Lot 248
  • 248

English School

10,000 - 15,000 USD
12,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • English School
  • The Saloon, Arbury Hall, Warwickshire
  • watercolor over pencil heightened with white and gum arabic, with stopping out on paper laid down on board


Sotheby's London, May 26, 1983, lot 346, illustrated


John Cornforth, English Interiors 1790-1848, London, 1978, pp. 122-3, illustrated pl. 152

Catalogue Note

Arbury Hall, Warwickshire, has been the home of the Newdigate family (later the Newdigate-Newdegate and Fitzroy-Newdegates) since the sixteenth century, when it was built in Tudor style. Arbury Hall was Gothicized between 1750-1800 by Sir Roger Newdigate under the direction of Sanderson Miller, Henry Keene and Henry Couchman of Warwick.  Keene was responsible for many of the main rooms completed by the time of his death in 1776 while Couchman and plasterer W. Hanwell are credited with the Saloon and its incredible ceiling completed by 1788. The elaborate plaster ceiling is inspired by medieval prototypes, but is a fantastic interpretation in its well-planned mingling of crowded patterns, such as the trefoil cresting on the inner and outer edges of the arch framing the bay window. Whereas Gothic architectural design was dictated by function, in Arbury Hall it is completely and charmingly decorative. The room's décor is complimented by George Romney's portraits of Sir Roger and his second wife (painted in 1791).  The Chippendale gothic settees and chairs are upholstered with needlework completed by Sir Roger's mother (Olive Cook, The English Country House Through Seven Centuries, London, 1984, pp. 244-6; Cornforth, p. 122).