Peta Smyth. Lord and Lady Flight. The Chequers Estate. The first London Collections sale of the year brings together, across 400 lots, three distinct collections with individual character and history.
After forty-five years of dealing from her Moreton Street shop, Peta Smyth's collection of antique textiles and tapestries will begin the sale. From 16th century tapestry fragments and 18th century Aubusson tapestries to panels of brocade and reams of colourful green and yellow damask silks, each lot had carefully been curated and collected by Peta for its quality and workmanship.
The important historical portraits, decorative arts, and porcelain from the collection of Lord and Lady Flight takes up the mantel for the second part of the sale. Lord Flight is a direct descendant of Thomas Flight (1726-1800) who purchased the Worcester Porcelain Company in 1783 for his sons. Proud of this connection, he has been collecting Worcester porcelain ever since; a selection of which is included in the sale. In addition to the porcelain, Lord Flight's political interests and career as an MP are reflected in the Old Master portraits that serve as a timeline of British prime ministers of the 17th and 18th centuries: the Gainsborough portrait of William Petty hung in the Houses of Parliament prior to auction.
Continuing the political theme, Bonhams is delighted to close the sale with the selected contents of the attics at Chequers, the official country residence of the prime ministers of Great Britain. Gifted by the Viscount Lee of Fareham to British prime ministers in perpetuity, the attics, as with many other country houses, have become filled with dinner services and pieces of silver which are no longer of use. The funds raised from the sale will be ploughed back into the repair and maintenance of the house and its collections.
Thomas Gainsborough, R.A. (Sudbury 1727-1788 London) Portrait of William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne and 1st Marquess of Lansdowne. Estimate: £15,000 - £20,000
A mythological Soho tapestry Last quarter 17th century, England, after designs by Francis Cleyn (1582-1658). Estimate: £12,000 - £18,000
Charles d'Agar (Paris 1669-1723 London) Portrait of Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke, three-quarter-length, in Parliamentary robes. Estimate: £7,000 - £10,000
A set of seven Italian silver altar candlesticks Only four of the removable drip pans are marked, Eagle mark, probably for Palermo, 18th century, with maker's mark GS and a star and assay master mark SP.37, some of the columns and bases with only traces of marks (7). Estimate: £5,000 - £7,000
A collection of Chinese blue and white plates and dishes 18th - 19th century. Estimate: £1,500 - £2,000
400 lots available
Head of Sale
Group Head, Private Collections, Furniture & Works of Art, U.K