News & Insights

The May Country House Sale: Preview

6th May 2021.

The Country House Sale on 22nd May will see nearly 700 lots of fine art, ceramics, furniture, work of art, carpets and clocks come under the hammer. The sale will be open for viewing from Monday 17th to Friday 21st May, and subject to the announcement of the next stage of the easing of lockdown, the sale will be open for bidders to attend in person.

Included in the eclectic sale are such highlights as a Pair of Minton Majolica Garden Seats, made in 1863 and decorated with faux rattan seats and panels of mythical beasts and geometric motifs (estimate: £4,000-6,000 plus buyer’s premium). Suitable for a grand Country House is an impressively sized Ushak Carpet, made in Central West Antatolia circa 1890. Measuring nearly 8 metres by 6 meters, the carpet is offered with an estimate of £3,000-5,000. A Chinese Porcelain European Hunting Scene Punch Bowl, of the Qianlong period is offered with an of £1,000-1,500. The bowl is painted in famille rose enamels with panels depicting European fox hunting scenes along with Chinese landscapes in panels around the border.  

A tranche of lots in the sale come from the John Heaton Cope Collection of Period Oak Furniture, Pewter, Copper and Brass. Originally from Worcestershire, John Heaton Cope ARPS (1926-2020) was a professional photographer with Birmingham City Council for 44 years, latterly working as the chief photographer at Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery. He lectured on the Midlands circuit of photographic societies for over 30 years and was an active member of the Leica Portfolio Club. He specialised in landscape, architectural and portrait photography. John was a keen collector of antique oak furniture, pewter, copper and brass, rustic lighting, horse brasses, treen, engravings, commemorative china and books, with a particular focus on local history. On retiring to Ravenstonedale near Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria in 1993, John continued to add to his collections and published a short history of the shops in the village.

Highlights from the collection include a good 17th Century Joined Oak Wainscot Armchair (estimate: £600-800). The back of the chair incorporates a panel carved in relief with flowers, serpents, and a moulded arch with pilasters. An 18th Century Joined Oak Wall-Mounted Mural Cupboard, initialled and dated WMT 1733, it is estimated at £400-600, and a 17th Century Oak Spice Cabinet is estimated at £300-500.

Elsewhere in the sale interesting items such as a Late 19th Century Copper Bateau Bath, likely French (estimate: £700-1,000) and a French Brass and Mother-of-Pearl Burr Walnut and Ebonised Travelling Decanter Box (£800-1,200) are joined by a good selection of furniture. Of note are a Rare George III Mahogany Drum Table, circa 1800 (estimate: £1,500-2,000) and an Early 19th Century English Joined Oak Dining Table (estimate: £1,200-1,800).

The sale will also include over 120 lots of pictures. Alongside a good offering of traditional ‘Country House’ works, such as prints by Snaffles, are a selection of delicate watercolours by Beatrice Emma Parsons (1870-1955) who is considered to be one the leading English painters of gardens. Highlights on offer include her depiction of the garden of Abbotswood in Buxted, Sussex (estimate: £250-400). Also of interest is a striking portrait by Joyce Butler of Miss Margaret Lane, a World War II transport pilot who ferried bombers from the USA to the UK (estimate: £250-400). The sitter is depicted holding flight paraphernalia.


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