Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Interiors sale featuring furniture from Nunney Court, home of the Rob Walker Racing Team

George III mahogany dining table, circa 1790 [Lot 380]

George III mahogany dining table, circa 1790 [Lot 380]

From the heir of whisky tycoon Johnnie Walker is a collection that furnished Nunney Court, home of Rob Walker and the epicentre of Formula One racing in the 60s and 70s. The collection will be offered alongside fine furniture and works of art at Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions Interiors Sale on Wednesday 11th December 2013.

Rob Walker had a passion for fast cars and using his family fortune, bought Nunney Court from which he built the Rob Walker Racing Team, the most successful private team in Formula One history, winning nine grand prix.

Employing the top racers of the day, Sir Stirling Moss, Tony Brooks and Graham Hill, the team enjoyed spending their downtime at Nunney Court, a grade II, Georgian manor built in the 1760s.

Walker’s daughter Dauvergne Morgan said: “There were only eight grand prix a year in those days and drivers had no duties with sponsors, so there was plenty of time to visit, stay several days and completely unwind”.

Among the Furniture from the motor racing base is a George III mahogany dining table, circa 1790 estimated at £800-1,200 [Lot 380] and a walnut chest on stand, circa 1740, estimated £500-800 [Lot 22].The collection comprises a further 26 lots from the famed setting.

Of particular interest is a Swiss inlaid rosewood key-wound musical box, stamped ‘NICOLE FRERES, A GENEVE’. Described by the guardian as “the Rolls Royce of musical boxes”, Nicole Freres were credited with never having made a bad machine. This example plays eight works from Verdi’s operas and is estimated at £400-600 [Lot 372].

From a separate collection and taking inspiration from the Italian sculptor Raphaelle Monti’s Veiled Vestal, is a 19th century Copeland Parian porcelain bust of ‘The Veiled Bride’ made for the Ceramic and Crystal Palace Art Union. This highly collectable piece is estimated at £1,800-2,200 [Lot 252].

In continental marble a 19th century sculpture of Venus de’Medici, was modelled on a life-size Hellenistic marble of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, which in turn was inspired by a now lost, original Greek bronze sculpture. It is estimated at £800-1,000 [Lot 1], while a bust of Venus dating from the last quarter of the 19th century is estimated at £400-600 [Lot 204]. A painted plaster bust of the water nymph Clytie is estimated at £500-800 [Lot 135].

The auction will take place at Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions Donnington Priory saleroom in Berkshire on Wednesday 11th December 2013, with viewing available in the preceding week. Live online bidding is available with no additional fee, more information can be found at