Five to buy: the enduring legacy of an antiques dealer once based at Handel's House
26 September 2023
The first day of the October 4-5 furniture and works of art sale at Woolley & Wallis includes items offered under the banner Kenneth Neame: An Enduring Legacy.
Estimated at a hefty £7000-10,000 this Aubusson carpet comes from central France and is early 19th century. The ivory field with a central floral panel is surrounded by swags enclosed by spandrels with flowerheads and mid-blue leafy borders. It measures 4.5m x 4.1m. Neame bought it at Christie's New York, May 21, 2003, Important European Furniture, Works of Art, Ceramics and Carpets, lot 186, $33,460. Bid for the Aubusson carpet on thesaleroom.com
Neame began his career as an antiques dealer after studying architecture at Cambridge. His first shop was in Handel’s House in Brook Street, Mayfair, and soon became the destination for clients staying at Claridge’s. After over 30 years in Handel’s House the business relocated to Mount Street in 1990.
Now, after seven decades of decorating and acquiring antiques for a glittering array of clients, Neame has closed his London business and is selling a selection of his remaining stock and items from his London home in Cadogan Square. The 227 lots are being offered without reserve.
Here are five ideas on what to buy (including the carpet shown top), at a range of price points in the Woolley & Wallis auction on October 4-5.
Life on earth
A c.1760 Bow porcelain figure of Water modelled as Neptune standing holding a water jar, with a dolphin by his feet, on a scrolling base in gilt and turquoise, is offered with a similar Bow figure of Earth modelled as Ceres standing before a lion, with red anchor and dagger marks. Both about 24cm high, they were bought by Neame at Woolley & Wallis on May 2, 2018, English and European Ceramics and Glass, Lot 445, and are now estimated at £300-500. See the Bow porcelain figures on thesaleroom.com.
Chest the thing
Purchased by Neame at Sworders of Essex on January 19, 2013, this is a George III mahogany serpentine chest c.1780, of four long graduated drawers, fitted with bone escutcheons, on swept bracket feet. Guided at £1000-1500, it measures 89.8cm high, 96.1cm wide, 55.8cm deep. See thesaleroom.com to view the George III mahogany serpentine chest.
At 56.2cm this is described as a massive Regency English porcelain vase, possibly Derby, early 19th century. The ovoid body is painted with a still-life of garden flowers including roses, peonys, tulips, dahlias and delphiniums on a ledge, the reverse with gilt floral swags, scrolls, urns and baskets of flowers with leaf and serpent handles. Estimated at £1000-1500 you can check out the Regency English porcelain vase via thesaleroom.com.
Carrying a guide price of £500-800, this pair of French ormolu wall lights measure 28.5cm high, 31.5cm wide, each with a pair of nozzles on scrolling branches on mask and acanthus appliques, fitted for electricity. In Louis XVI style, mid-19th century. Bid for the French ormolu wall lights using thesaleroom.com.