NEWBURY, UK — As one of the most prominent decorators of the modern era, Robert Kime (1946-2022) brought distinctive taste and style to every home he embraced, including six properties for King Charles III. Known as the decorator to English royalty, Kime and his unique esthetic sensibility led him to become one of the best-known decorators in the world.
Kime’s vast collection, assembled from his many travels, reflects his own personal taste in design and decor and encapsulate many contrasting cultural traditions and media.
Dreweatts Donnington Priory will bring Kime’s collection to market, resulting in a monumental three-day sale from Wednesday, October 4 through Friday, October 6, featuring more than 900 lots of fine art, furnishings and historic items. (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3)
One of the top lots in the sale is New Year Snow, a watercolor and pencil work from 1938 by Eric Ravilious (1903-1942). Kime purchased it at Christie’s in June 2003 at the sale of the late Sir Duncan Oppenheim’s collection. It is estimated at £100,000-£150,000 ($125,000-$187,500).
Kime’s collection includes a tremendous variety of books, both historic and contemporary. This Bible with an embroidered binding, containing both the New Testament and The Whole Booke of Davids Psalmes, dates to the 1620s-30s and carries an estimate of £1,000-£1,500 ($1,250-$1,875).
Irish artist William Crozier (1930-2011) was a friend of Kime’s, often visiting the decorator at Kime’s French retreat, which was known as La Gonette. The Garden at La Gonette; The Orchard at La Gonette, estimated at £6,000-£10,000, or $7,500-$12,500, has an interesting history.
On his first visit to La Gonette in 2001, Crozier was intrigued by the earthen pigments used in house painting in the area. He purchased powdered pigments from a local paint factory, and this work, along with others in the sale, were created using those same pigments.
The current rate of exchange is £1 = $1.25.