Wednesday - 22 October 2014

Warner collection excels at CSK

26 January 2009Written by ATG Reporter

Fittingly for a man whose career started in the 1930s, last week's sale of the Roger Warner collection at Christie's South Kensington was just like old times.

Buyers were responding to a real old-style auction from a well-regarded old-school Cotswolds dealer who had accumulated a vast array of different items during the course of his 50 years in business that was matched in size by his network of acquaintances amongst dealers, decorators and collectors.

The room was filled to capacity and the queue to register was so long that the start of the sale had to be delayed.

The result, predictably, was a near sellout. Just 21 of the 640 lots failed to find a buyer and there were sufficient multi-estimate prices to produce a hammer total that, at £1.62m, was getting on for twice Christie's pre-sale guide of £700,000-£1.1m.

The buyers were predominantly British based and, although the January 20-21 sale was held in a week of deep economic gloom, Christie's house sale specialist Andrew Waters told ATG: "If the sale had taken place six months ago we wouldn't have got another penny."

Typical of Roger Warner's wide-ranging tastes and his particular love of juvenilia was an early dolls' or 'baby' house c.1750. It became one of a raft of strong performers when it was bought by Jonathan Coulborn, of 18th century furniture dealers Thomas Coulborn and Son, for £11,500 (plus 25 per cent premium) on behalf of Temple Newsam House in Leeds.

Mr Coulborn told ATG that Temple Newsam were keen to secure the dolls' house as they have records of a similar example being owned by the Ingram family, who lived in the house for 300 years before it became a museum in 1922. Roger Warner already has a connection to this museum - before he died he made a substantial bequest consisting of rare wallpapers, fabrics, furniture and musical instruments through his friend, the late Christopher Gilbert.

Mr Coulborn also purchased a George II miniature walnut bureau for £600 for Temple Newsam, where it will go on public display inside the dolls' house. But spare a thought for those poor museum mice, as he also paid a hefty £1700 to secure a brutal George III ash and elm mousetrap.

Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.

Written by

ATG Reporter

Back to top