Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Please note Payments and Collections will be unavailable on Monday 12th July 2010 due to a major update to the Client Accounting IT system.
For further details please call +44 (0) 20 7839 9060 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
THE SPENCER CARRIAGES
The thirteen horse-drawn vehicles in the sale (lots 194-200 and 208-213) represent a cross-section of those needed by a 19th century aristocratic family that divided its time between political and social life in London or Dublin and a more bucolic existence in Northamptonshire. Their survival after the invention of the internal combustion engine is remarkable enough but all the more because many had previously been stored in the stables at Spencer House, which was destroyed by a bomb in 1941.
Several of the carriages are made by elite London makers. The two-seat State Chariot (lot 200), reserved for the use of Lord and Lady Spencer themselves on state occasions, was made by Barker and Sons of Chandos Place, as was the park barouche (lots 198). Along with the posting barouche (lot 194), also attributed to Barker, these carriages are the oldest in the group and would have been extremely carefully maintained throughout the century. The largest number by one maker is five (lots 197, 208, 209, 210, 212) by Peters and Sons of Park Street and Upper George Street. They were leading makers of the mid-century and exhibited at the 1862 London International exhbition.
Of the greatest local interest are the two carriages (lots 196 and 211) by Mulliner of Northampton, probably Francis Mulliner who also exhibited at the 1862 exhibition. His exhibit was a 'Fitzroy phaeton, made of malleable steel instead of iron, (with) wheels of hickory'. The Mulliner carriages provide an unbroken link to today's leading car manufacturers. Another member of the family moved from carriages to building bodies for Rolls Royce and the name survives today as the special projects division of Bentley. The then owner of the car coach-builders, Colonel H.H. Mulliner, was one of the great collectors of English decorative arts in the early 20th century and was the author of The Decorative Arts in England, 1924.