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Curios from stately Chillington Hall among star lots at Cuttlestones’ Winter Antiques Sale…

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Taxidermy, tribal art, musical instruments and antique weaponry were among the treasures consigned into Staffordshire auction house Cuttlestones’ December fine art sale from the attics of local historic house Chillington Hall…

Home to the Giffard family for over 800 years, the clear-out of antiques and curios comes as current owners John and Crescent Giffard prepare to hand over the keys to the stately pile to the next generation. Some 194 lots from the estate were consigned to the diverse catalogue, which unsurprisingly attracted a significant amount of interest locally as well as the usual international bidding contingent via the web. 

The Chillington collection included 15 items of taxidermy, where the star of the show was Lot 11 – a taxidermy cased eagle, circa late 19thC, which sold for £400. Also on an avian theme, Lot 107 – a weighty tome entitled ‘The Birds of Tierra Del Fuego’ by Captain Richard Shaw Cray (1907) saw the hammer fall at £300. Rather domestic in nature, Lot 45 – an attractive 19thC painted linen press sold for £1,900; shattering its estimate of £300-500. 

The hall’s attics also yielded an impressive collection of tribal and oceanic art, with the highlights being Lot 120 – and Australian Aboriginal Parrying Shield, which fetched £3,200 and Lot 118 – a vintage Australian Aboriginal throwing club, which went for £800.

Causing rather a stir among the online bidders was Lot 125 – an antique Victorian acoustic guitar in fitted wooden carry case, which fetched an impressive £2,700 after an intensive bidding battle. Items of antique weaponry from the estate also proved a hit with the bidders – lot 175, an antique flintlock blunderbuss saw the hammer fall at £950; Lot 176 – an early 19thC English flintlock blunderbuss sold for £3,200 and Lot 177 – a late 18th / early 19th C English flintlock blunderbuss which fetched £1,400.


A diverse catalogue…

The lots hailing from Chillington Hall made up just one section of a 1,555 lot-strong catalogue that sold over two days in an online-only auction format. Other highlights from the sale were scattered across sections as diverse as paintings, vehicles, advertising memorabilia, jewellery and furniture to name just a few. 

Among the star lots was Lot 368 – a selection of vintage Bentley Archives Technical Drawings from the estate of late local antiquarian book and antiques dealer – and Bentley enthusiast – Mr Ray Roberts. The drawings, together with various paperwork, trademark signs, specification sheets and old vehicle chassis registration files caught the eye of vintage motor enthusiasts with the hammer finally falling at £420.

Continuing the automotive theme was Lot 401 – a vintage enamelled sign for ‘Hassler Shock Absorbers’, which sold for £1,100 and Lot 407 – a rare vintage enamelled double-sided pointer sign for Shell Garage, which fetched £750.

Sticking with the vehicular theme, two vintage motorcycles also bought in the bids – Lot 466, a BSA Model ‘K’ motorcycle dating from 1914 and together with wicker sidecar sold for £8,500; whilst Lot 467 – a New Imperial Light Tourist 350cc motorcycle sold for £6000. Lot 468, meanwhile – a 1920 Harper 250cc three-wheel runabout car, in need of restoration, evidently caught the imagination of vintage car fans, selling for £2,100.

Two ‘sleepers’ in the Vintage Clothing & Accessories section came in the form of a collection of perfumes consigned from a deceased estate which were split into two lots. Lot 844 – a collection of approx. 46 ladies’ perfumes – including Clarins, Estee Lauder, Hermes, Chanel, Guerlain, Coty, Christian Dior etc., together with a boxed Nina Ricci perfume atomiser sold for £500, while Lot 855 – a collection of 30 Chanel & Chanel No.5 perfumes and make-up items – including eau de parfum, hair mist, pressed powder, soap, lip colour and blush powder – sold for £600.

Also in this section, a collection of approx 20 items of rather unassuming costume jewellery, together with a hallmarked silver Suffolk regiment badge and a reverse carved intaglio brooch in oval yellow metal – Lot 946 – shattered its £40-60 estimate as an online bidding war saw the hammer fall at £3,000 despite significant damage to several items.

Fine jewellery also performed well – with Lot 1011, a diamond solitaire ring of approx. 1.25ct selling for £1,600 and Lot 1034 – an emerald and diamond art deco pendant selling for £2,000.

Of local and ecclesiastic interest was Lot 1377 – a carved wooden figure of St. Anthony with child, from the clearance of St Mary’s Abbey in Colwich, which sold for £300. Also of carved wood was Lot 1555 – a 20th Century carved pine/Lindenwood hall stand featuring a bear and cub at the base looking up at a cub at the top of the carved tree, which went for £1,200. 

Cuttlestones is now taking consignments for its Spring Antiques Sale – for a free, no obligation valuation email pictures to [email protected] or WhatsApp 07949 603872


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