South Kensington – A wide range of traditional English furniture from
the 17th to 19th century together with European examples will be offered as
part of A Cotswold Collection; The Property of H.W. Keil at Christie’s South
Kensington on Tuesday, 13 March 2007. The sale features a wonderful
selection of over 500 lots including furniture, carpets, textiles, lighting,
stained glass, paintings, treen and fireplace furniture. Around 95% of the
sale has been estimated at £5,000 and below, and will be offered without
reserve. The sale is estimated to realise over £500,000.

H.W. Keil was established by Henry William (Bill) Keil and his wife Violet in the early 1930s, in the
picturesque honey-coloured limestone village of Broadway in the Cotswolds, often referred to as the
‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’. The Cotswolds has the distinction of having the largest concentration of
art and antiques shops in the country outside London, with Keil being one of the first to start selling
antiques there. Initially, Keil specialised in English oak furniture from the 16th and 17th century,
appropriately located within a period Tudor building, however over time the range of antiques
offered expanded as did the size of the premises. Today, the business is synonymous with the
highest quality furniture and works of art, with an internationally renowned reputation. In turn, Bill
and Violet’s two sons, Peter and John, both set up their own antique businesses; John on the
Brompton Road in London, and Peter in Cheltenham. Sadly a few years ago, Peter died in untimely
and tragic circumstances, and since that time John Keil has had the task of rationalising the
businesses. This sale represents the final restructuring of the firm which will continue to flourish in

English oak furniture features prominently in the sale, principally from the late 17th and early 18th
century. An array of chairs (both sets and individual), refectory tables, coffers, cupboards, stools
(both joined and upholstered) and mirrors are offered. Highlights include a handsome wood-
grained oak side or altar table, early 17th century (estimate: £2,000-3,000), an oak tester bed, 17th
century and later (estimate: £5,000-8,000) and a striking, large oak housekeeper’s cupboard, early 19th
century (estimate: £2,500-4,000).

A William and Mary oyster and marquetry escritoire (estimate: £12,000-18,000) is one of a group of
mahogany, walnut and marquetry furniture examples represented in the sale. A set of eight George I
Irish mahogany dining chairs (estimate: £30,000-50,000) and a delightful set of six Mendlesham
chairs, early 19th century (estimate: £5,000-8,000), fashioned from fruitwood, also feature along with
a selection of European examples.

The sale also includes around 200 decorative objects from the late 17th century to the early 20th
century including carvings, fireplace furniture, treen and lighting alongside copper and brassware,
such as the set of composite copper batterie de cuisine, 19th century (estimate: £1,000-2,000).
Leading the group of carpets and rugs is a 17th century Mortlake historical tapestry depicting
Diogenes beside his barrel (estimate: £4,000-6,000).

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