Tue, 14th Jun 2022 10:00

Fine Interiors - Two Day Sale

  Lot 66


A carved wooden platter

A carved wooden platter,
20th century, Zulu, with a dish carved top with a handle to either end and raised on short legs,
71cm long
28cm wide
11cm high,
together with a quantity of further tribal domestic eating wares, bowls, cups etc. (qty.)

Provenance: From the collection of John Rendall, former owner of Christian the lion.

Take advantage of our Sworders Delivery Service. Please see 'Shipping estimate' below.

The Collection of John Rendall (1945-2022)

We are delighted to offer a private collection of decorative African art collected by John Rendall, former owner of Christian the Lion, in our summer Fine Interiors sale.

Sold for £240



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Auction: Fine Interiors - Two Day Sale, Tue, 14th Jun 2022


Sworders’ quarterly curated Fine Interiors sales offer stylish period and modern furnishings, decorative antiques, and important works of art, fusing traditional British and Continental antiques with eclectic works of art from Europe and further afield. With a focus on quality, rarity and style, they appeal to the discerning modern buyer whose taste and appreciation stretch far beyond the high street.

Highlights from our June sale will include pieces from several notable British estates, including the collection of Camden Passage antique dealer, Gordon Gridley, the residual contents of Bixley Manor, home of Sir Timothy Colman KG, and The Paolo Moschino Edit, a selection of pieces from the award-winning interior designer's Antique & Vintage collection.




A selection of highlights will be available to view at our London Gallery, Cecil Court, London, WC2N 4EZ, as follows: 

Wed 25 May, 10.30am - 4pm

Thu 26 May, 10.30am - 4pm

Fri 27 May, 10.30am - 4pm

Sat 28 May, 10am - 2pm

Mon 30 May, 10.30am - 4pm

Tue 31 May, 10.30am - 4pm

Wed 1 June, 10.30am - 4pm

For information on which lots will be on view, please contact: fineinteriors@sworder.co.uk


Auction viewing will be held at our Stansted Auction Rooms, Cambridge Road, Stansted Mountfitchet CM24 8GE, as follows:

Fri 10 June, 10am - 5pm 

Sat 11 June, 10am - 2pm 

Sun 12 June, 10am - 2pm 

Mon 13 June, 10am - 5pm 

All lots are, however, extensively illustrated and carry detailed condition reports - see 'Condition report' at the foot of each lot description. 

View all lots in this sale

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Buying a pre-loved, antique, or vintage item not only provides you with unique style and value for money but it also helps to reduce landfill, and the annual emissions of an antique or vintage piece can be as little as one sixteenth of those of its new equivalent!

Sworders is proud to be supporting the work of Antiques are Green - the movement that was founded in 2009 to promote “a greener future created from the past”. Read their fascinating carbon footprint study of a Georgian chest of drawers versus a modern equivalent here


Antiques are Green


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The Collection of John Rendall

Former Owner of Christian the Lion

In an almost unbelievable story of nostalgia and friendship, Rendall became known to a new generation when grainy video footage was uploaded to YouTube a decade ago. Showing John and his friend, Anthony ‘Ace’ Bourke, being greeted with huge affection by a fully grown male lion as they met in the African bush, it has been viewed over 100 million times to date. 


John Rendall and Anthony Bourke reunited with Christian in Kenya, 1971


The story began in Swinging London in 1969, when the two Australian flatmates bought Christian the cub in Harrods for £250 after seeing him kept there in a cage. Raised on a diet of steak in their two-bed flat above a furniture shop on the King’s Road in Chelsea, the lion was the talk of the town and regularly taken to society parties in the back of an open-top Mercedes. The Rolling Stones, who rehearsed nearby, would frequently drop by to visit ‘the two Aussies with a lion’.


“It really was the good old days without all those tiresome words and exaggerations that the passing of time permits to creep in. How seldom in life are we free enough just to sit, just to enjoy friendship.” 

 John Rendall speaking in 1971


© Derek Cattani 

An exotic animal in London was just a part of experimental Sixties London (at the time Harrods sold a variety of ‘pets’), but Christian had out-grown the flat by the time he was three months old. Following a meeting with the actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, stars of the 1966 film Born Free, it was arranged that Christian would be flown to Kenya and placed in the care of the lion conservationist George Adamson. The transition to the wild at the Kora National Park was successful with Christian, weighing over 500lbs, leading a pride of lionesses and a dynasty of cubs.


© Derek Cattani 

© Derek Cattani 


The events inspired Rendall to become a devoted conservationist and created a lifelong affinity with Africa and its wildlife. It also shaped his collecting, and the selection of pieces offered in these sales include a range of decorative African objects purchased during John’s visits to the continent. 


 John Rendall and Anthony Bourke reunited with Christian in Kenya, 1971


 © Derek Cattani  christianthelionprints.com

© Derek Cattani 


A selection of twenty-eight lots will be offered in our Fine Interiors sale, on 14-15 June, including a range of decorative African objects, from drums and headrests to weaponry, with estimates ranging from £200-500.




The residual contents, including John's iconic fur coat, private photographs of Christian, and other items of tribal art will be sold in Sworders’ Homes & Interiors sale on 21 June.




For further information contact: