Summers Place Auctions to hold Jubilee Garden Auction

With the whole country getting excited about Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee,
Summers Place Auctions will be putting on a special, timed online auction to coincide with the celebrations and the start of the British summer season. The sale will inspire garden owners to add some key pieces for summer parties to come and to perhaps commemorate the Sovereign’s reign with some affordable, decorative pieces suitable for any garden. Perhaps an impressive pair of lion sculptures takes your fancy, or you could install a little fountain in your back garden. There will be lots of lovely garden sculptures to choose from as well as a garden bench fit for a Queen!

This online auction includes a selection of garden statuary from a couple of private collections goes live on 20th May and will run until 6th June –

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Late Gothic marble wellhead stars in our pick of seven auction highlights sold this week – ATG, 1 April, 2022

Roland Ward

ATG’s weekly selection of items that caught bidders’ eyes includes a 15th century Istrian marble wellhead that sold for a six-figure sum in West Sussex.

1. Istrian marble wellhead – £110,000

Estimated at £25,000-40,000, this 15th century Istrian marble wellhead in the late Gothic style sold for £110,000 at Summers Place Auctions in West Sussex on March 29.

It shares much in common with a wellhead which still stands in the courtyard of the Ca’ d’Oro palazzo in Venice.

As that carving is known to have been commissioned by Marino Contarino and made by Bartolomeo Bon in Venice in 1427-28, the dozen similar surviving examples are often attributed to ’the Bon family workshops’. Most are carved with two or more allegorical figures emblematic of Fortitude, Justice, Prudence and Charity inspired by the 14th century capitals of the Palazzo Ducale.

By family repute this example (with later wrought iron overthrow and sandstone plinth) was previously in the grounds of Horton Hall, Northamptonshire, that was demolished in 1936. Once the seat of the Earls of Halifax, it is likely that the wellhead was among the many objects brought back from the Grand Tour by George Montagu-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax in the mid 18th century when both the house and the garden were remodelled.

Hot to Trot – featured in the Sunday Telegraph 27th March 2022 courtesy of Simon Czapp/Solent News and Photo Agency

Angela Marshall dusts a statue of four horses rising out of the waves.

More than 7ft tall, it was created at Sherpperton Studios and even featured in a Spice Girls video, before moving to Caesar’s nightclub in London. it will be auctioned off for as much as £12,000

(Lot 274 30th March 2022 auction)

Any Old Lion – featured in The Times, Thursday 24th March 2022

The Times, Thursday 24th March 2022

Featuring Lot 118-127 30th March 2022 – Garden and Natural History auction

Art Deco Portland stone lion heads from 1920, saved from a building on Oxford Street demolished for Crossrail, are tipped to sell for £15,000

A rare set of four marble carved figures – featured in The Times courtesy of Aaron Chown PA

A rare set of four carved marble figures, which represent the four seasons and are from La Granja Vella de Marti Codolar in Barcelona are going on sale at Summers Place auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex.

The statues were made in the late 17th and early 18th century

courtesy of AARON CHOWN/PA and The Times

(Lot 14 29th March Auction)

‘Remarkable’ Four Seasons marble statues

expected to fetch £180,000 at auction – courtesy of The Independent/PA Live (Aaron Chown)

Click to read the Independent article

Alles im grünen Bereich – With Spring comes the need to spend more time outdoors – from the Austrian publication – Geld & Borse by VON MARIE-THÉRÈSE HARTIG

from the Austrian publication – Geld & Borse by VON MARIE-THÉRÈSE HARTIG

featuring Lot 7 an important carved Istrian wellhead; lot 21 A Coalbrookdale bench and lot 274 An impressive bronzed fibreglass group of galloping horses

Read the full article

Cue for Naval Action – An historic full size Snooker table is mentioned in The Times by Patrick Kidd – 4 March 2022

Lot 149 29th March auction

A mahogany snooker table that was probably made for Prince Philip’s grandfather is being sold at auction this month. The table came from Admiralty Arch, which is being turned into a hotel, and was made in 1913 for the building off Whitehall, home of the First Sea Lord. At the time that was Prince Louis of Battenberg, son-in-law of Queen Victoria and uncle of Earl Mountbatten, who led the Navy in the 1950s. Summers Place estimates it could fetch £5000. One can image the flotilla of admirals who discussed naval strategy while sinking reds on it. As Marlowe almost said, was this the baize that launched a thousand ships?”

Summers Place Auctions to sell the ultimate 3D Puzzle – St John’s Barn

Summers Place Auctions to sell the ultimate 3D Puzzle
– St John’s Barn is expected to sell for a six figure sum

Images Courtesy of Tom Ames Photography 

Summers Place Auctions’ Spring Sale includes a magnificent barn, which was built within the original grounds of the Order of the Knights of St John Hospitallers in Suffolk where they first based themselves in 1154. The original part of the thatched roofed, wattle and daub clad oak framing of the building’s core was constructed between 1760 and 1780, but some of the oak timbers indicate that they had been incorporated in an earlier building, which could well have been dating back to the time when the farm was owned by Sir Thomas Gresham.

It is about 51 feet long and 20 feet wide and will be approximately 26 feet tall once it has been rebuilt. In total the timbers weigh in the region of 20 tons. It comes with its own legend, which is crucial as no two timbers are the same. If a barn hasn’t been taken down properly with every timber marked, it is virtually impossible to assemble it again.

The vendor purchased the barn from the company he worked for in 2001 with a view to have this as a retirement project. The company, specialising in selling English barns all over the world, had bought it from the parents of the present owner of St John’s Manor, Battisford in 1985, John and Pat Knock, who wrote a fascinating booklet on the history of the manor and its barn. This magnificent barn is expected to sell for a six figure sum and the buyer will need to take into account that the barn will need a suitable plot of land to be rebuilt.

Not only does this sale offer the rare chance to own an English barn, but one with a fascinating history and the current owner as well as the previous owners have spent years researching its history and that of the estate it came from.

Sir Thomas Gresham was instrumental in setting up the Royal Exchange under Queen Elizabeth I and the building also included an oak frame made of wood from his estate. The Royal Exchange celebrated its 450th anniversary in January to commemorate the Queen’s visit to Gresham’s huge Bourse, which she then proclaimed to be renamed ‘The Royal Exchange’.

The Barn was built in the original grounds where a Preceptory was established in 1154 and by the mid 1300s the military arm of the Order had turned it into a substantial fortification known as a Commandery. In the 1530s, during the Reformation under Henry VIII, it was seized and confiscated.

It was a common practise during the early English framing periods (15thC – 18thC) to incorporate timbers from earlier buildings and some of the timbers from this barn show carpenters’ earlier workings and thus it is thought highly likely that at least a small percentage of those timbers date back to the Tudor period.

From a 2013 Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory report it could be deduced that the wall timbers were converted from trees which showed signs of intense management practise. This is consistent with evidence that Battisford and Ringshall in the 14th to 18th Centuries comprised vast oak woodlands which would have been actively managed. A 2015 Oxford University Radiocarbon analysis showed a 96% certainty that the building was reconstructed between 1760 and 1780. Knights of St John and the 16th and last Commander at Battisford, prior to the Reformation was one William Tyrell. The interior of the barn can be seen to match the exterior of the barn in situ – the two windows and the grey door opening being visible in both the interior shot and the authenticated aerial photo of St John’s Manor Barn taken by Skyviews on 16th May 1985 (By courtesy of Skyviews Aerial Archives, Leeds, LS15 4JJ).

Further information

The Greshams:
Following the seizure of the Battisford Commandery by Henry VIII during the Reformation, not much is known about what happened for the next few years. However records show that in 1544 the estate was sold to Richard Gresham (1485- 1549), an important noble at the Court of King Henry VIII. Richard’s son Thomas, inherited the estate in 1549 and lived through the years of the death of Henry VIII, the brief years of reign of Edward VI and Queen Mary I, before becoming courtier to Elizabeth I who was crowned in 1558. After re-introducing his family name at Royal Court, Thomas was shortly thereafter appointed Royal Agent at Antwerp, Belgium, at a time when it was necessary for the English Crown to raise money abroad. Seeing the vast wealth of both Venice and Antwerp originating from the financial wizardry of those cities’ merchants, Thomas then put into practice an idea his father had had, namely that London should have its own Bourse. He acquired land along Lombard Street and at Cornhill, where he built London’s new Bourse. Thomas was given a knighthood for his efforts, and like his father also became Lord Mayor of London. At his death not many years later, he was said to have been the wealthiest noble in England. Sadly his amazing building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London (1666).

Battisford Oak use to build the new Bourse:
During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603), Battisford was well-known for the quality and abundance of its oak trees and so it was an easy choice in 1566 for Thomas to have his proposed Bourse framed in oak, from his own woodlands. Records show that the huge oak frames of this mighty building were framed at Battisford Tye (or Common) and thence dismantled, taken by barge around the coast and up the river Thames, to the Port of London, and thence transported to Cornhill to form the new Bourse. Completed in 1568 and of faux stone & brick cladding over the mighty oak frames, it was said that ” a more noblier frame ne’er was built”. In 1570, Thomas Gresham accompanied Elizabeth I around the huge building, who proclaimed it be henceforth known as The Royal Exchange.

The Order of St John’s Hospitallers:
The monastic order of the Knights Hospitaller was founded after the First Crusade by the Blessed Gerard and confirmed by a Papal bull (or charter) from Pope Paschal II in 1113. They established the first significant Hospitaller infirmary near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and provided pilgrims with armed escorts for their journey, but before long grew into a substantial force and they quickly became the most powerful

Christian group in the area.
With its increasing recognition and acceptance in England and Normandy, the Preceptory at Battisford was established, probably on a nobleman’s land in Battisford in 1154, according to the records at the Order of St John’s Hospitallers headquarters in St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell, London. One hundred and fifty six years later, in 1310, it was then chosen by King Edward II (1284 – 1327) as a Commandery – a Manor under the control of a Commander of an Order of Tyrell.

For more press information, images & interview requests, please contact Silke Lohmann: or 07932 618754. For further information on the auction, please visit or call 01403 331331.

Cast to stone

Cast to Stone – John Vincent tells the tale of the creature from antiquity that rose from the dead