Eclectic eccentricities: Aynhoe Park sale

From a 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 to a Nile crocodile waiter

Collectors should expect the unexpected when music industry veteran James Perkins throws open the doors of his magnificent private house, Aynhoe Park, for a three-day selling exhibition, from November 15 to 17. The 17th-century Palladian house, sitting in 250 acres of Capability Brown’s landscaping in the Cotswolds, is the perfect venue for an eclectic – even eccentric – sale of curiosities, sculpture, taxidermy, furniture, photography and contemporary design.


Perkins calls the sale a “Modern Grand Tour”, so it seems appropriate that a half life-size AirFix model of a 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 (£14,400, first picture) gleams in the library. Another veteran traveller is Charlie the Butler, an early-20th-century Nile crocodile with silver engraved tray (£57,600, third picture), while contemporary trophies include a rhino head (edition of five; £42,000) and an Irish elk (edition of five; £14,000), both in moulded bronzed resin, created by James Perkins in collaboration with luxury surface specialist Based Upon. Further pieces from this highly regarded design studio include the bronze Fragmented Crack coffee table (edition of five; £78,000), Stillness Speaks, a framed, mixed-metal artwork (unique; £19,200) and The Baby (unique; £450,000, second picture) – a piano built into a sweeping sculptural form made from fibreglass, brass, pigmented resin and liquid metal.

Those more interested in covetable contemporary designs will also be well rewarded. Haberdashery London has created Plume, an LED chandelier with a stunning drop of handmade porcelain, gold-lustre leaves (edition of five; £45,600). Then there’s Nest’s Siren chair (unique; £3,480), in handcrafted maple with a two-tone lacquer finish, and Ben Rousseau’s elegant fibreglass Silver Chair (edition of eight; £6,600, fourth picture), while Ian Douglas-Jones has designed the Crystal Lounger (prototype, £7,800), fabricated by Atelier I-N-D-J in polished chrome, galvanised steel and calf leather. Throw in artist Robi Walters’ eye-catching Jamaican Red Macaw (£7,200) and numerous other artworks, and you have all the ingredients for an eclectic collector’s dream day trip.


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