The extensive 6 acre gardens of Summers Place Auctions originally formed part of the Victorian Manor house, Summers Place. The walled garden was remodelled for Sotheby's in 1987 by the renowned landscape architect Michael Balston whose innovative scheme of meandering paths between "rooms" enclosed by yew hedges has now fully come to maturity.
Summers Place Auctions was established in 2007 from Sotheby's Garden Statuary department. Since then the company has embarked on an ambitious expansion programme, starting with the upgrading of the paths and restoring the stone summer house in the arboretum.
Next, the Victorian sunken garden was landscaped, featuring pergolas, a rotunda and a pillar sundial to showcase the Summers Place Collection of garden ornament, including traditional and contemporary hand carved pieces in stone, together with cutting edge designs in stainless steel, which are all available for sale throughout the year.
Adjacent is the contemporary sculpture garden framed by yew and hornbeam hedges which is the ideal backdrop for the increasingly popular modern sculpture offered in the May and October auctions.
Although blessed with stunning gardens for the display of outdoor sculpture, the facilities for indoor pieces required signifcant improvement and so in October 2012 a new custom built 5000 sq ft gallery was formally opened and named the Morris Weller Gallery after Alistair Morris, FRICS and Leslie Weller, DL, FRICS formerly Managing Director and Chairman of Sotheby's in Sussex.
The gallery features a stunning glazed atrium which provides a tunnel of light leading through to the walled garden. The walls have been panelled with a revolutionary slate veneer, providing the perfect colours and texture to complement the sculpture and works of art on view, as well as giving us the opportunity to branch into the increasingly popular new area of modern design together with natural history and fossil decoration. It has also enabled us to hold complementary exhibitions of established artists such as the renowned watercolourist, Alexander Creswell in May 2013 at the same time as our auction was on view.
The gallery recently won a commendation after coming top in the Best Small Commercial Building category in the LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Awards for the South of England, and also gained two RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) nominations for Innovation and Design.
Check out our slideshow, below...