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Christie's presents the private collection from the home of the late Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor
John Banting, Untitled. Estimate: £3,000-5,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2012.
LONDON.- Christie’s announced the sale of the principle contents of Mill Farm, Gloucestershire, the home of the late Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor. Known as ‘Paddy’ to his friends, Sir Patrick was a legendary travel writer and extraordinary war hero who was once described as ‘a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Green.’

The Collection will be offered as the first 100 lots of the Interiors sale on 15th May, and is expected to realize a total in excess of £150,000. The Collection will include decorative objects, books, furniture, Modern British and Old Master pictures, as well as silver objects of vertu, with estimates from only £200.

The collection is of particular interest not only due to the variety and quality of the pieces on offer, but also because of the fascinating story of the life of Sir Patrick, which gives these pieces an exciting and unique provenance.

Sir Patrick, regarded as a biographer’s dream, was a rare combination of scholar and man of action with charisma and good looks. An eminent travel writer, ‘Paddy’ was most famous for his account of his year- long walk from Rotterdam to Istanbul in 1934, when he was only eighteen years old. This journey was later published in his popular books A Time of Gifts (1977), and Between the Woods and the Water (1986).

It would be hard to think of a more exciting life lived in the 20th century: having survived the fall of Crete, he lived in caves in the mountains disguised as a shepherd for a year and a half during the Nazi occupation from 1941. In 1944 he and fellow writer Bill Stanley Moss went on to avoid capture by dressing as German police officers and bluffed their way through twenty-two different check-points. As a result of his dedicated service he received a DSO and is considered to be a national war Hero in Crete to this day.

After the war Fermor journeyed around Greece with his wife Joan, devoting much of his time to writing and staying with his artistic and creative friends – including the artist Nico Ghika.

Both Fermor and Joan were very sociable personalities, and some of their many eminent friends and admirers included Alberto Giacometti, Lawrence Durrell, John Betjeman, Lucian Freud and Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, many of whom frequently visited The Mill House where they shared and cultivated a love for the arts. This love is eloquently displayed through the fine quality of items in this collection.



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