The Duchess – Property & Precious Objects from the Estate of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe, Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1, 27th – 28th May 2015
Mary Crewe-Milnes before her marriage to the Duke of Roxburghe, age 19, wearing the Cartier diamond ring (Lot 662)
In my previous blog I gave some of the story of Mary Roxburghe’s life and showed views of West Horsley Place. This wonderful, historic house has not been fully used for many decades and so now restoration is an urgent issue as Bamber Gascoigne explains: “West Horsley Place played an integral part in my aunt Mary Roxburghe’s fascinating life. It was completely unexpected by me that I would be heir to her estate. She had expressed that, given the work required to restore the house, she expected I would sell it. But having spent many memorable times with my aunt here, and knowing how special the house was to her and her family, together with my wife I decided to take up the challenge of carrying out the essential work to the house to ensure that it can withstand what may lie ahead over the course of its future, and continue to stand as a monument of its remarkable past.
GLYN PHILPOT, R.A.
PORTRAIT OF MARGARET (PEGGY) CREWE-MILNES, MARCHIONESS OF CREWE
Signed and dated 1917
oil on canvas
120 by 79cm. 47 by 31in.
Estimate : £10,000-15,000
“The history of West Horsley Place dates back as far as the 11th century, and the 16th century reconstruction of the house hosted notable guests including Henry the XVII. It also carries the legend of Sir Walter Raleigh’s embalmed head being buried in the garden from the time his wife and son lived there, and the house was also the depository for the famed papers of Sir Edward Nicholas, Secretary of State to Charles I, which are now largely among the Egerton manuscripts in the British Museum. With this and the other literary associations of the house in mind, my aunt left Trinity College Cambridge their choice of books from the three miles of book shelves to their library.”
Below is a small selection of some of the lots being auctioned. Sadly while none of them will be a “starter for ten” there will be many lots of an affordable nature.
A GEORGE V SILVER BISCUIT SERVER, H.H. PLANTE, LONDON, 1935
31cm., 12 1/8 in. wide
1648gr., 52oz. 19dwt.
This was a Wedding Present (24th October 1935), described as ‘Biscuit Toaster’, given by the Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, and the Earl of Harewood
AN AXMINSTER CARPET, ENGLAND
Approximately 800 by 432cm; 26ft 3in., 14ft 1in.
Formerly in the Red Drawing Room and then later the North Drawing Room at Crewe House, London
A SET OF NINE GEORGE III BLUE AND WHITE PAINTED ARMCHAIRS, AND
ONE SIDE CHAIRCIRCA 1775, IN THE MANNER OF MAYHEW & INCE
Although thought to have been commissioned or purchased for Crewe Hall in the 18th century several of them appear in a 1934 drawing of the State Drawing Room at Crewe House, London.
DIAMOND RING, CARTIER, 1930S
set with two pear-shaped diamonds weighing 2.31 and 2.34 carats respectively, further
accented with two marquise-shaped diamonds, size L, signed Cartier London, case
stamped Cartier Paris.
ESTIMATE 8,000-12,000 GBP
A CHRISTMAS PRESENT FROM JAMES DE ROTHSCHILD
A GOLD-MOUNTED LACQUE BURGAUTÉ VASE, MADE BY LAVABRE FOR
CARTIER PARIS, 1926
12.8 cm., 5 in., high
This was a Christmas present in 1926 from Baron James de Rothschild (1878-1957) of Waddesdon Manor.
Frederic, Lord Leighton
Study for Flaming June
ESTIMATE 40,000 – 60,000
This the only known head study for one of the most famous 19th century pictures. It used to hang in an ante-room to the Duchess’s bedroom and was last publicly seen in an art magazine in 1895. It will be auctioned in London on 15th July, 2015