collector’s world."
Lot 122: A fine, rare and large Charles II yew and beadwork mirror, circa 1665/1675 | Est. £30,000-50,000 (+ fees)
"Continuing on the theme of British decorative arts, this mirror is at the top of Carolean objects to be found on the market in the present day. It is highly likely to date from 1662, to commemorate the marriage of Charles II and his Queen, Catherine. Also depicted, flanking the viewer, are Charles’ father and mother, Charles I and Henrietta Maria, in honour of the Stuart dynasty."
Lot 96: A Roman white marble portrait head of a young man, 2nd century A.D. | Est. £8,000-12,000 (+ fees)
"For us, the greatest taste, in the opportunities given to art dealers, is the ancient world. This head is a fine example of portraiture from the Antonine period and typifies their ‘Baroque’ attitude to hairstyles. It is likely to come from the reign of the great philosopher, Emperor Marcus Aurelius."
Lot 240: Sir Charles Barry (1795-1860) for Harewood House, a set of six painted & giltwood corbels, early Victorian, circa 1845 | Est. £4,000-6,000 (+ fees)
"Over the years, whilst buying and selling on the international market, we have both come to realise just how important provenance can be, and provenance doesn’t come much better than Harewood House. During its remodelling by Sir Charles Barry in the mid 1840s, he strived to be as sympathetic as possible with the previous architects, Adam and Carr. He clearly achieved this with this set of corbels which, as championed by the two previous 18th century designers, show a deep understanding of the ancient ideals for architecture."
Lot 440: After the antique - an Italian marble figure of the Flora Farnese, 18th century | Est. £8,000-12,000 (+ fees)
"Dating from the 18th century, which is typified by the quality of the marble and carving, (and also the fact that she is holding a wreath, which was later replaced by a nosegay), our Flora Farnese is a fine example of sculpture purchased by the British and Irish Grand Tourists who travelled en masse to Italy throughout the 18th century. ‘The Grand Tour’ was considered almost obligatory for the milords of the epoch and both of us have, over the past decades, navigated our own Grand Tours of Italy, which have enthused us and reinforced our love and appreciation for the ancient world. We are fortunate to be able to acquire beautiful objects from this period and hope that our enthusiasm for this period is reflected in our collection."
Lot 409: A group of central European bronze hair rings and spiral pendants, late Bronze Age | Est. £2,500-3,500 (+ fees)
"Since the rediscovery of the ancient world during the Renaissance period, there has always been a want to recreate the incredible and natural colours of the objects and architecture coming to the fore, from the previous millennia. Upon closer inspection of these bronze adornments, one cannot only see the exceptional quality of casting, but the natural colour which radiates from the surface of the hair rings and pendants, is truly beautiful. This is further enhanced by the fact that all seven objects retain their original patina…a joy to behold in the flesh."
Lot 319: After a model by Giambologna (1529-1608) a bronze figure of Neptune, Florentine, 19th century | Est. £2,000-3,000 (+ fees)
"Giambologna, undoubtedly the greatest sculptor in the generation after the enigmatic Michelangelo, created his greatest work of the mid 1560s, for the city of Bologna, in the form of the Neptune fountain. Our bronze is an extremely fine cast of the main protagonist from the fountain and is highly likely to have been cast in Florence during the 19th century. Both of us have always admired the fine quality of bronzes from all periods which are reinterpretations of the great master’s models."
Lot 432: French School (19th Century), Portrait of a young mineralogist holding a quartz specimen, Oil on canvas | Est. £2,000-3,000 (+ fees)
"Dino and I were both entranced by the rare subject of this portrait of a young and clearly enthusiastic mineralogist. Dating from circa 1820 and presented in its original French frame, the portrait is likely to have been painted in Paris, by a yet unknown artist. However, this does not detract from the fact that the painting is an extremely interesting example of what we term a ‘period portrait’, of a student of one of the natural sciences."
Lot 405: Italian School (18th Century), A pair of cappricios of classical antiquities, Oil on canvas | Est. £4,000-6,000 (+ fees)
"This pair of fantastical landscapes showing objects from the ancient world, in varying different materials, such as terracotta, marble, bronze and silver, typify the wondrous reaction in Europe, to the rediscovery in the early 18th century of great ancient sites such as Pompei and Herculaneum. This pair of paintings would have adorned either an Italian palazzo or one of the great British Neoclassical interiors, which were, for obvious reasons, very much influenced by the excavations at the great classical sites in Italy and Greece. Raff and I have always had the pleasure of trying to see if we could recognise any of the objects in this type of painting, which has led to many amusing moments and anecdotes."
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Tuesday 14 & Wednesday 15 November | 10.30am GMT
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
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- Viewing in London (highlights only): Thursday 2, Friday 3 & Monday 6 November
- Viewing in Newbury (full sale): Saturday 11 - Monday 13 November
- Remote Viewing Service | Available form Saturday 11 November