Summers Place Auctions are the world's leading auctioneers of Garden Statuary and Natural History. Their first sale was held nearly 30 years ago as part of Sotheby's Country House saleroom at Summers Place in Sussex, since which time the sales have flourished, establishing a global reputation. Following restructuring, the department is staffed by a team who, between them, have nearly 200 years of Sotheby’s experience.
A wealth and diversity of material offered over the years has included everything from a whole Italianate garden of fountains, terraces, a lakeside jetty and statuary weighing more than 500 tons shipped over from Massachusetts, USA to a 15 foot high bronze bust of Lenin, liberated from a town square in Latvia following the fall of the iron curtain.
One of our buyers recently observed on the incredible diversity of the material we offer, commenting that we sell “From Rome to chrome”. Recent highlights include an Roman Imperial 1st Century AD marble altar, surmounted by an urn carved by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, discovered in pieces in a north London garden and sold for £163,000 and a bronze head by Dame Elisabeth Frink from the Desert Quartet series given and patinated by the sculptor to the vendor which sold for a world record £180,000.
In 2012 we completed our new 5000 sq ft custom built gallery, nestling in six acres of landscaped grounds. Shortlisted for a number of architectural awards, it won Best Small Commercial Building in the Southern Local authority Building Control awards as well as a commendation in the Innovation and Environment Design category for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
In November 2013 we held our inaugural Evolution sale, including taxidermy, natural history, fossils and minerals. The undoubted highlight was a 57ft long, 150 million year old Diplodocus, which sold for a world record £500,000 to the Danish Natural History Museum.
We now hold a minimum of four sales per year which include the best examples of Garden sculpture and decoration as well as Natural History.
As world leaders in both fields, over 60% of our buyers are from overseas, and we have a dedicated team dealing with transport and shipping.
JAMES RYLANDS, joined Sotheby's in 1979, after gaining a degree in History of Art. He initiated the sales of Garden Statuary in 1986 and as a director of the company also qualified as a chartered surveyor. James co-wrote a book on Garden Ornament for Thames and Hudson and contributes articles to antiques magazines. As well as lecturing on many aspects of the antiques business, he also appears regularly on B.B.C. antiques programmes including "The Antiques Roadshow".
LETTY STILES, Departmental assistant joined Sotheby's in 1984, ending up as head of the Accounts department before Sotheby's relocation to Olympia.
KATE DIMENT, Departmental assistant, joined Sotheby's in 1995 working in many areas before finding her metier with us in 2001.
LINDSAY HOADLEY, Departmental assistant, joined Sotheby's in 2000, working as PA to the chairman.
LES BAKER, Gardener, joined Sotheby's in 1979 and retired as head porter in 2000 before being enticed back as our gardener.
RUPERT VAN DER WERFF, graduated with a degree in Archaeology of Western Asia from University College London in 1994. He joined Sotheby's Bond Street in 1997 was appointed Head of the Garden Statuary Department in 2001 as well as qualifying as a Chartered surveyor in the same year. He also co-wrote Garden Antiques published by Millers in 2003 and contributed to the Virgin Guide to Antiques of the Future as well as writing numerous articles for Antiques magazines.
JASON STILES, Landscape gardener, collections and deliveries joined us from a career in plant retail and design. As a member of the Brinsbury College team he won an award at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Summers Place Collection is proud to offer an exclusive range of garden ornaments, available for purchase throughout the year. Traditional and contemporary pieces hand carved in stone, together with cutting-edge designs in stainless steel, give buyers the opportunity to purchase at a fixed price and in the quantity desired.
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Summers Art Advisory Services, is an independent Art advisory agency offering comprehensive advice on a wide range of professional services for public bodies, private clients and companies. We seek to satisfy the evident demand for those wishing to sell, acquire or manage Art assets and combine all these categories.
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