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AN ITALIAN GILTWOOD OVERMANTEL
This lot will be removed to an off-site warehouse … Read more Colefax and Fowler 39 Brook Street, Mayfair (Lots 1-129) John Fowler's work for Viscountess Hambleden at Hambleden Manor in the 1950s was one of the key early projects that helped establish his reputation as "The Prince of Decorators". The taste it exemplified was a strand of the idealised English country house look for which Colefax and Fowler became a synonym in the years that followed. In the 1970s, the interiors at Hambleden were refreshed by Imogen Taylor, John Fowler's assistant and one of his successors in the company. During the following two decades she and her colleagues, including Tom Parr and Stanley Falconer, were kept busy satisfying the seemingly insatiable demand for traditional English interior decoration of the highest standard, both in this country and abroad. The projects were numerous and varied but all, in one way or another, bore the unmistakable stamp of Colefax and Fowler. Any example of interior decoration reflects not only the time when it was created but also the tastes and way of life of the client for whom it was conceived. Time moves on, and clients' tastes and way of life may change as well. Clients also move house and, when they have gone, the interiors that are left lose much of their relevance and are usually, and rightly, disassembled. Anyone who first saw images of the beautiful rooms at Hambleden when they were first published many years ago might be surprised to know that they remained intact until a very short while ago. Lady Hambleden's departure and the dispersal of the Manor's contents after more than 50 years is the end of an unusually long era in interior decoration terms. When Christie's asked whether as a company we might be interested in having a presence at the sale, it seemed a very appropriate invitation to accept. This sale therefore not only celebrates one of John Fowler's earliest major achievements and marks its passing into history but has given us an opportunity to show something of how the company he founded has responded to changing times. We are as busy as ever with decorating projects, and several years ago reverted to our original trading name of "Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler" (partly to distinguish ourselves from our sister company which retails fabrics and wallpapers under the Colefax and Fowler brand name). Country houses like Hambleden Manor - or houses of a similar size and importance in Europe or further afield - figure large in our list of current projects, and we work with the same attention to detail and to the same high standards as our founder. We also like to think that in our approach and taste there is a thread running through our work that he would recognize, but clients nowadays tend to live with less formality than their parents did, and have the tastes of a different generation. We have embraced these changes with enthusiasm. The items we are offering (Lots 1 to 129) are all selected from our current stock, and the illustrations in the catalogue show them in situ in our showrooms at 39 Brook Street. Eclecticism and mixing different periods of furniture have always been part of our decorating style, but many of the pieces which find favour with our clients nowadays may surprise those who associate our look mainly with chintz-covered chairs and Victorian papier-mâché. Interesting 20th century items with simple, clean lines have largely taken the place of these; we enjoy displaying them together with traditional antiques in a less cluttered way than before, and this is an approach which also appeals to many clients when we come to decorate their houses. This sale gives an unusual opportunity to view the development and range of the best-known British interior decorating firm over a 60-year span. To those who are bidding in the sale, whether their preferences are for items from the beginning or from the end of that period, we wish the best of luck. Director, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler
AN ITALIAN GILTWOOD OVERMANTEL

19TH CENTURY, POSSIBLY VENICE

Details
AN ITALIAN GILTWOOD OVERMANTEL
19TH CENTURY, POSSIBLY VENICE
Of arched form with shaped sides
77 in. (196 cm.) high; 67 in. (170 cm.) wide
Special notice

This lot will be removed to an off-site warehouse at the close of business on the day of sale - 2 weeks free storage

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