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A PAIR OF PAINTED AND PARCEL-GILT HARDWOOD LARGE ELEPHANT FIGURES

This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table below - these will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Christie’s Park Royal. All collections from Christie’s Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends.
PROPERTY FROM FARINGDON HOUSE, OXFORDSHIRE, LOTS 1-145All objects tell a story, but, the contents of Faringdon House hint at one that is full of intrigue, eccentricity and even ​scandal. When the composer, painter, diplomat and writer, Lord Berners fell in love with Robert "Mad Boy" Heber-Percy, the pair turned their Oxfordshire home into an extraordinary aesthetes' paradise. During the 1930s, Stravinsky, Dali​ and Gertrude Stein came to stay, the Marchesa Casati arrived with her python in a glass tank and Cecil Beaton took photographs. All the Mitfords were friends and Nancy Mitford immortalised their lives in The Pursuit of Love. The house's visitors' books are filled with the names of the famous, the beautiful and the badly-behaved.Berners wrote music for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and Sadler's Wells, and Frederick Ashton, Constant Lambert and Margot Fonteyn gathered around the piano in Faringdon's green drawing room. The Mad Boy rode his horse bareback and naked around the estate and dyed the fantail doves every colour of the rainbow - a tradition that persists to this day. There was always a dash of humour in life at Faringdon. Berners built an extraordinary folly tower up on the hill above the town as a 21st birthday present for the Mad Boy, and placed a sign saying "Members of the public committing suicide from this tower do so at their own risk". Masks and costumes were frequently donned, birds of paradise strolled in and out of the house, and the dogs were given pearl collars. The paintings and furniture at Faringdon reflect this unusual heritage and are a diverse collection that include Lord Berners' own art, as well as pictures and antiques he inherited and much that was acquired during a lifetime spent travelling and working in France, Italy, Germany and Turkey. If only the objects could speak.Sofka ZinovieffAuthor of The Mad Boy, Lord Berners, My Grandmother and Me
A PAIR OF PAINTED AND PARCEL-GILT HARDWOOD LARGE ELEPHANT FIGURES

MID-20TH CENTURY, THE DECORATION PROBABLY LATER

Details
A PAIR OF PAINTED AND PARCEL-GILT HARDWOOD LARGE ELEPHANT FIGURES MID-20TH CENTURY, THE DECORATION PROBABLY LATER Each on a stepped plinth on oval base 45 ½ in. (116 cm.) high
Literature
M. Girouard, ‘Faringdon House, Berkshire - II, The Home of Mr. Robert Heber-Percy.’, Country Life, 19 May 1966, p. 1249. fig. 3., illustrated in the small drawing room.
Special Notice

This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table below - these will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Christie’s Park Royal. All collections from Christie’s Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends.

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Celia Harvey
Celia Harvey Head of Sale, Specialist

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