Collection of Albert Richardson to make $6m at Christie's?

Christie's has announced that it will sell the outstanding Collection of Professor Sir Albert Richardson (1880-1964) on September 18-19 in London.

Albert Richardson Collection Christie's
The interior of Richardson's Avenue House in Finchley, London

The collection of the celebrated collector, architect and president of the Royal Academy has remained untouched for almost half a century, but will now be sold with an estimated value of £4m ($6.1m).

The collection comprises 650 lots, with old master and British paintings, watercolours, architectural drawings, fine furniture, and sculpture well represented, in addition to books, clocks, musical instruments and Georgian costumes.

Sir Albert was hailed as one of Britain's finest architects during the early 20th century, and this aspect of his life is reflected in the collection, which houses a number of architectural pieces.

Starring among these works is a pair of lifesize lead busts of Andrea Palladio, who Christie's describes as "the most recognised of all classical architects" and Inigo Jones, the first classical architect in Britain. Created circa 1740, they are expected to sell for £400,000-600,000 ($612,616-918,924).

Sir Albert also created capriccios, or fantasies, based around lost great buildings. His A Fantasy of Kubla Kahn's Palace painting, which he produced during one intense sitting in 1915, is valued at £1,500-2,000 ($2,297-3,063).

As a collector, Sir Albert focused on fine furniture and decorative arts, with many of his acquisitions originating from the great country house sales of the time.

One such lot is a set of four George III torchers, created circa 1775, which come from the collection of Viscount Ullswater at The High House, Suffolk. Thought to have been originally commissioned by the 1st Earl of Lonsdale, they are expected to make £120,000-180,000 ($183,785-229,731).

"I have lived in my grandfather's house for most of my life and for the last forty years have been the guardian of its history, traditions and collections, built up over a period of ninety-five years and more," commented Simon Houfe, who has consigned the collection.

"I had intended that the house, grounds and art treasures should go to the nation, but seven long years of negotiations proved fruitless. So it was only with considerable reluctance and sadness that I decided to put the remarkable collection on the market in 2013, almost fifty years since Sir Albert Richardson's death."

Paul Fraser Collectibles has some beautiful English furniture for sale, including pieces from Gillows of Lancaster, Holland & Sons and John Linnell.

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