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Buy a slice of English country house life - entire contents of Staffordshire mansion to be sold

Posted on 30/09/2018 in Press Coverage

Country house magnificence could be yours thanks to the sale of the entire contents of an 18th century mansion in Staffordshire.

More than 300 items from Bishton Hall, a Georgian property at Wolseley Bridge, near Stafford, are to be sold by Derbyshire’s Hansons Auctioneers this autumn.

Adrian Rathbone, Hansons’ Associate Director, says the sale offers a one-off, unique opportunity to acquire objects that are part of the rich heritage of one of the county’s most impressive homes.

He said: “Bishton Hall is magnificent and I’m proud to have a family connection to this classically handsome country home. My father has been involved with St Bede’s Prep School, which has been based at Bishton Hall, and I have come to know the property thanks to antique valuation events Hansons has held there for the last three years.


“We’re proud to be selling the contents of the hall, which belongs to the Stafford Northcote family. I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time there to catalogue the hundreds of items now coming up for sale.”

Everything from 17th, 18th and 19th century furniture and classic portraits to silver, ceramics and even a 1958 Land Rover will be in the Autumn Country House & Fine Art Sale. Bishton Hall will host Hansons entire six-day-Fine Art Sale, from October 10-16. This means people will have the opportunity to see the antiques in situ as all viewing days will be held at the hall.

“For me, Bishton Hall captures that quintessentially English display of elegance and good taste other nations yearn for,” said Mr Rathbone. “It’s a treasure trove of delights.

“Everywhere you look, your attention is captured by another fine antique or glorious painting, items which have been part of this grand mansion for centuries.”


Antique riches include a pair of 19th century Anglo-Indian gilt lacquer chests on stands, estimate £3,000-£4,000; a George III country oak sideboard, estimate £1,000-£1,500; a 19th century Empire design circular centre table with black marble top, estimate £300-£400, and a George III flame mahogany chest on a stand with a Chinese blind fret frieze, estimate £1,000-£1,500.

Fine paintings include an early 19th century, English school, portrait of a woman in a white dress, estimate £2,000-£3,000; a full-length portrait of a lady in a green dress with her dog, Fluffkins, by German Fritz Von Kamptz (1866-1938), estimate £1,000-£1,500, a painting of a seated lady surrounded by cherubs in the style of Italian Carlo Moretti, estimate, £600-£800, and an oil of The Grand Canal, Venice, in the style of Canaletto, estimate £3,000-£5,000.

Garden statues are included in the sale and include a magnificent moustached warrior, estimate £300-£500. Quirky items include a Victorian saddlecloth, estimate £400-£500, and a signed photo of former American president Theodore Roosevelt, dated 1909, estimate £500-£800 (to be sold separately in Hansons’ October 1 Library Auction).

Mr Rathbone added: “There is even a series 1 Land Rover from 1958, estimate £5,000-£8,000. You could buy a classic car to explore your own country estate.”


The sale also includes many affordable items suchas a 17th century oak chest, estimate £150-£200, and a series of watercolour studies by H R Williams, estimate £50-£100 each.

Bishton was first mentioned in the Domesday Book and the current house dates back to circa 1750. Its east wing was added in the 19th century. Meanwhile, the magnificent Temple Garden was built in the 1840s.

The Grade II* listed property’s formal gardens include a temple and orangery. The temple garden, restored by English Heritage, features a central Doric screen, one of the largest and finest of its kind in the country.There is also a parterre filled with English roses.

The house boasts three principal front rooms, sash windows with moulded architraves, a panelled entrance hall and many good 18th century chimney pieces. Most of the 18th century joinery is intact, including panelled doors, and the house has a set of servants’ bells.

Bishton Hall Country House Sale and Fine Art Auction Dates


Wednesday 10th October: Silver at 2pm. Jewellery & Watches Showcase at 6pm
Thursday 11th October: Ceramics, Glass, European and Oriental Works of Art at 10.30am
Friday 12th October: Fine furniture, Carpets, Clocks and Oak Sale at 10.30am
Saturday 13th October: The Contents of Bishton Hall at 10.30am
Monday 15th October: Fine Art Paintings, Made in Derbyshire, The Library Auction & Paintings at 10.30am
Tuesday 16th October: Farewell to Bishton - The Attic Contents at 10.30am

Viewing Days

Monday 8th October: 11am-4pm
Tuesday 9th October: 11am-7pm
Wednesday 10th October: 11am-6pm
11th, 12th, 13th, 15th & 16th October: 9am-10.30am

IMPORTANT: The auction and viewing will take place at Bishton Hall (Saint Bede’s Prep School), Wolseley Bridge, Staffordshire, ST17 OXN.

CLICK HERE to view catalogue

To find out more, email [email protected]