Sale also includes a ‘Duck House’ so you can live like an M.P

A RARE collection of antique Japanese garden ornament will be offered for sale in the auction of Garden Statuary and Fossil Decoration at Summers Place Auctions (in association with Sotheby’s), which will take place in the landscaped grounds and walled garden of Summers Place, Billingshurst, West Sussex on Tuesday, May 25, 2010. This will be complemented by a ‘sealed bid’ auction that finishes on Friday, May 28.

Japanese Gardens became popular in England at the end of the 19th century. The opening of the Japanese ports in 1854 gave rich, curious and intrepid Europeans and Americans the chance to travel. They returned home with stories, photographs and souvenirs of art styles and culture that was startlingly different from what they had seen before. The Universal Exhibition in London in 1862 followed by the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867 saw an explosion of interest in all things Japanese.

Among a selection of granite lanterns which are always popular, are two large Meiji period (1868-1912) examples, over ten foot tall which are being offered for £3,000-5,000 each, together with a selection of bronze cranes estimated from £500 upwards.

The sale comprises nearly 600 lots and is the largest ever staged by Summers Place Auctions. James Rylands, one of the experts in charge said. “We are lucky to be able to offer a really good selection of statuary. From 17th century classical Dutch gritstone figures to over 60 lots of contemporary sculpture, there really is something in this sale for everyone!”

For buyers interested in ambitious architectural schemes, the sale also boasts a large selection of 18th and 19th century stone columns and architectural fittings together with a marble balustrade which originally stood at Easton Neston, Northamptonshire. The formal gardens were originally laid out in the late 17th century when the house was built by Nicholas Hawksmoor with some collaboration from Sir Christopher Wren. The gardens were restored that the end of the 19th Century by Sir Thomas Fermor Hesketh, when it is likely that the balustrade was installed. It is estimated at £6,000-10,000.

Also on a grand scale is a massive Portland stone seat removed from Park Place, Henley-on-Thames, which was the most expensive house outside London when it was sold for £42 million in 2007. It carries an estimate of £5,000-8,000.

For those who were fascinated by the recent M.P’s expenses scandal; the sale will include a painted wood and lead duck house – identical to the one bought by the Tory M.P. Sir Peter Viggers for his constituency home in Hampshire in 2006. It subsequently achieved a degree of notoriety when it was discovered that the M.P. had tried to claim the purchase cost as part of his parliamentary expenses. Sir Peter’s garden purchase has been endorsed by television property guru Kirstie Allsopp in a message on Twitter. In response to the revelations in the Daily Telegraph she wrote: “Wow…floating duck islands are a winner, they protect ducks from foxes, does this mean we can all have one now?” The floating duck house is based on an 18th century building reconstructed at Skansen, in Stockholm and is estimated at £1,800-2,500.

Elsewhere in the sale, two interesting sculptures will be offered. An important carved white marble group of Miss Holden and a deer by John Adams-Acton, dating from 1877 and exhibited at that year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is estimated at £50,000-80,000, while a late 18th/early 19th century carved white marble figure of Asclepius – the Roman God of healing, is estimated at £8,000-12,000.

An unusually large terracotta bowl on stand designed by Archibald Knox for the famous Regent Street retailer Liberty & Co will also be offered. Dating from the early 20th century, it was made by the Potters Art Guild (Compton Pottery), based just outside Guildford (Est: £2,500-4,000).

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

Live Auction
Friday, May 21 through to Monday, May 24: 10am – 4pm (plus the morning of the sale)

Sealed Bid Auction
Friday, May 21 – Tuesday, May 25: 10am-4pm

NEXT SALE: Tuesday, October 26, 2010

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

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