Lyon & Turnbull are to sell the contents of Bantry House, County Cork, one of the best-known historic houses in the Republic of Ireland.
The sale will take place on the premises on October 21 in a
500-lot auction with an estimate of more than €1m.
Formerly the principal seat of the Earls of Bantry, the house
was owned and run by the late Egerton Shelswell-White and his wife,
latterly with the help of their eldest daughter Sophie
Shelswell-White, who has been general manager since 2010.
"It has been a very difficult decision, but also an exciting and
stimulating one," she said. "The funds from the sale will inject a
new energy into the house and also into us, as a family. Many of
the objects in the sale are of museum quality and need to be
expertly cared for, a luxury we could only afford with great
Above: the exterior of Bantry House.
Items in the sale include many collected by Richard White, the
second Earl of Bantry (1800-68), such as the French tapestries that
adorn the walls of several rooms. One of the two Gobelins panels is
said to have hung in the Palace of Versailles and there is a
particularly beautiful rose-coloured set of Aubusson tapestries,
which are said to have been made by order of Louis XV for Marie
Antoinette on her marriage to the Dauphin of France.
Among the furniture is a Russian household shrine which contains
15th and 16th century icons and an impressive pair of William
Kent-style console tables, while the paintings include a pair of
portraits from the studio of Allan Ramsay of George III and Queen
Charlotte, presented by the monarch to the First Earl of Bantry on
his elevation to the peerage.
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