Two major art sales at Sotheby's

On November 4, Sotheby's London offers English and continental furniture, objets d'art, silver, ceramics and Old Master paintings from Carlton Towers, Yorkshire, a major Grade I listed Victorian country house substantially remodelled first by EW Pugin and then by JF Bentley in the second half of the 19th century.

Comprising 120 lots, the sale is estimated to raise in excess of £1m. The Trustees of the Beaumont Trust have arranged this sale to fund a major restoration programme of the fabric and interiors of Carlton Towers.

Carlton Towers, Yorkshire, UK
Art items from Carlton Towers, Yorkshire

An identifiable focus of the furniture collection at Carlton Towers are those items collected by Charles Henry Tempest for Broughton Hall, and which arrived at Carlton through the marriage of his daughter Ethel to Miles Stapleton in 1893.

These include an impressive pair of candelabra in the manner of Pierre-Philippe Thomire (estimated at £40,000-60,000) and a pair of gilt-bronze mounted serpentine marble vases after the model in the Louvre (£25,000-35,000).

Included in the selection of Old Master Paintings is a pair of circular oils on canvas, Satyrs and Fauns Dancing Before a Shrine and Diana in a Landscape with the Attributes of Hunting and Dancing Figures, which are attributed to Dirk van der Aa (The Hague 1731-1809) and estimated at £50,000-70,000.

Van der Aa was active predominantly in The Hague and patronised by the Stadholder, William V, Prince of Orange and Nassau-Dietz.

For some collectors the highlight of the sale will be the marvellous group of silver which includes makers such as Paul Storr, represented with two magnificent pairs of almost matching George III silver wine coolers, (£60,000-80,000), as well as spectacular examples of 19th century exhibition and trophy silver.

Massive Imperial Khotan-Green Jade Seal
A Massive Imperial Khotan-Green Jade Seal (£400k-600k)

Meanwhile, Sotheby's London biannual sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art will present over 250 lots, comprising an important range of sculpture, ceramics and works of art in the wide variety of styles and media for which Chinese works of art are renowned.

One of the most important objects in the forthcoming sale is A Massive Imperial Khotan-Green Jade Seal, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period.

Estimated at £400,000-600,000, this superbly carved square seal surmounted by a pair of dragons bears the inscription Ba zheng mao nian zhi bao, or 'Treasure of concern over phenomena at Eighty'.

It was made for the 55th year of the Emperor Qianlong's reign, his 80th birthday year. The seal would have been one of several produced to commemorate the birthday, but is the largest recorded of its type.

One similar work was offered by Sotheby's Hong Kong on October 8, 2008, from the Estate of Emile Guimet. A further highlight is A Finely Carved Large Grey Jade Buffalo, 17th Century which is estimated at £300,000-500,000.

All estimates are without buyer's premium.


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