On March 6 Dreweatts will offer The Collection from Plaish Hall, Church Stretton, Shropshire – The Property of Mrs Roy Merley and Family.
Plaish Hall is a stunning Grade I listed Tudor house, standing in beautiful gardens and grounds and surrounded by the unspoilt countryside of South Shropshire. It is believed to be the first brick built house in Shropshire in the 1580s, (although parts of an earlier stone house were incorporated), at a time when the great majority of buildings in the parish of Cardington were timber framed. Plaish Hall was re-built for Judge Sir William Leighton who on his death in 1607 left land to endow church repairs at St James’s, Cardington, as well as the sum of £50 for the making of his tomb in the chancel.
Of special note are the chimneys of Plaish Hall which are thought to have been based on those at Hampton Court, they are considered to be the finest in the West Midlands. From the early 1980s and over a period of 35 years Plaish Hall was initially meticulously restored and then maintained, its glorious Tudor style gardens were also reinstated.
In his notes on the History of the Church and Parish of Cardington, G B H Bishop, appointed Vicar of Cardington in 1914, noted that ‘Cardington is surrounded by hills. The climate is bracing, and the temperature lower both in summer and winter than in less elevated districts’. Plaish Hall sits close to a number of other magnificent Grade I listed late Tudor and early Stuart houses, as well as Wenlock Edge, the location for A E Housman’s A Shropshire Lad / On Wenlock Edge, which he completed in 1896.
This Charles I oak serving or hall table dates from circa 1630 and is very much of the period being pure and simple in design. The triple plank top – nearly 2 ½ metres long – has cleated ends with a moulded frieze above turned and square section legs, joined by peripheral stretchers.
The landscape painter, Thomas Sidney Cooper (British 1803-1902), is particuarly noted for his depictions of cattle and farm animals. He displayed strong artistic inclinations from childhood and at the age of 20 he went to London where he drew in the British Museum and was admitted to the Royal Academy. On his return to Canterbury he was able to make a living as a drawing master and the sale of sketches and drawings. He settled in Brussels in 1827 but by 1833 he was back in London, due to the Belgian Revolution, and showed his first picture at the Royal Academy so beginning his long career as an exhibitor. Between 1847 and 1870 he collaborated with Frederick Richard Lee RA on several works, Lee undertook the landscapes and Cooper added animals to finish the scene.
Examples of Cooper’s work are held at Tate Britain, the V&A Museum and other public collections, mostly in England.
This highly attractive William and Mary kingwood oyster veneered coffre-fort or table top chest, circa 1690, features brass fleurs-de-lys shaped mounts throughout. Its hinged top and front open to reveal an interior of two drawers, a hidden slide and a hinged compartment to the underside of the top.