On Wednesday the 27th  and Thursday the 28th of January, Golding Young Auctioneers & Valuers will be presenting a 2-day auction for the contents of the historic, Newbold Pacey Hall.


Situated in the heart of Warwickshire, sits a mansion, surrounded by a parkland setting. It has been in the same family since it was built by William Little in 1780 – 1790. Much of the contents in the sale belonged to, or was gifted to the family throughout the decades in which they resided in the house, (which is now being sold alongside its contents).

A set of early 19thC 'Grand Tour' Parthenon Frieze plaster plaques
A rare 17thC Venetian glass campana shaped flask


As with any estate contents sale, the auction is packed full of curios and collectables, alongside bold pieces of furniture and large scale paintings purchased for a period property of this size and stature. Many of these wonderful treasures would have been acquired by members of the family who went out on ‘Grand Tours’ to bring them back for use as display pieces, to show off to guests visiting the house, or even for entertainment after a long dinner. These pieces are described as such in the auction catalogue and are highlighted by lot 285, a set of early 19th C ‘Grand Tour’ Parthenon Frieze plaster plaques, estimated at £500-800.


Richard Plant, Auctioneer and Valuation consultant, commented on the process of unveiling the contents, much of which had been hidden away in cupboards for decades:


“It’s always a privilege and a pleasure to go into a property of this kind to value and prepare the assets for auction; every drawer you find and cupboard you open holds new and untold treasures, which tell the story of the house and its inhabitants. The house clearly belonged to an extremely well connected family and it is now time for these unique and exceptional items to find a new home. It was an honour to spend time at Newbold Pacey and to find items that had been beautifully preserved, wrapped in newspaper and untouched since the turn of the 20th century. Some of the items we found were extremely rare and include a favourite of mine, lot 368, a 17th century  or earlier Venetian glass flask the likes of which I have never seen before in my many years of working in the profession. It’s a museum quality piece and a rare treat to find.”


The item is estimated to sell for £300-500.

A large 17thC carved poker work walnut coffer
A fine pair of George IV rosewood chaise longues


Aside from a stunning selection of glassware, the auction contains everything you would expect to find in a country house from this period, with an assortment of furniture to suite all pockets and all home sizes, as well as collectors’ pieces and antiquarian books for buyers who love the intrigue and provenance of this family home.


Amongst the array of furniture, is lot 38, a beautifully carved 17thC poker work walnut coffer, which may be in need of a little restoration, yet has still been well preserved. Thought to have been transported to the UK from Portugal, this piece would serve as a stunning and uniquely chic addition to any country house. The price reflects the age and rarity of the coffer, and once restored, it could be a useable household storage chest that would also look marvellous alongside lot 224, a fine pair of George IV rosewood chaise longues, estimated at £1,500-£2,500.

Jacob More (British 1740-1793). The Falls of Tivoli
Jacob More (British 1740-1793). The Roman Campagna


Two large scale paintings by the Scottish artist Jacob More are without doubt the most impressive pieces in the paintings section of the sale. These two are complemented by a beautiful range of smaller pictures, including a selection of good quality watercolours, portraits and sketches undertaken by members of the family.


Entitled ‘The Falls of Tivoli and The Roman Campagna,’ two imposing oil on canvas works depict classical Roman scenes typical of the artist, who lived and worked in Rome throughout the 18th century. These two paintings are likely to have been purchased by a family member on a ‘Grand Tour’ who would have rolled the canvases up before transporting them back to the UK to be mounted in gesso frames.  As the most expensive lots in the auction, lots 1306 and 1307 boast high estimates of £20,000-30,000 which reflect the large scale nature of the works themselves.

A rare and important collection of Royal hair lockets, together with an account of the opening of the coffin of King Charles I in 1813, the seven hinged gold (unmarked) and glass lockets each bearing a name tab and a locket of hair for: Edward IIII, George II, George III, Queen Charlotte, Ernest King of Hanover, George IIII, William IIII and The Duke of Wellington
A George III silk pin cushion from the Royal household


Perhaps the most intriguing items in the auction however, are those with royal provenance and connections to prominent figures of the 18th and 19th centuries such as Lord Nelson and The Duke of Wellington. It is known that a family member lived and worked at Windsor Castle, which supports the connection to how a number of such items ended up at Newbold Pacey to begin with. These include lot 1418, a rare and important collection of Royal hair lockets, together with an account of the opening of the coffin of King Charles I in 1813. The seven hinged gold and glass lockets each bear a name tab and a locket of hair for: Edward IIII, George II, George III, Queen Charlotte, Ernest King of Hanover, George IIII, William IIII and The Duke of Wellington. The lot is estimated at £1,500-2,500.

Similarly, lot 1414, an exceptional piece of historical significance, makes reference to the madness of King George III. The George III silk pin cushion from the Royal household comes complete with a hand written note stating that it was ‘at a Royal residence and thrown by George III at one of the family during a fit of madness,’ where the King shouted at this family member to “take this and get out of the room!” This fascinating piece is estimated to sell for £200-300.

Thomas Bardwell (1704-1767). Portrait of Mary Suckling, wife of Roger Howman and Aunt of Lord Nelson
An engraved permit to the funeral of the late Vice Admiral Horatio Viscount Nelson (January 1806)


Lots 1303 and 1353 hold particular significance for collectors of items relating to Lord Nelson. The first is a stunning portrait of Mary Suckling, the Aunt of Lord Nelson, by Thomas Bardwell, estimated at £2,500-3,500. The second is an engraved permit to the funeral of the late Vice Admiral Horatio Viscount Nelson (January 1806), admitting William Little Esq (handwritten) into the procession from the admiralty to St Paul’s Cathedral, signed by Issac Head (the Garter King at Arms), and numbered 117. Although it is not known if Lord Nelson ever visited the house, he was certainly known well enough to the Little family for them to have been invited to his funeral. The lots is estimated at £800-1,200.

Elsewhere in the sale, are a selection of British and Oriental ceramics, including pieces from China and Japan, an extensive library of  books, a good selection of silverware and a small collection of fishing and shooting-related items.


The catalogue for the auction is laid out by category and the auctioneer has provided a remote video viewing showcasing the contents of the house as it is laid out in the auction room to recreate the experience and excitement of a viewing as if you were there in the room!


For local history lovers, collectors and enthusiasts alike, this auction has a plethora of items to browse through, bid on and buy. You can view the catalogue online, at goldingyoung.com to leave bids online ahead of the sale, and place bids live in the auction, as it takes place.




27-28 January | 10am GMT



Richard Plant | Consultant Auctioneer & Valuer

[email protected]