STONES FROM THE GIANTS CAUSEWAY TO BE OFFERED FOR SALE AT SUMMERS PLACE AUCTIONS

. September 29, 2010 . 0 Comments

A COLLECTION of stones from the world-famous Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland are expected to fetch up to £40,000 when they are offered for sale next month as part of the auction of Garden Statuary and Fossil Decoration at Summers Place Auctions (in association with Sotheby’s).

The auction which will take place in the landscaped grounds and walled garden of Summers Place, Billingshurst, West Sussex on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 and will be complemented by a ‘sealed bid’ auction that finishes on Friday, October 22. For the last 35 years they have been used as boundary markers for the car park of Rathmore Golf Club, County Antrim.

Specialist, James Rylands said: “We are delighted to be offering this interesting collection which comprises seven naturally – formed column sections, with the largest being 60cm by 152cm. A number of smaller stones, with a diameter of a foot or less are known to have been removed from the Giant’s Causeway over the centuries, if only because of their relative portability. Preliminary research would suggest that stones of this size and magnificence, with each example weighing in the region of two tonnes, are possibly unique outside their original location and therefore represents a “one off” opportunity to acquire such rarities, from what is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

Today, the Giant’s Causeway is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland and is owned and managed by the National Trust. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 and a National Nature Reserve in 1987 by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland; the Giants Causeway was named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom by readers of the Radio Times in 2005.

The sale comprises almost 600 lots ranging from a pair of Mammoth tusks from the Ice Age (est: £9,000-10,000) through to a large range of contemporary sculpture.

From the 18th century, an important carved Portland stone larger than life-size bust, probably of Aristotle is estimated at £5,000-8,000 The sitter, who leans on a book, wears a mid-length but groomed beard and hair and has many of the attributes of a scholar. Cut in Portland stone, it is likely that the bust was intended for an outdoor niche as a garden ornament and although not signed, the undoubted quality of carving would suggest that this bust was carved by one of the leading sculptors of the day such as John Cheere or John van Nost [see illustration].

From the 19th century, a pair of large and rare Val d’Osne Foundry cast iron urns, circa 1860 is estimated at £15,000-25,000 [see illustration], while an impressive German stained glass window, dating from the end of the 19th century comprising six panels decorated with a seated figure of Flora carries an estimate of £20,000-30,000 [see illustration]. Also from the 19th century – a good selection of Coalbrookdale seats carry estimates ranging from £1,000 through to £6,000.

Among the 20th century objects; pair of impressive Italian carved white marble figures of Pan and a Bacchante measuring 192cm high is estimated at £40,000-60,000 [see illustration]; while a cast iron sofa possibly by Dorothy Draper, dating from the 1950s carries an estimate of £3,000-5,000 [see illustration]. Born to a wealthy and privileged family in 1889, in one of the most exclusive communities in American history, Tuxedo Park, Dorothy Draper was the first to “professionalize” the interior design industry by establishing, in 1923, the first interior design company in the United States, something that until then was unheard of, and also at a time when it was considered daring for a woman to go into business for herself.

A wide range of Contemporary sculpture includes ‘Three’s a crowd’ by Paul Cox, who was educated at Northbrook College of Design and Technology in nearby Worthing; followed by Winchester School of Art. He also won several awards and prizes for his work, including an Henry Moore Scholarship and a British Institute Sculpture Award. His work is held in collections in the UK Europe and USA (est: £6,000-8,000) [see illustration].

A bronze sculpture by Ben Barrell and an oak bench by Jim Partridge and Liz Warmsley that were commissioned by Cancer Research UK for their garden at the 2010 Chelsea Flower Show are estimated to fetch £700-1,000 and £2,000-3,000 respectively. Summers Place Auctions are delighted to offer these lots at no cost to Cancer Research UK and in addition, Ben Barrell, Jim Partridge and Liz Warmsley are kindly donating 50% of the proceeds to Cancer Research UK.

The items can be viewed in the Walled Garden, Stane Street,
Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9AB

For further information on the auction,
Please visit www.summersplaceauctions.com or Call 01403 331331

For Press Information only,
Please contact Rachel Aked
Email: Rachel@rachelaked.co.uk
Tel: 07790 732448

Category: Auction News

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