Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Chatsworth House, which you may recognize from Pride and Prejudice, it starred as Mr. Darcy's home in the 2005 adaptation

Photo by Harry Borden
The Dowager Duchess with her prized chickens

When Chatsworth holds a sale, the design world clamors. England's most fantastic stately home in Derbyshire held an "Attic Sale" this past October 5th through the 7th, selling off 20,000 items with Sotheby's. The house cleaning included decorative accessories and furnishings from a variety of nooks and crannies like the barns, servants quarters and closets. The major pieces remain in the house so visitors like you and me can step back in time. The fascinating Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, now 90 and the last surviving legendary Mitford sister, has spent the past two years planning the sale with the auction house. The funds raised will be used to maintain the estate (with over 126 rooms, nearly 100 of them are closed to visitors) and its grounds that cost $4 million a year in upkeep. The three day sale brought in $10.3 million, almost three times the estimate.

An Italian carved giltwood console table, Roman mid 18th century fetched $174,078.95. Hello gorgeous.

A George II carved white marble chimneypiece circa 1735, the design attributed to William Kent went for an astounding $728,582.15

A William and Mary inlaid walnut cabinet on chest circa 1695, attributed to Gerrit Jensen went for $74,650.79

A Japanese silvered-Metal Mounted Lacquer Cabinet from the late 17th century, on an early 18th Century Japanned stand hit $39,835.00

A Chinese coromandel lacquer six panel screen from the Kangxi (1662-1721) was fetched for $55,529.99

A pair of George III simulated rosewood and caned settees circa 1784, by Francois Hervé was sold for $93,771.59

Deal alert! George V mahogany single bed ends circa 1930 went for $100.04!

But wait, there is more going on at Chatsworth this fall--

Photos courtesy Sothebys
Spanish sculptor Manolo Valdés’s Butterflies of sculpted aluminum

If you find yourself in England this fall, here is another reason to visit this stunning historic trust. Beyond Limits, the 5th annual exhibition with Sotheby's, brings 24 monumental contemporary sculptures and cutting edge artists to the fantastic setting of Chatsworth's historic garden and miles of manicured grounds. Works by British bad boy Damien Hirst, rising art star from China Yue Minju, Indian contemporary artist Subodh Gupta, and Belgian sculptor Johan Creten join the cast of shining artistic talent showcased around the property. Consider it a giant treasure hunt in one of the most beautiful gardens in the British countryside. And yes, it is all for sale. You have until October 31st, so hop on Virgin Atlantic with your Wellies and Barbour!


currentlychic.com said...

Thanks for sharing this sale. Isn't it sad that they have to sell belongings for the upkeep of the estate? It is so beautiful.


Swedish Interiors said...

Fascinating this veritable history of English architectural pieces and decorative arts in the attic. Thank you for postig some of the results form the sale!

quintessence said...

The carved giltwood console table and the William and Mary cabinet are to die for!

mary said...

With the exception of the fire surround (a bit heavy to carry about) I grieve over not being able to participate in that amazing auction. I am so glad that the estate received such a huge influx of cash so that future visitors can be delighted with Chatsworth. The Duchess is quite a lady and pure inspiration.

Harrison Howard said...

Aside from the remarkable items at auction, the Manolo Valdés sculpture makes a terrific contrast between old and new on the grass allee, and is an evocative image, especially in that context.

Hamptontoes said...

All I can say is wow! How amazing to purchase a piece of history...it truly fascinates me. The twin beds were quite a deal and I like their look!

Scribbler said...

This is so interesting! I look forward to your posts.

dovecote Decor said...

Hi Marissa: I have been on a Mitford Mania reading jag, so loved this post.