Grand English estate’s collection offered at Dreweatts, May 10

 

Portrait of the future Lady Flora Mule-Campbell at the age of five, est. £2,500-£3,500

Portrait of the future Lady Flora Mule-Campbell at the age of five, est. £2,500-£3,500

LONDON – Dreweatts will sell the contents of Rawdon Hall, home of the same family for more than 425 years, in Town & Country: The Collections of Charles Plante and Rawdon Hall, scheduled for Tuesday, May 10. The historic house in Yorkshire contains an extensive collection of fine art, including family portraits, furniture and works of art, many of which have never been on the market before. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

The collection showcases the history of the Rawdon family from the early Baronets to the Earls of Moira and the Marquesses of Hastings. Their actions led them to become one of the most influential families in Ireland.

Archival photograph of Rawdon Hall, courtesy of Aireborough Historical Society

Archival photograph of Rawdon Hall, courtesy of Aireborough Historical Society

Nick Snowden, a current family member and owner of Rawdon Hall, said the land that the house sits on may have been in the family far longer than the house (more than 950 years), with it being granted to Paulyn de Rawdon by William the Conqueror in 1069 as a reward for his body of archers’ service in the Battle of Hastings. The Grade II Listed stone-built Rawdon Hall may have replaced an earlier timber-framed house that stood in the 1500s. He said: “My distant ancestor George Rawdon built the house as a center of dissenting worship, incorporating priest holes to protect non-conformists and a look-out window. Religious services were held under Buckstone Rock on the adjoining golf course to Rawdon Hall by the leading dissenting minister of the time, Reverend Heywood. It was said that white sheets were hung out as though to dry as a sign for a local meeting.”

George’s grandson, Sir George Rawdon, 1st Baronet of Moira, County Down (1604–1684), became a successful military commander, acting as secretary and agent for Edward, 1st Viscount Conway. Through his marriage to the sister and only surviving sibling of the third Viscount, his influence grew further. His status was underpinned by serving in Ireland following the Catholic rebellion in Ulster in 1641, and for this, he was granted lands in Moira. His grandson would become the 1st Earl of Moira, who in turn married the 6th Countess of Loudon, uniting the Hastings and Rawdon family names. The sale features an oil portrait of the 1st Baronet of Moria by a follower of Robert Walker, which carries an estimate of £2,000-£3,000.

Portrait of George Rawdon, first baronet of Moira, est. £2,000-£3,000

Portrait of George Rawdon, first baronet of Moira, est. £2,000-£3,000

During the Second World War the house was requisitioned by The Queen’s Westminsters, an infantry regiment of the Territorial Army. During the army’s occupancy of the house it was visited by Field Marshal Montgomery. According to Nick Snowden, in the late 1940s, “Friends of my grandmother, Judge Nevin and his family, moved to the hall and undertook much restoration work, including the stain[ed] glass window in the Galleried Hall,” and then, after an absence of 350 years, his family finally returned to occupy it.

Charles Towne, ‘A Huntsman with Two Spaniels,’ est. £2,000-£3,000

Charles Towne, ‘A Huntsman with Two Spaniels,’ est. £2,000-£3,000

This sale marks the first time that the family’s extensive collection will be offered on the open market. Nick Snowden’s hope for Rawdon Hall is that it passes to another family to be cherished and maintained. Equally, the hope for each piece of the family’s collection is that it continues its journey and history, wherever that may be.

Among several family portraits in the sale is a charming depiction of five-year-old Lady Flora Mure-Campbell (1780-1840), the second daughter of James Mure-Campbell, 5th Earl of Loudon and Lady Flora Macleod. She married Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd Earl of Moir, and later become the Marchioness of Hastings. In 1805 she commissioned the building of Loudon Castle, the so-called Scottish Windsor Castle, to designs by Archibald Elliot. The oil on canvas, produced by a follower of Charles d’Agar, is estimated at £2,500-£3,500.

One of a set of 12 studies of sibyls by Felice Santolini, possibly after Raphael, est. £2,000-£3,000

One of a set of 12 studies of sibyls by Felice Santolini, possibly after Raphael, est. £2,000-£3,000

Other artworks in the sale include a set of 12 studies of sibyls by the Italian artist Felice Santoloni (b. circa 1800). The images are believed to be based on fresco paintings by Raphael. The fresco paintings were in the Sala Borgia at the Vatican until the 19th century, but no longer exist, though they were consistently attributed to the Renaissance artist. The set is estimated at £2,000-£3,000.

Also of note is A Huntsman with Two Spaniels by the English painter Charles Towne (1763–1840). This painting carries an estimate of £2,000-£3,000.

Victorian or Edwardian children’s horse and carriage that the future Queen Victoria might have sat in as a child, est. £300-£600

Children’s horse and carriage that the future Queen Victoria might have sat in, est. £300-£600

An unusual addition to the sale is a Victorian or Edwardian children’s horse and carriage. It is believed that the future Queen Victoria sat in it as a child, via the connection of Lady Flora Hastings, who was lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent. The carriage comprises a raised leather-clad bamboo seat behind a pair of model horses, set on wheels in a penny-farthing arrangement. It is estimated at £300-£600.

 

The current rate of exchange is £1 = $1.24.

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