The Classicist: Sotheby's to Auction Treasures from Chatsworth, England's Most Famous Country Estate
On October 5–7 Sotheby's will stage what amounts to the world's most luxurious yard sale at Chatsworth (above), England's most famous and beautiful country estate, owned by the the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The treasures on offer include art, architectural elements, furniture, ceramics, glass, silver, and other items – even an antique motorcar – with estimates ranging from £20 to £300,000, or about $30 to $450,000. The sale comprises 20,000 objects in over 1,000 lots which will be on view in a series of marquees on the grounds of the house from October 1st. The several million dollars which the sale is expected to generate will go towards upkeep on the famed estate, which has 126 rooms – including a bathroom with murals painted by Lucian Freud – and sits on over 30,000 acres.
Several of the most magnificent pieces – handsomely carved fireplaces, architraves, doors and shutters - were once part of the fabric of the many great houses that have featured in the Devonshire family's extraordinary history, including Chatsworth itself, Chiswick House, Hardwick Hall, Lismore Castle in Ireland, Compton Place, Bolton Abbey and especially their palatial London residence, Devonshire House – now destroyed but for centuries the centre of the city's social, political and cultural elite. The sale includes works from almost every conceivable area, including books, carriages, glass, collectibles, sculpture, garden statuary, natural history, jewelry, prints, carpets, textiles, tapestries and wine. Some items relate to royalty and others to one of the family's most colorful members, the beautiful and charismatic Georgiana Cavendish, 5th Duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806), one of the most beloved and influential characters in British history. [continued]