Recently rescued from Kent & Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells, a selection of 13 Carter tiles attributed to Phyllis Butler are to be offered at Bonhams Knightsbridge on October 16.
The animal-themed panels, donated to the hospital in 1935 by the
Tunbridge Wells Courier for the children's ward, have been
consigned to auction following the closure of the hospital and the
sale of the site to housing developers in 2011.
They were in fact saved after the scheduled demolition prompted
local dealer Michael MacDonald of Antique Vault to raise money to
save the panels.
Mr MacDonald read about the plight of the Carter tiles in the
Tunbridge Wells Courier, the local newspaper which remains
in print. "I was naturally alarmed at the prospect of this uniquely
complete and important collection of English tiles being
destroyed," he said.
The hospital's trust had looked into their possible salvation
but had been quoted a large five-figure sum for the job, money
which the trust could not justify to spend on such a project.
Nevertheless, with their co-operation and funds raised, the
tiles were safely removed and remounted by a team of professional
conservators over a three-month period.
At Bonhams, the group of 13 panels depicting various animal
characters are each estimated at £1000-1500.
Contact: 0207 393 3900.