Bonhams: Britain Defining the Interior

This week Bonham’s is holding one of its regular ‘Britain Defining the Interior’ auctions. At Devas Designs, while we love sourcing a range of European and international items we also enjoy being able to triumph and support the work of British artists and craftsmen. The eclecticism of items on sale is a true testament to British skill and craft and in this blog post, we wanted to share some of our favourite items from this month’s sale.

First to catch our eye was this George III breakfront bookcase. Made from a dark mahogany it has a real sense of grandeur, owed instantly by its lofty stature. The upper part features a broken fret carved swan neck pediment with beautiful foliate scrolls. We loved its classical features, that extend throughout the upper part of the design, lending a traditional aesthetic that would look lovely in a classic interior. The bookcase also features a pair of astragal glazed panel doors and double panel doors on the lower part on a moulded plinth base. While a piece like this would need a well-thought out space to fit, it would be a wonderful addition to a library or study room.

Estimate: £30,000-40,000

This set of six George III mahogany armorial chairs were also a stand-out lot for us. Their shape is elegant and classic, each featuring a pierced lattice back headed by shaped and moulded tablets decorated with the arms of Stackhouse family. The serpentine dished seats on fluted legs perfectly perfectly balance with the latticed backs. The chairs were originally the property of Edward William Stackhouse (1775-1853) who was an MP for Lostwithiel in Cornwall, he assumed the name Pendarves in 1815 having inherited the Cornish Estate. It is thought that along with the estate and the many items inherited from his parents, these chairs were part of that inheritance and are most likely designed by either John Linnell or Thomas Chippendale, two of the most prominent London furniture makers of the time.

Estimate: £12,000-18,000

These charming late George III armchairs made in the style of John Gee also caught our attention. Made from beech, they are painted with beautiful pastel cream colours. They feature pierced top rails above caned backs which are flanked by moulded arms. The caned backs and ring turned tapering legs lend a classic quality that will remain elegant. We often enjoy mixing both classic and contemporary style and while these chairs would perfectly fit in a classic interior, their pastel tones and timeless design could bring character in a modern, white space.

£3,000-4,000

This wig comb and case was a rather more unusual piece for us to choose, but we couldn’t help be drawn in, it also comes with both a controversial history and a surprising price tag …

The wig comb and case were owned by Paul Bennett of Port Royal and are from the late 17th century, made from tortoiseshell. One side bears an engraving of a vase with flowers and the inscription ‘Jamaica 1678’. The reverse side features an engraving of a banana tree with a pair of cactus plants and a scrolling leaf border and the V&A has a similar designed comb.

Estimate: £15,000-20,000