Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The principal contents of Holland House, a Suffolk home with its origins in the late 15th century, will be offered at Sworders’ sale in Stansted Mountfitchet on March 12-13.

Consigned by the owners, John Murphy and Janet Fogg, the collection contains traditional English country house furnishings such as a three-piece burr yew bureau cabinet c.1730 (estimate £7000-10,000) and a Queen Anne walnut inlaid oak bureau on stand (estimate £2000-4000).

A 17th century carved alabaster figure of autumn, 16½in (42cm) high, holding a sickle in one hand and a sheaf of wheat at her feet, probably Flemish, is estimated at £1000-2000.

sworder.co.uk or see this item on thesaleroom.com

An authorial gift copy of an essay containing the first description of photosynthesis will be offered in a book sale at Leyburn saleroom Tennants on March 15 in North Yorkshire.

Written by John Ingen-Housz (1730-99) and printed in 1796 in the Appendix to Outlines of the Fifteenth Chapter of the Proposed General Report From the Board of Agriculture on the Subject of Manures, the essay has been described as one of the great ‘misplaced chapters’ in the history of science.

The origin of carbon in plants was not yet fully understood and the then current theory was that it was taken from the soil by the roots. Ingen-Housz showed carbon dioxide in the air was responsible.

Estimate £800-1000.


This carved solid oak bench pew end above was made at the end of the reign of Henry VII (1485-1509) or during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47) for St Mary’s Church in Croscombe, Somerset.

Measuring 15in (38cm) wide, the bench end is believed to have been removed and replaced in the 17th century when the pews were refitted with Jacobean woodwork – the church is known today as containing some of the richest Jacobean furnishings in England.

The piece is priced at £1850 from Collins Antiques in Bideford, north Devon.


An Arts & Crafts copper jardinière by Newlyn School master craftsman John Pearson (fl.1885-1910) features in Mallams’ Modern Living sale in Cheltenham on March 7.

The piece, 10in (21cm) wide, shows the strong influence of William De Morgan in its embossed repeating design of sailing ships and fish. It is inscribed JP 1903, 3008.

Estimate £500-1000.

mallams.co.uk or see this item on thesaleroom.com