Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sale of the Centuries

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sale of the Centuries

Article excerpt

Byline: Katrina Burroughs

[pounds sterling]150-[pounds sterling]200: a 19th-century breche marble pedestal stand with turned and spiral fluted column (Lot 13)[pounds sterling]30,000-[pounds sterling]50,000: the carved Portland-stone Royal Box, circa 1935, removed from Royal Ascot racecourse in 2004 following a refurbishment (Lot 890). Designed by Sir Albert Richardson[pounds sterling]50-[pounds sterling]70: a classical-style bust of Apollo, God of War; 11in in height (Lot 72)

FURNITURE restorer and architectural salvage dealer Dennis Buggins hashad a hand in saving several of London's notable buildings, most famously theBaltic Exchange, which is being rebuilt in the centre of Tallinn, in Estonia.On Thursday and Friday, he is auctioning the contents of his favourite rescuecase: the 13th-century hall in Kent where he has lived for 20 years.

Buggins, 48, came across Hurst in 1986. It is a Grade I listed 13thcenturyhall, and was then dilapidated, without electricity. But Buggins could see itwould make the perfect pad for a furniture restorer who needed a workshop andstorage space. He bought it and soon realised he had a real rarity on hishands. "It's a unique structure, right on the river. Remembering we were underNorman rule at the time, I think it's possible the whole building was shippedfrom France." Preserving as many of the original timbers as he could, he setabout restoration, carrying out major works piecemeal over 10 years.

So, what is on offer in the auction tomorrow? Buggins is making a fresh startand everything must go, so the catalogue includes rustic armoires,kilim-covered sofas, gilded mirrors, lamps, chandeliers, and carved chests.These decorative furnishings are offered with low estimates, starting at [pounds sterling]30for a mahogany drop-leaf table (lot 736).

A word of warning: ask about condition beforehand because some pieces werebought with the intention of restoration.

Chairs start at about [pounds sterling]100; a pair of George III mahogany hall chairs withdisc-shaped backs is estimated at [pounds sterling]200-[pounds sterling]400 (Lot 209) and a Victorian beechleather upholstered chair with bobbin turned frame [pounds sterling]100-[pounds sterling]150 (Lot 53); atwo-seater kilim-upholstered sofa in rich reds and earthy tones is expected tofetch [pounds sterling]200-[pounds sterling]300 (Lot 27). …

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