‘Spending the brass’: Sporting art and more from former country house owner’s collection

The auction market always loves a good country house collection and an upcoming sale will offer a group of works previously kept at Glympton Park in Oxfordshire.

Glympton Park in Oxfordshire

A photograph of Glympton Park in Oxfordshire from 1964.

The sale at British Bespoke Auctions on November 16 includes works from the collection of the property’s previous owner Eric W Towler (1900-88).

Towler was very much a self-made man. He left school at the age of 12 to work in a Yorkshire pit but established a small coal dealing business which he developed into a major mining operation.

Expanding into other industries including property and farming, he later also diversified his interests into health service management, becoming chairman of the Nuffield, the Radcliffe and United Oxford Hospitals.

In 1957 he bought Glympton Park, a Grade II-listed country house near Woodstock, and enjoyed the life of a country gentleman, engaging in shooting, hunting and other country pursuits.

David Vinckboons painting

An oil on panel by David Vinckboons (1576-1632), estimated at £6000-8000 at British Bespoke Auctions. (Lot 53)

Always a believer in ‘spending the brass in his pocket’, he furnished Glympton Park in traditional country house manner with all the trappings – antique furniture, rugs, clocks and sporting art.

The latter category features prominently in the auction with works by the likes of John Frederick Herring, John Ferneley Snr and Lionel Edwards.

Separately, the sale on November 16 will also include items from the private collection of Elizabeth Lady Ashcombe from Sudeley Castle (the venue of the auction) as well as jewellery from the Henry Dent-Brocklehurst collection which includes an 18ct gold Rolex day-date diamond and ruby wrist watch.

Flemish Tapestry

Among the works from the collection of Elizabeth Lady Ashcombe at the British Bespoke Auctions sale is a mid-18th century Flemish Tapestry after David Teniers the Younger. It is estimated at £12,000-16,000. (Lot 1)

View the catalogue for the British Bespoke Auctions sale.

Tags: Fine Art
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