This sale is a unique one on several levels. It is not just the sale of one family – the Sitwells – but it reflects British collective history in many individual items, preserved by generations of female owners and passed down by circuitous inheritance. So in a sense, the collection works like a needle thread through the collective history of the United Kingdom. It affords a rare opportunity to capture a piece of history relating to an iconic family within the narrative of the 20th century. It represents the next in the line of important sales relating to the world of the Bright Young Things, engendering the same fascination as the sale of the contents of Reddish House (Cecil Beaton) in 1980, West Dean (Edward James) in 1986, and Wilsford Manor (Stephen Tennant) in 1987.
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