The Sam & Althea Lloyd Collection

The Sam & Althea Lloyd Collection

Our Fine Interiors department are privileged to offer items from the estate of Sam and Althea Lloyd in their upcoming sale, 14-15 March.

17 February 2023

Married for forty-five years, Sam and Althea Lloyd’s life was filled with their shared passions and interests, including travel, art, music…and monkeys!

Althea grew up at Stobo Castle in Peeblesshire, Scotland, but spent much time in London as her father, Hylton Murray-Philipson, was MP for Twickenham. At the age of ten, Althea’s father died which meant Stobo Castle was sold and the family relocated to Blaston in Leicestershire, thus beginning her lifelong connection with the area.

Also dividing his childhood between London and Leicestershire, Sam came from a long line of sailors on his maternal side, reflected in many of the fine pictures in the couple’s collection. His career took him into science, ultimately becoming a distinguished nuclear physicist and running an experimental nuclear reactor in The Netherlands. After marrying Althea in 1977, the couple moved there, returning to England after Sam’s partial retirement, where they divided their time between South Kilworth, Leicestershire, and Chelsea.

Sam and Althea Lloyd outside their 1936 Bentley convertible

Other notable trips abroad for Althea included driving to Siena in Italy in her treasured 1936 Bentley convertible painted in red, her favourite colour, and lovingly maintained by Sam. Althea also drove a van of supplies to Austria in 1956 to help Hungarian refugees after the uprising and emigrated to Australia for a short time before returning to London. It was during this period she acquired a six-month-old monkey who was allowed to roam their penthouse apartment overlooking Chelsea Embankment. This exotic pet would not have been an unusual sight in ‘Swinging London’ and with permission, Althea would exercise her companion in Richmond Park.

Sam and Althea met at a concert at the Royal Albert Hall and music continued to be a shared point of affection throughout their marriage. There were pianos and speakers installed in both of their properties, allowing them to enjoy their extensive collection of classical and opera. In her youth Althea had studied piano under the professor Harold Craxton and was known to play her two harpsichords, a double manual by Joop Klinkhamer of Amsterdam, and a Zuckermann example built by Sam in 1980.

A double manual harpsichord by Joop Klinkhamer of Amsterdam (£5,000-£7,000)

Throughout their later years, the couple were active members of the Leicestershire community they called home; Althea was a volunteer at the local high-security prison and Sam became involved in the church parish. The couple’s extensive collection of furniture, furnishings, pictures and Asian art includes many items from both of their homes, and Sworders are honoured to disperse their treasured possessions in our upcoming Fine Interiors auction, 14 & 15 March.

Some fine antiques from the collection include a yew wood and walnut cabinet on stand c.1700 that is expected to bring £4,000-6,000, an 18th century walnut bracket clock by Thomas Cartwright of London (estimate £1,000-2000) and a George I walnut and feathered banded architects’ desk which carries an estimate of £2,000-3,000.

A yew wood and walnut cabinet on stand (£4,000-£6,000)

Other items from the collection will also appear in other upcoming sales including Old Master, British and European Art, Modern & Contemporary Art, and Asian Art.

To access a preview of other lots from the estate click here. 


To find out more about our 14-15 March Fine Interiors Sale, please contact 




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