SEVERAL HIGHLIGHTS from the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show will be offered for sale in the auction of Garden Statuary, Architectural Items and Decorative Fossils at Summers Place Auctions (In association with Sotheby’s), which will take place in Billingshurst, West Sussex on Tuesday, October 20, 2009. The sale will start at 1.30pm and will be complimented by a sealed bid auction which together will comprise more than 450 lots.

SUMMERS PLACEAmong the items from Chelsea Flower Show will be an abstract spherical limestone sculpture by Simon Thomas that appears to float on water. This formed part of the 7th Cancer Research UK garden and was awarded a Silver Gilt Medal. Designed by Robert Myers, a four times gold medal winner at Chelsea, the garden celebrated the enormous impact the charity has made in beating cancer. The sculpture, which is accompanied by a pond liner made up of concentric steel dividers of oval form, is estimated at £10,000-15,000. Summers Place Auctions have waived all charges to the charity and half of the proceeds from the sale of the sculpture will go directly to Cancer Research UK’s general lifesaving work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Also in the auction will be a group of four resin pebble seats designed by Ben Barrell for the Cancer Research UK Garden and the largest of the seats measures 102cm.; 40ins wide (estimate: £1,000-1,500).

A miniature handmade three story traditional house, made to a quarter scale and typical of those made in Kent and East Sussex is estimated at £10,000-15,000. It will be offered for sale in the Sealed bid auction. Made, with great attention to detail, by Peter Hill Jones, who lives in Yapton, near Arundel (West Sussex), the house named ‘Little Ranelagh House’ was displayed at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. The house, which could be used as a study; children’s play house; a home for chickens, bats or dogs was constructed using materials that would be used to built a real house such as Georgian ‘knife-edge’ windows; undersized ‘Sussex Red’ roof tiles and handmade wallpaper with contemporary motifs incorporating one of Michelangelo’s sculptural male heads but with inserts into the face of Walker’s ‘Special Edition Spice Girls’ crisp packets! The house also has two chimneys – one that is real and the other a nesting box for birds. The timber and chestnut picket fencing used adheres to the RHS’s Timber policy of using sustainable wood and the front garden is surrounded by a hawthorn hedge, which was laid by John Savings of Abingdon, who taught the Prince of Wales the technique. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, along with actors Colin Firth and Helena Bonham-Carter visited the house during the flower show and Peter won an Award of Commendation.

Elsewhere in the sale, an exquisitely carved white marble figure of a vestal virgin standing on a terrestrial globe by internationally-renown Orazio Andreoni is expected to fetch £20,000-30,000. Andreoni specialised in historical and biblical subjects and through his large workshop in Rome, a generation of late 19th century sculptors received their training.

A comprehensive selection of cast iron seats and furniture, many of which were produced by the renowned Coalbrookdale foundry are expected to attract much interest. The Coalbrookdale Company, which has been based in Ironbridge, Shropshire since 1708, decided in the mid 19th century to add decorative castings to their wide, but basically utilitarian, range of products such as cooking pots, flat irons, grates, machinery, bridges etc. They won great praise – and a number of medals – for some splendid examples of statuary, ornamental gates and a fountain at the Great Exhibition of 1851. This was to establish their reputation in this field for the next thirty to forty years. Among their most popular lines during the late Victorian era were a series of distinctive and very attractive gardens seats by leading designers of the time such as Christopher Dresser, inspired by foliate patterns. Several pieces will be offered including a pair of Laurel pattern seats that are estimated at £5,000-8,000 (see illustration on previous page). Other factories represented in the sale include McDowell, Steven & Co of Glasgow and the Bilston foundry in the West Midlands, who in 1956 produced works designed by Edward Bawden, the popular painter, illustrator and graphic designer, which are still startlingly fresh in their modernist design. An example is expected to fetch £3,000-5,000 (see left).

Following on from the success of the May sale, which saw a 19th century Iron Bridge sell for more than £20,000. Two bridges will be in the auction – a 19th century wrought iron and wooden slatted example, with hinged gates at both ends is estimated at £10,000- 15,000, while a fine and rare French wrought and cast iron bridge, dating from 1870, measuring 127cm carries a similar estimate [see illustration].

Also included in the sale is a large pair of carved sandstone heads of a horse and a bull, dating from 1860, by Joseph Barlow Robinson which is estimated at £2,000-3,000. By repute the heads were carved by famous local sculptor/stone mason Joseph Barlow Robinson (1820-1883), who was born in South Wingfield in Derbyshire. He then apprenticed to a London mason and worked on the Palace of Westminster before returning to Derby and setting up his own showrooms in Derwent Street. The heads were removed from the Corn Exchange in Derby, which was built in 1860 by the Victorian architect, Benjamin Wilson. This horse and bull’s heads originally formed part of the first floor balcony that was removed in 1928 during refurbishment following the building’s acquisition by the Derby Telegraph.

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

Live Auction
Friday, October 16 through to Monday, October 19: 10am – 4pm
(plus the morning of the sale)

Sealed Bid Auction
Friday, October 16 – Tuesday, October 20: 10am-4pm

NEXT SALE: Tuesday, May 25, 2010
For further information on the auction,
Please visit or Call 01403 331331

For Press Information only,
Please contact Rachel Aked
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 07790 732448