Dates announced for Chorley’s Auctioneers’ Country House sale

Lot 710 Arthur Wellington Fowles (c.1815 - 1883), Racing Schooner off Ryde signed and inscribed Ryde

Lot 710 Arthur Wellington Fowles (c.1815 - 1883), Racing Schooner off Ryde signed and inscribed Ryde (c) Chorley's - Credit: Archant

The first sale of the year at Chorley’s on Tuesday 30 and Wednesday January 31 2018 promises a wealth of fascinating items, mainly sourced from various country houses in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire

During Chorley’s Country House Sale you can expect:

The furniture section includes a fine late 18th century mahogany serpentine front sideboard which has an interesting provenance having been the property of Ethel Gordon Fenwick (nee Manson) 1857-1947.

Fenwick was a British nurse who played a major role in the history of nursing. She founded the Royal British Nurses’ Association in 1887 and was instrumental in setting up the Florence Nightingale International Foundation. She campaigned for the state registration of nurses which was achieved through the Nurses Registration Act of 1919, and became ‘Nurse No. 1’. In 1927, she opened the British College of Nurses of which she was President for life. In 1999 an English Heritage blue plaque was applied to her former home at 20 Upper Wimpole Street, London.

The sideboard itself was on loan for some time to Wallington Hall, a National Trust house in Northumberland. There was a time when a piece of furniture of this quality would have achieved a huge sum of money at auction, perhaps now is the time to be buying pieces of this type with the estimate of £5,000-7,000.

The sought-after country house look can be achieved with a pair of early Victorian terrestrial and celestial twelve-inch globes by Newton & Son for the library. Sitting on mahogany stands with an engraved calendrical ring, published January 1 1844, the globes have an asking price of £10,000-15,000.

A highlight from the silver section is a tea caddy by Thomas Heming, London 1753, which typifies the exuberant Rococo style, which flourished in the mid-18th century.

The exotic Chinoiserie decoration reflects the growing interest in the Far East, which was used as inspiration by silversmiths. Tea was introduced to England from China in the mid-16th century but its pivotal importance to British society did not become apparent until the mid-18th century.

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Tea was expensive and at the time this caddy was made it was taxed at a whopping 119%! Thomas Heming was appointed principal goldsmith to King George III in 1760 and supplied the coronation regalia and plate. He was removed from this post in 1782 for excessive charges. By contrast, the estimate on this caddy at £2,000-3,000 seems reasonable for a piece of British craftsmanship, which is over 250 years old.

Country house sales are an excellent place to look for paintings and the interesting pictures in this sale include a maritime oil by Arthur Wellington Fowles depicting racing vessels in the waters around Ryde off the Isle of Wight.

Arthur Wellington Fowles was born in Ryde and trained as a plumber but in 1850 he gave up his business and became a self-taught marine artist. This work, dated 1858, has been in a private Gloucestershire collection for many years and carries an estimate of £1,500-2,000.

Another striking oil painting is an oval panoramic view of the city of Bath attributed to Irish artist Edmund Garvey (c1740-1813) which carries an estimate of £800-1,200. This scene depicts Bath circa 1800 and would be recognisable to one of its most famous residents of the period, Jane Austen.

The market for tribal and aboriginal items has gone from strength to strength and the sale includes an aboriginal nail club, most likely coming from Queensland, Australia.

Older clubs were carved to look like pandanus fruit but once horseshoe nails became available the same visual effect could be achieved more easily. These clubs could be thrown or used in hand-to-hand combat. This quirky piece, with an estimate of £400-600, is likely to attract bids from UK collectors as well as those down under.

The book section includes a unique hand-written book by Oscar G Farmer describing the misericords in Fairford Church along with pasted-in photographs. A Fairford man through and through, Farmer’s volume is a labour of love and covers a notable topic. The misericords are believed to have been made in the time of Edward I (1272- 1307) for Cirencester Abbey. After the dissolution of the monastery in 1539 they were taken to Fairford where they remain to this day.

With carvings depicting often humorous domestic scenes such as quarrels they are an interesting glimpse into the medieval world. Farmer was also responsible for the removal of the Fairford church windows for safekeeping in July 1940. They were stored in the cellars of Fairford Park and reinstated in 1945-47. For a fascinating piece of local history this carries an estimate of £250-350.

The book section has several ideal gifts for the sporting enthusiast including a small collection of volumes relating to hunting and racing. The come from the library of Lionel Salter, who was huntsman to the Buccleuch from 1980-1987 before working in racing for Barry Hills and later running the Duke of Sutherland’s stud.

A small volume entitled ‘The late Lord Henry Bentinck on Foxhounds, Goodalls Practice’ published London, c 1900 contains the preface ‘These Notes, Probably the Most Valuable Ever Penned On Their Subject, Still Outline The Best Practice in Training, Handling And Hunting Hounds’. It is offered with two well-thumbed copies of ‘Names for Hounds’ and a few other volumes relating to fox hunting and carries a pre-sale estimate of £80-120.

All figures provided above are the auctioneers’ estimates and the final sale price will attract buyer’s premium (24% incl VAT) on top of the hammer price. Other charges may also apply.

Visit the Chorley’s website for more details.


Sunday January 28 2018, 10am-4pm

Monday January 29 2018, 9am – 5pm