The Rothschilds and Exbury House

16th August 2020

Treasures from the Rothschild collection at Exbury House in Hampshire have been attracting international interest as they come under the hammer at Woolley and Wallis.

Originally due to be sold in the spring, the 85 lots of furniture, paintings and other artworks were consigned as the Hampshire stately home undergoes a scheme of internal redecoration.

Instead they have been sold in a series of sales across the summer months, with further objects to come in the early autumn. Prices have so far exceeded pre-sale expectations as hungry buyers recognise the combined attractions of quality and rarity, but director, Paul Viney, believes the family name is key. “For over 200 years the Rothschilds have been renowned as great collectors. The provenance of the lots we are selling, many of which have been through several generations of the family, has only enhanced their interest.”

Many of the key pieces featured in the Furniture and Works of Art sale on 11th August. These included the sale’s top lot – a pair of Louis XVI period marble and ormolu models of the Borghese vase, which sold for £118,750 – and a pair of silver-gilt models of a rhinoceros and an elephant, which sold to a Hong Kong buyer for £97,500 against a starting price of £10,000. Among the more traditional items of furniture, a set of 11 French giltwood fauteuils realised £13,750, and two Chinese-style giltwood occasional tables netted £9,375.

Elsewhere, a pair of Chinese lapis lazuli models of elephants featured in the Fine Chinese Works of Art auction in early July, selling for £85,000, and a 17th century Dutch silver-mounted glass bottle realised £45,000 in the Silver and Objects of Vertu auction later that month.

In all areas, the Rothschild name has attracted buyers from across the globe with bidding coming from Continental Europe, Russia, America and the Far East.

Still to come are 18 lots in the Old Masters, British and European Paintings sale on 8th September. These include a 16th century oil on panel portrait of Thomas Arundell by George Gower, with a provenance to the Rothschild family spanning over a century; and a portrait of the Duchess of Cumberland by Sir William Beechey RA. Full details of the sale can be found here.

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