Have you ever held a yard sale in order to fund a home repair project? Well, that’s precisely what Earl Spencer, brother of Princess Diana, did when he needed ten million pounds to repair the roof at Althorp and fund other home repair projects. Rather than use his driveway and front yard, Earl Spencer used the famous Christies auction house to auction off paintings, furniture, carriages, livery, uniforms, walking sticks, canes, snuff boxes, spoons, linens, porcelain, inkstands, and more.
Too bad the auction is over, because I would have selected these items for myself:
I’m partial to prints and artwork and would not have been able to resist a miniature of Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806). Georgiana died before the Regency, but she was a super star of her day, a fashion icon and a political hostess as well as a lady who personified some of the excesses of the Georgian era.
This is Lady Anne Horatia Seymour, wife of Lord Hugh Seymour, one of the Prince Regent’s set, and good friend of Mrs. Fitzherbert. Isn’t she pretty?
This fellow is Colonel Sir Horace Beauchamp Seymour, son of Lady Anne Horatia Seymour. Doesn’t he just look like the perfect Regency gentleman? Look at that hair!
I also love antique porcelain and I thought these Chinese Famille Rose plates (1736-95) were particularly beautiful.
I also could not resist this lovely piece of furniture which the auction house called a “Louis XVI Giltwood Canape.”
There were so many treasures at the auction that it would have been hard to limit myself. As it was, I “spent” about ten thousand pounds. And I noticed that most of what I coveted was Georgian, not Regency. I suppose my Regency world is furnished with Georgian decor.
Did you ever buy a treasure at an auction or a yard sale? When I was at college I bought a desk and a vacuum cleaner worth every bit of the ten dollars I spent!
Which of Earl Spencer’s treasures would you have purchased?