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Christie's sale brings together the finest of Colefax and Fowler from the 1950s to the present
A pair of stained-beech arched-back sofas, 20th century. Estimate: £5,000-8,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.

LONDON.- Christie’s announces the sale Colefax and Fowler, Then and Now: Collections From Hambleden Manor, Lushill, and 39 Brook Street, Mayfair, due to be held in South Kensington on 10 July 2013.

For over 50 years, Colefax and Fowler has captured the essence of English style. The auction, comprising some 500 lots from three collections, brings together the finest of Colefax and Fowler from the 1950s to the present. The first of these collections comes from Hambleden Manor, Buckinghamshire, until this year home of Maria Carmela, Viscountess Hambleden, and offers a time capsule of decorating history. Following her marriage in 1955 to the 4th Viscount Hambleden, Lady Hambleden commissioned John Fowler of the London firm Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler to decorate the family home. Their collaboration resulted in a tour de force of colour, light and charm. The sale will also include a small collection from Lushill, home of foxhunting legend Captain Fred Barker, whose drawing room and galleried reception hall are magnificent examples of country-house decoration synonymous with the name John Fowler. These two private collections are complemented by 130 lots selected from the antiques department of Colefax and Fowler at their prestigious Mayfair address, 39 Brook Street. The present day Colefax and Fowler aesthetic is defined as timeless elegance and subtlety, with an emphasis on comfort and quality. The overall sale is expected to realize in excess of £700,000, with estimates ranging from £300 to £40,000.

Hambleden Manor, Buckinghamshire
The unspoilt and picturesque village of Hambleden, Buckinghamshire, noted for its brick and flint cottages and medieval church, is the setting for a gabled Elizabethan manor house, until earlier this year home of Lady Hambleden and one of the best known and preserved historic interiors by John Fowler. Lady Hambleden’s warmth, spirit and flair filled the interiors of the quintessential English manor house, which were created with the formidable and renowned decorator John Fowler. A friend of the young designer Valentino, Lady Hambleden brought her own vision of style to bear on the interiors. John Fowler had travelled to Italy in the early 1950s, visiting a number of Palladian Villas in the Veneto region. It was fortuitous that on his return Lady Hambleden became his first major decorating commission of the period, and his first Italian client. Recommended to Lady Hambleden by cousins, Earl and Countess of Pembroke, John Fowler had already made a name for himself as a modern and resourceful decorator of English country houses and the project became a meeting of minds. The collection encompasses fine English Furniture, Old Master Pictures, Silver, Books, Works of Art and pieces commissioned directly from John Fowler in the late 1950s.

39 Brook Street, Mayfair
Roger Jones, director of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler comments: “John Fowler’s glorious work at Hambledon Manor in the 1950s epitomises the style of decoration on which the reputation of Colefax and Fowler was founded, and we are delighted to have been invited by Christie’s to join in this celebration of one of his major achievements. We are taking the opportunity to offer a selection of items from the current stock in our historic showrooms at 39 Brook Street, demonstrating, we hope, our ability to accommodate more modern tastes whilst honouring the high standards set by our founders.”

Colefax and Fowler’s antiques department, based at 39 Brook Street in central London, will be represented by furniture, porcelain and works of art that display the versatility and outstanding quality for which the firm has established their unique and unrivalled reputation within the interior design and decoration industry. The famous yellow room, (as shown on page 2, left and right), is illustrated with items selected for the sale.

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