Judith Miller, antiques aficionado, writing in the Daily Telegraph recently waxed lyrical about the collection sale. To her, a lifetime of collecting and collectibles of one individual, or generations of a particular family, make the perfect auction. Whatever the reason for the sale, whether death, taxes or just to raise some money, a collection sale held in the house where antique furniture, art and artefacts were once housed, known as ‘house sales’ in the trade, she recalls as being some of the most atmospheric.
Often, she says, it is the cult of celebrity that can draw people in, and quotes iconic examples such as Yves Saint Laurent and Rudolph Nureyev where both had high profile lives and were known for their exquisite taste. The Yves Saint Laurent collection sale fetched £330 million. However, for her the most famous collection sale was over 150 years ago at Stowe House in Buckinghamshire where the selling of family furnishings due to bankruptcy raised over £75,000 which would be over £5million today. Items included a portrait of Shakespeare and an excavated Roman statue of Venus. The sale produced an eclectic mix of the very best which Judith feels epitomises the best country house collection sales.
Later this month there is to be another collection sale at Hanham Court near Bath. This time the family furnishings are being sold to fund improvements to the garden. Again there will be an eclectic mix of architectural fittings, watercolours, Georgian and William and Mary armchairs, Jurassic fossils and a carved fossil side table.
When looking for fine examples of well provenanced antique chairs in Lancashire and Cumbria, reputable antiques dealers will always provide help and assistance.
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