marble chimneypiece auction
A George III neoclassical marble chimneypiece, part of the residual collection of Fulham firm T Crowther & Sons that sold for £16,000 at Cheffins.

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The 80 lots previously owned by T Crowther & Sons had a combined estimate of £70,000-100,000. They were consigned by Richard Crowther, great-grandson of the founder of the company.

The group of sculptures, furniture, garden urns and salvage items was described by director at Cheffins Luke Macdonald as “the remaining stock from the T Crowther & Sons business as well as Mr Crowther’s personal collection of antiques, chimney pieces, sculpture and works of art”.

The top lot of the collection that appeared as part of the fine art sale on June 13-14 was one of four chimneypieces on offer. The late 18th-century marble example carved with panels of the Vestal Virgins was estimated at £7000-10,000 but was taken to £16,000 after competition came from a number of interested parties.

Macdonald said: “The Crowther Collection is easily one of the finest consignments of its type to have hit the auction block for some years and we were delighted to be able to handle the sale of these important items.”

Crowther and Sons was founded in 1880 in Fulham and was well established before the First World War. The company was split into two sections in the 1940s: Albert Crowther trading from Syon Lodge and T Crowther & Sons in Fulham.

The post-war years were a boom period as bomb-damaged buildings were repaired or demolished, allowing the firm to buy large quantities of chimneypieces, panelling and garden ornaments from some of London’s finest homes.

Richard Crowther joined the firm in 1969 and continued the family business until its closure in 1992. A number of sales have since been held to disperse the stock and collection.