On March 10 Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood in Exeter will sell the personal collection of furniture and works of art formed by Roderick and Valentine Butler at their home, Marwood House in Honiton. Roderick joined his father Noel in the family antiques business in 1957 and met Valentine, when she came to work for the Butlers as a restorer in 1969.
The bulk of items bought and sold by the firm – and those the Butlers chose to keep – were acquired in the West Country, testimony to the huge range of goods that was readily available in the pre-internet days.
Shown here is one of a pair of crewelwork bed hangings, worked with a wonderful range of flora and fauna, that were originally part of the furnishings of Great Fulford House, Devon. One panel is inscribed Elizabeth Fulford No.29 and dated 1721.
The panels became separated but reunited by the Bulters who bought one at BHL and other at Lawrences of Crewkerne. Estimate £8000-10,000. The Butlers are not moving home and the business will continue from the showrooms next to the house.
This silver penny carries the bust of Ludica, a virtually unknown Saxon king of Mercia who reigned for just over a year in 826-27AD. He took control of the region following the defeat of Beornwulf at the battle of Ellandun in 825 but was himself killed when fighting the East Angles in 827.
The coin is a unique style compared to the other existing nine specimens of Ludica. To one side is a right-facing bust. To the other is the inscription of Lundonia Civit (City of London). It was found by a metal detector on farmland at Coombe Bissett in Wiltshire in January 2016 and was published in the British Numismatic Journal in 2019.
It now comes for sale at Dix Noonan Webb on March 10 and is estimated to fetch £10,000-15,000.