T own & Country showcases the private collection of a family with deep artistic, collecting and philanthropic roots. The artworks in this sale are from their homes in London and Oxfordshire.
The spaces they created in each Georgian home exhibit a contemporary interpretation of English ‘country house’ taste: fine English and continental furniture complimented by 18th century portraiture and Italian landscapes, within clean, modern interiors. Whilst both homes have a contemporary twist, they very much reflect the collecting traditions of the past with the influence of the far east. The result is two elegant family homes in the heart of the English countryside and at the centre of the capital full of treasures.
Highlights from the collection will be presented between the 11th and 14th December and will be on view in Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries. Please contact the department for guidance on which lots will be on view.
11 December 2021 - 12-5pm
12 December 2021 - 12-5pm
13 December 2021 – 9am-4.30pm
14 December 2021 – 9am-12pm
Please contact the department for further information
Luxury goods arriving at Europe’s great ports through Dutch and Portuguese trading had a profound influence on local craftsman and voracious collectors. The foundation of The East India company in 1600 sought this bounty for English shores. The porcelains, textiles, lacquer and exotic hardwoods brought back by these early traders were desirable and costly trophies for the wealthy and discerning. The publication in London in 1598 of a Dutch text is telling, as it describes foreign ‘Bedsteddes, chairs, stools…desks, Tables, Cubbordes, Boxes and a thousand such things… covered and wrought in Lac of all colours and fashions…[sic]’ (Jan Huyghen van, Linschoten, Navigatio ac Itinerarium, 1598, London). The publication, in 1688, by John Stalker and George Parker of designs for Japanning to emulate oriental lacquer (A Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing) illustrates just how far ‘Oriental’ design had permeated the psyche of British craftsman. The upper and middle class fervour for tea drinking in the 18th century illustrates this further. Special rooms in country and town houses during that century and the start of the next were adorned with Chinese silks and papers both imported and home grown. Possessing or commission objects for these fashionable rooms, or other spaces in the homes of the rich, in this chinoiserie style not only demonstrated worldliness but was an opportunity for craftsman, homegrown and further afield, their patrons and collectors to show the off the very best in decorative art.