Jane Austen fans and collectors of antique furniture will be interested in an auction taking place at Moore Allen & Innocent next week. Among the lots will be a sofa which may have been owned by the person who inspired Austen to create the character Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.
The George III sofa is mahogany framed and is thought to have belonged to Thomas Lefroy, who was a suitor and friend of the famous English author. At the time that the book Pride and Prejudice was written, in 1796, the couple were in the throes of a whirlwind romance.
Lefroy is thought to have directly inspired the character in the novel. At auction, the sofa is expected to be sold for up to £1,500. Lefroy, who lived at Carrigglas Manor in County Longford, was a law student and he ended the romance when, in Ireland, he was called up to the Bar.
Austen wrote to her one sister, Cassandra, about Lefroy, stating that he was attractive and a gentleman. Lefroy had a successful career in politics and law, becoming Ireland’s Lord Chief Justice in 1852. He died in 1869.
The auctioneer is expecting huge amounts of interest in the sofa, as the romance between Austen and Lefroy is well-documented.
Although it may not be possible to own the sofa of the man behind Mr Darcy, there are a number of antique dining chairs in Preston which will grace any home with style and charm.
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