Sworders have sold the contents of Debden Manor, Essex from their saleroom in Stansted Mountfitchet – a house sale titled ‘An Architect’s Eye, A Collector’s Passion’.
Debden Manor was the former home of Bobby
Chapman, founding partner of architecture firm Chapman Taylor,
whose commissions included New Scotland Yard, Lakeside Shopping
Centre, and the refurbishment of London's St Pancras Station.
He and his wife Virginia formed their
collection over the last 50 years, combining traditional English
country house furnishings with significant 20th century paintings
One of the highlights of the sale was this
muscular George II mahogany hall seat with a double-panelled back
was bought from London dealer Christopher Gibbs in the late 1970s.
Typical of the English Palladian revival of the late 1720s and
'30s, it has much in common with a set of six benches designed by
William Kent for Houghton Hall in Norfolk.
Furniture historian Dr Adam Bowett, who
catalogued the lot for Sworders, speculated that the similarities
are sufficiently compelling as to suggest a common source. No bills
survive to reveal the maker of the Houghton benches, but they might
have come from the workshop of James Richards, Master Sculptor and
Carver in Wood to George I.
Described as being in good condition for its
age and estimated at £15,000-25,000 for the sale on October 15-16,
it sold to a UK private buyer at £37,000.
The buyer's premium was 20%.