'A textbook example of the thoughtful mixing of styles'08 March 2023 Art and antiques from a number of named private collections form part of the Sworders Fine Interiors sale on March 14-15.
In particular, more than 70 lots come from the collection of the late John Scott-Oldfield, a Cambridge athletics blue and Harlequins rugby player turned titan of the corporate world.
The interior of John Scott-Oldfield's flat at 65 Warwick Square, London, SW1 was a textbook example of the thoughtful mixing of styles from Renaissance Europe to Qing Dynasty China to Georgian England. The carefully chosen furnishings blended an appreciation of colour, pattern and texture with an interest in the academic and a lifetime love of travel and faraway places.
A French ‘Croix de Lorraine’ table was the family dining table. Occasionally laid for guests with an 82-piece Herend porcelain 'Rothschild Bird' pattern dinner service (estimate £3000-5000), it was formerly in the collection of the American financier John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) and later the Metropolitan Museum, New York before it was deaccessioned in 1995.
Renaissance era draw-leaf dining tables of this sort, taking their title from the shape of the stretcher, are commonly linked with the Loire Valley although ultimately follow the designs and motifs of Tuscan architecture. This one incorporating a mixture of 16th and 19th century elements has a guide of £6000-8000.
It was one of several pieces Oldfield and his wife Honora Baroness von Fürstenberg bought from Gallori Turchi, Florence. Another is a pair of late 17th century Italian walnut open armchairs (estimate £1500-2000) that sat in the hallway at 65 Warwick Square either side of a fire-engine red Qing dynasty lacquer side cabinet (estimate £400-600).
Hanging above it was a large vibrant still life of cherries, birds and flowers from the studio of Miguel Canals (1925-95) – the perfect 20th century take on the Spanish still life. This, like other items from the home, will be offered in future sales of British & European Paintings and Asian Art.
Pictured here are a number of highlights.