THE PROPERTY OF A LADY
Ripley Grange, Theydon Bois, Essex was conceived and designed between 1928 and 1930 by its owner, Charles F. Clark, who made his fortune from carbon paper, as a faithful reproduction of an Elizabethan manor house with red brick walls, half timbering, plaster panels, mullioned windows and lead lattice casements. Both externally and internally almost every detail of the house was a faithful replica of a historic or architectural gem derived from such properties as Penshurst Place, Kent, Plas Mawr, Conway and the Tower of London, using the finest materials and superb craftsmanship. The house which was reputed to have cost the wealthy businessman over £100,000 combined 'Tudorbethan' authenticity with every modern labour saving device to create a luxurious and comfortable environment. To complement the richly decorated oak panelled rooms Clark acquired appropriate and sumptuous furniture, including the twelve lots offered here, possibly from one of the renowned 20th century London decorating firms such as Lenygon & Co. or Keeble Ltd. Lenygon, regarded in their day as a model for the modern 'interior decorator', had a number of important aristocratic and wealthy clients and patrons including the Duke of Devonshire, the Earl of Pembroke and W.H. Lever, later Lord Leverhulme, for whom they provided a complete decorating service and supplied antique and high quality copies of antique furniture and works of art. Keeble, established in 1899, offered a similar service, including the creation of period-style rooms in new buildings.
On 10 October 1954, Ripley Grange was advertised for sale by Hampton & Sons in the Sunday Times as a 'fabulous and unique Luxury Residence', and a year later the house was sold together with some of the furniture to the present vendor (Ripley Grange, Theydon Bois, Essex: particulars of a unique and fabulous creation by the late Mr. C.F. Clark for his own occupation for sale by auction on 28th September 1955, University Library, Cambridge, Maps.PS.19.2011).