On Tuesday 18 April, we have our Interiors auction. The auction offers a huge variety of furniture and decorative objects for the house and garden and to start the auction we are pleased to be offering the selected contents from Woodleys, near Woodstock in Oxfordshire. The collection comprises 32 lots with examples of furniture, animalier sculpture, decorative pictures and prints, as well as other works of art. Here Head of Sale, Ashley Matthews, takes a look at the collection and picks out some of the highlights.
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Browse the Collection from Woodleys | Lots 1-32
For 141 years, Woodleys has been the much loved family home for four generations of one branch of the Ponsonby family. During that time Woodleys has not only housed the family but also a wide and varied collection of art and antiques, a selection of which we are pleased to present in this Interiors sale.
The grade II listed house of largely mid-late Georgian construction was originally built as a farmhouse in the 1780s and twice extended following its changes of ownership in the 1820s and 1880s. These additions resulted in the 12,800 sq. ft house comprising some 40 rooms, including 13 bedrooms.
Its handsome south and east façades offer a spectacular view of the principle façade of Blenheim Palace a mere two miles to the South East beyond the noted Column of Victory.
Particular highlights from the collection include Lot 13, a Victorian sofa by Howard & Sons. This snug two seater example by the famous firm of Howard & Sons is fully stamped and serial numbered for the maker and also features and original paper label to the underside, it carries and estimate of £800-1,200 (+ fees). 'Howard' seat furniture is highly sought after, as the frames are of high quality and showcase true craftmanship. When looked after properly, these chairs should last generations.
The quintessential symbol of Britain - Lot 4 - is a charming model of a bull dog after Pierre-Jules Mêne, and is a nice example of animalier sculpture. Mêne is considered by some to be a pioneer of animal sculpture in the 19th century. His work was only ever on the smaller, domestic scale which has lead to a lack of large public statuary being attributed to him. His work has been much reproduced since his death, such as this example being offered here. Imbued with vitality, character and wonderful attention to movement and detail, animalier sculptures remain desirable and highly collectible at auction. The present lot is estimated at £200-400 (+ fees).
Lot 20 is a French painting of a tapestry design. At 65x62cm it is notably smaller than the likely finished tapestry would have been, which is ideal for a domestic setting for those without the wall space to hang a full tapestry. Dating from the late 18th or 19th centuries, it beautifully depicts a scene with a duck and a larger wading bird in a river landscape with picturesque ruins beyond. It is estimated at £200-300 (+ fees).
For those looking for traditional pieces, popular in country house interiors, we have Lot 29, a George IV mahogany drum table. Dating from circa 1825, it features a circular top above an arrangement of drawers and false drawers, the hipped outswept legs are stylishly fluted and moulded as they taper to the castor. Again it is of useful proportion and not oversized, standing at 75cm high and 105cm diameter overall. It is estimated at £800-1200 (+ fees).
Tuesday 18 April, 10.30am BST
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
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