Contents from the former home of the eccentric music composer Lord Berners (1883-1950) will provide the focal point of Christie’s London Interiors Sale on April 12.
Berners, together with his companion Robert Heber-Percy, lived at Faringdon House, a Georgian country pile in Oxfordshire, from 1932 until his death in 1950. Famous house visitors during the Berners years included the Mitfords (Nancy Mitford immortalised Berners in her novel The Pursuit of Love as the whimsical character Lord Merlin), Gertrude Stein, Cecil Beaton and Margot Fonteyn.
Salvador Dali was another visitor, and the sale includes a copy of the artist’s Metamorphosis of Narcissus, published by the Julian Levy Gallery in 1937, with a dedication to Lord Berners and a drawing. It is offered together with other related Surrealist material estimated at £1000-1500.
On March 21, Halls of Shrewsbury will offer this portrait of Charles I estimated at £800-1200.
Catalogued as ‘After Daniel Mytens (1590-1647)’, the 20 x 18in (52 x 46cm) oil on canvas depicts Charles as a young prince, wearing a white ruff and gold embroidered coat.
According to a plaque on the heavy carved wood frame, the likeness was painted in Spain in 1623 for the Duke of Buckingham and then sold by a descendant in Holland “from whence this picture was brought”. It also bears the name of Spanish painter Velázquez.
A chair along with its pair was commissioned c.1910-20 by the architect and industrial designer Arthur Edward Harvey (1896-1978).
The yew rush-seated armchairs with ladderbacks came from English furniture designer Ernest Gimson and were made by Edward Gardiner.
The pair will go under the hammer on March 20 at Cotswold Auction Company in Cheltenham estimated at £1200-1800. A further set of four chairs commissioned by Harvey from Gimson are estimated at £2000-3000.
A Second World War archive of prisoner of war material is coming up in a sale of Militaria & Ethnographica at Tennants on March 28 in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.
The collection relates to POW Bernard Cockcroft who was interned from 1942-45, first at camp Stalag III-D in Berlin, then at Stalag 383 in Bavaria.
The collection includes correspondence with his family, a selection of annotated and autographed theatre programmes for productions staged at the camps, sports programmes, newsletters, Christmas carol sheets, Cockcroft’s regimental dog tags and badges, and his POW dog tag. Estimate £400-600.