RELEASE: Contents from the House of Withnail’s Uncle Monty To Be Sold At Christie’s South Kensington

South Kensington – Paintings, furniture and furnishings which featured in the cult British film Withnail and I (1987) are to be auctioned at Christie’s South Kensington saleroom on Sunday, 31 July 2011. West House was used as the filming location for Uncle Monty’s townhouse in the film Withnail and I, and items including an early Victorian mahogany armchair, a pine library ladder, and a Victorian brass inkstand, form part of The Collection of Professor Bernard Nevill: Property from West House, Glebe Place – a collection of 227 lots, which is expected to realize in the region of £200,000.  

The sale features a variety of home furnishings, fine antiques and decorative objects with impeccable provenance, at affordable prices, with estimates starting at only £100. The highest value item within the collection is a sporting painting, The Lost Scent, by the pre-eminent Maud Earl (1863-1943), which is expected to fetch £8,000 to £12,000. The most affordable item is a photographic reproduction after Philip Webb (1831-1915) of a design for West House (the original drawings of which are housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum) estimated at £100 to £150.

West House was designed in 1868 by Philip Webb, the Arts and Crafts architect responsible for William Morris’s Red House. Just over 100 years later, Professor Bernard Nevill acquired the house, and spent more than three decades perfecting the interior. Situated in an idyllic pocket in Chelsea, between the King’s Road and the River Thames, the house has featured in Tatler, Vogue, House & Garden and other glossy publications.

A forerunner of the ‘shabby chic’ style in the 1980s, Professor Bernard Nevill used his academic expertise and sensitive decorating skills to compile the collection on offer. The youngest ever student to attend St. Martin’s College of Art, London, Nevill later returned to teach there, as well as at the Royal College of Art in London. In 1960 Nevill was appointed as consultant designer for Liberty, and later became Design Director, and he remained at the famous London luxury department store for more than ten years. He has been credited with playing a large part in revitalizing Liberty’s traditional prints, and also had great success in designing furnishing fabrics and designs for the theatre. The collection perfectly displays his inimitable style by drawing together objects that reflect the diverse influences ingrained in the history of West House. Some of the quirkier items on offer include a Victorian servant’s call box (lot 37-£200-400), an Edwardian mahogany tennis racquet stand (lot 72-£400-600), and an early Victorian mahogany wine cooler (lot 213-£1,500-2,500).

*For items which once featured in the cult classic Withnail and I please view pdf version of press release.

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High resolution images and further information available upon request


Notes to Editors:

Public Viewing:          
Friday 29 July:                9.00am – 5.00pm
Saturday 30 July:            11.00am - 5.00pm 

Auction:           The Collection of Professor Bernard Nevill: Property from West House, Glebe Place
Sunday, 31 July 2011 at 11.30am

Ecatalogue:     Available online now at

Christie’s South Kensington

Open seven days a week, Christie’s South Kensington is one of the busiest salerooms in the UK, annually holding over 100 sales and offering more than 20,000 lots. The recently refurbished saleroom facilities and exhibition spaces provide one of the most accessible, well lit and welcoming sales arenas in the world, consistently attracting over 200,000 visitors a year. Interiors sales dedicated to home furnishings are held three times a month alongside monthly Sunday sales of single-owner collections, and specialised sales for the avid collector are scheduled throughout the year according to category. Every lot is beautifully illustrated in a large scale magazine-style catalogue and in an online e-catalogue. Christie’s South Kensington appeals to a worldwide audience – in 2010 bidders originated from over 50 countries, with around 20% of bidders taking part in auctions from the comfort of their own home or office, using Christie’s unique online bidding facility, Christie’s LIVE™.



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Tuesday – Friday:  9.00am – 5.00pm

Saturday & Sunday:  11.00am - 5.00pm


 Prices do not include buyers’ premium


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*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.