Over 400 years of history goes on auction from curios to rare silver


Historic pieces from one of Britain’s greatest estates will be offered in Chorley’s Attic Sale on Tuesday 28 January.  

The pieces on offer have been amassed over 400 years and range from interesting curios, a library of antiquarian books, Worcester porcelain and rare silver. 

Some of the items to go under the hammer in Chorley’s January sale were picked up by the Berkeleys during their travels across Europe, North America and Colonial India and kept in the property’s private 19th century museum.

Others were purchased at country house auctions during the 19th Century and so it is perhaps fitting that they now go to new homes in a traditional sale of that type.  

John Varley (1778-1842), View of Belgravia House and Westminster Bridge Image supplied

The pieces which have been sourced from the stores and attics of Spetchley Park in Worcestershire offer a tantalising glimpse of the interests of past members of the Berkeley family and will range in value from under £100 to several thousand pounds. 

Spetchley Park has been a seat of one of Britain’s greatest dynasties, the Berkeley family, since the early 17th century. 

The house has played its part in many historic events even being earmarked during World War II as the headquarters for Winston Churchill and his cabinet in the event of a successful German invasion. 

Other properties offered in the same sale will include Old Master Paintings from the collection of the late Lady Killearn which until recently hung in the great hall of Little Sodbury Manor.  

Woodward (Georger Moutard) Eccentric Excursions, (c.1816 Image supplied

Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn stayed at the 500 year old, Grade I listed Manor during a ‘Summer Progress’ of 1535. It is also reputed that William Tyndale began his Bible translation there.  The portraits largely date to the 17th Century and include richly dressed ladies and armoured noblemen.  

From one of Gloucestershire’s principal country houses come fine carpets, including a Ziegler example dating to 1900 and decorated with lions and peacocks which asks £12,000-18,000. 

Chorley’s Director and Auctioneer Thomas Jenner-Fust said: “From a lock of Elvis’s hair to the smallest house in the Cotswolds, Chorley’s has sold some significant lots over the years, but this particular auction is one of our most exciting to date.

“With two historic and private collections going under the hammer for the first time, this is an excellent opportunity for historians, collectors and locals alike to acquire a piece of British history with significant provenance.”

Spetchley etching Image supplied

The sale will be held on Tuesday 28 January at Chorley’s, Prinknash Abbey Park, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL4 8EU.

Bidders can register to bid live online through Chorley’s website: www.chorleys.com

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