Louis Moreau, maître in 1764.
THE HILLINGDON COLLECTION
The fabled Hillingdon Collection was formed by Sir Charles Mills, Bt. (1792-1872), and enlarged by his son the 1st Lord Hillingdon (1830-1898). One of the greatest groups of 18th century French furniture and works of art assembled in the 19th century, the Hillingdon Collection included no fewer than 17 pieces of Louis XV and Louis XVI porcelain-mounted furniture, the largest accumulation of such pieces ever to be assembled. These pieces (together with other furniture and Sèvres porcelain), were sold from the collection in 1936, and are now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (Decorative Art from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, London, 1964, pp. 116-119).
Charles Mills was born into a banking family and was the third generation to be associated with the private banking house of Glyn, Mills & Co., becoming a partner in 1821. He and his wife Emily, the daughter of a partner of Cox's bank, divided their time between Camelford House, at the corner of Oxford Street and Park Lane, and Hillingdon Court, their country house in Middlesex. He and his brothers, who were also passionate collectors, were regular customers at the leading London dealers of the day such as John Webb, while many pieces from Charles Mills's collection were included in the Loan Exhibition of Art Treasures of the United Kingdom held at Manchester in 1857. The curator of the exhibition, J. B. Waring, noted that 'Mr. Mills has ... quite a museum ...' His son, the 1st. Lord Hillingdon, added to the collection formed by his father, and was a buyer at the legendary Hamilton Palace sale of 1882. He also commissioned from Christie's a privately printed catalogue of the collections at Camelford House and at Wildernesse Park, the country house near Sevenoaks he had acquired from Lord Camden.