A collection of decorative objects designed and owned by Victorian architect Augustus Pugin were among the highlights of the Sworders spring country house sale.
Sworders of Essex has become one of the leading names in provincial antiques. Recent successes include a Regency brass inlaid antique cabinet by the Lancashire firm of Gillow’s, which realised £84,000 against an estimate of £15,000-£25,000.
On 24th April, the highlight of Sworders Country House Sale was a collection of items designed and owned by Augustus Pugin. A.W.N. Pugin is best known for his Gothic Revival architecture, famously the Palace of Westminster. He also designed his family home, The Grange in Kent. Originally furnished with Pugin’s own designs, the Grange was vacated by the family in 1925 and is now owned and managed by the Landmark Trust. While many of Pugin’s Gothic Revival open bookcases and Victorian dining chairs have been lost to time, several smaller items – including a pair of gilt candlesticks valued at £10,000 – were passed on through the family, until three of the architect’s great-great-grandsons decided to put them up for auction.
The Sworders sale was especially significant as 2012 marks the bicentenary of Pugin’s birth. Collectors hoping to buy Pugin Arts & Crafts furniture pieces were left disappointed, but there was plenty of furniture from other collections, such as an open bookcase in the style of Thomas hope, with an estimate of £10,000- £15,000. However, if you’re thinking of buying an antique bookcase at a Lancashire auction, remember there will be commission to pay on top of the hammer price. It’s often cheaper to buy from a good antique dealer.
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