Edwin Lutyens 'Cardinal's Hat’ light fitting – £5800 at Hansons in Banbury.

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It was given only a rudimentary catalogue entry and an estimate of just £30-50 but one emerged for sale at Hansons (25% buyer's premium) in Banbury on September 4. The hammer price was £5800.

This ceiling light made in vaseline and frosted glass with a red painted aluminium and steel cage and passementerie hanging is a variant of the 'Cardinal's Hat’, fittings originally designed for Campion Hall, the Jesuit college at Oxford built in 1935-42. The design was also privately used by Lutyens in the homes of his children and was reproduced recently as part of the restoration of the former headquarters of the Midland Bank in the City of London. Similar examples are pictured in Sir Edwin Lutyens, Designing in the English Tradition (Elizabeth Wilhide, 2000).

Hansons’ example (incorrectly assembled in the illustration) is unusual as it has a bell-shaped rather than a hemispherical cage. Another of this type, sold for £30,000 at Phillips in September 2017, was previously owned by one of Lutyens’s grandchildren. The Banbury example came for sale from a flat in London with no apparent link to the architect.

Another Lutyens light fitting emerged for sale at Hartleys in Ilkley in 2016. This ‘halo’ design pendant fitting from Gledstone Hall, Skipton took £5000.