Georgian Splendour from Longford Castle

Georgian Splendour from Longford Castle

A magnificent pair of George II pier mirrors attributed to Benjamin Goodison will be offered for sale in our upcoming Fine Interiors sale on 14-15 June.

20 May 2022

Longford Castle was built during the Elizabethan period with the proceeds of one the Contents of the Duke of Medina-Sidonia’s galleons, which sank in the wake of the Spanish Armada. In 1717 it came under the ownership of Sir Edward des Bouverie, whose family were descendants of a Hugenot refugee, Laurens des Bouverie (1536-1610), who in the late sixteenth century fled persecution by the Catholics in the then Spanish Netherlands. Following settlement in England, his successors earned vast fortunes during the seventeenth century with the Levant Company, profiting from a time of flourishing trade with Turkey.

In 1713, Sir William des Bouverie (1656-1717) was knighted by Queen Anne, from which point they transitioned quickly into nobility, amassing wealth and status through the purchase, lease and inheritance of land, particularly in the South West of England. Upon Sir Edward’s death in 1737, his brother Sir Jacob inherited the castle and brought about the advent of several generations of refurbishment, refurnishing and remodeling. 


A pair of George II gilt gesso pier mirrors, c.1735-1740, attributed to Benjamin Goodison (c.1700-1767) displayed alongside other lots from the 14-15 June Fine Interiors sale.


Amelia Smith in Longford Castle: The Treasures and the Collectors credits Sir Jacob Bouverie as ‘the most important patron and collector of art to reside at Longford Castle’, acquiring some of its greatest assets, including ‘two suites of fine eighteenth century gilded and upholstered furniture’ of which these mirrors may have been a part. Some of the decorative motifs seen in these mirrors are similar to those in a pair of pedestals, also attributed to Goodison, which were sold at Christie's, The Collection of Paul F. Walter, 27th September 2017. The remaining four are still situated in the castle’s picture gallery, in which also reside gilded furniture attributed to the likes of Giles Grendey and William Vile.  

Other notable pieces that were acquired during this period include Hans Holbein’s ‘Ambassadors’, sold to the National Gallery in 1890, and works by the Velasquez, Claude Lorraine, Poussin, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Godfrey Kneller and Van Dyck.


Other lots from the Pleydell-Bouverie Family being offered for sale in the 14-15 Fine Interiors sale, clockwise from top-left: a walnut and oyster-veneered chest; a silk embroidered panel, late 17th/early 18th century; a walnut chest on stand; and a George III map sampler of England and Wales.


The pair are complemented by other items of eighteenth-century furniture and works of art from the Pleydell-Bouverie Family to be offered in the Fine Interiors auction. The sale will be held at our Stansted Mountfitchet Auction Rooms on 14-15 June and will be available for in-room and online bidding.


For further information contact:

Alex Hallett | 





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