North Mymms Park

The Principal Contents of North Mymms Park 

Situated in the Hertfordshire countryside, just four miles from Hatfield and six from St Albans, is one of Britain’s finest Jacobean homes - North Mymms Park.

And on the 17th and 18th April 2018, Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers will sell its primary contents. 

The current house at North Mymms was built for the Coningsby family - High Sheriffs of Hertfordshire. Remodelled and resold many times across four centuries, in its many guises it has been a sanctuary for fine art and antiques. 

The exquisite tapestries have long been revered - a reminder of an era when these monumental weavings were the ultimate expression of status, power, taste, and wealth. Most were collected by the Anglo-American banker Walter Hayes Burns and his wife Mary, who purchased the estate in the 1893 to accommodate their growing art collection.

Nineteen of these larger-than-life textiles form the centrepiece of Sworders’ sale - including two part sets that came to North Mymms via the American financier and collector John Pierpont Morgan.


The Great South Hall Then and Now - On the left, the great South Hall as it looked in the late 19th century when owned by the Anglo-American banker Walter Hayes Burns (1838-97). The monumental stone chimneypiece was among the alterations made at North Mymms by the Victorian architect Sir Ernest George. On the right, the South Hall today with the Burns family tapestries still in situ.


The house has many reminders of its 17th century roots - vernacular furniture, leather blackjack ale jugs, and Tudor and Stuart portraiture. But the collection spans five centuries of artistic endeavour. 

More than 100 paintings in the sale range in period and style from 16th panel paintings to Victorian marines while fine examples of English and Continental furniture are complemented by Georgian and later table silver.

Bringing the collection up to date is the North Mymms collection of post-war silver goblets, commissioned from British silversmiths into the present day. 

In total around 650 lots will be sold in April.

This ranks among the finest house sales Sworders have conducted in 30 years and will be one of the most important auction events of the spring.


With thanks to -

Hickman Shearer



North Mymms Park - A Guided Tour 


Forthcoming Sale Highlights

Julius Caesar Tapestry


One of a set of six 17th century Brussels tapestries depicting scenes from the life of Julius Caesar

Est. £10,000-20,000



A rare Charles I leather and studwork muniment chest


Est. £3,000 - 5,000

George IV candelabra


An impressive pair of George IV cast and chased silver candelabra by Charles and John Fry, London 1824

Est. £15,000 - 20,000

George III apothecary cabinet

A George III mahogany apothecary's cabinet and contents

Est. £300-500

Philip Mercier Oil on Canvas

Philip Mercier (French, 1689-1760)

*Detail A Young Woman Taking off her Stocking, oil on canvas

Est. £15,000-20,000

Blackjack Leather Jugs

A matched set of three graduated 'blackjack' leather jugs

Est. £600-800

Post-war silver goblet by Robert Welch

A spiral fluted cup by Robert Welch, London, 1990 from the North Mymms collection of post-war silver goblets

Various Estimates

George III peat bucket

A George III brass-bound mahogany peat bucket

Est. £200-400

A Guillemot and Chick watercolour by Prideaux John

A Guillemot and Chick, a pencil pen and ornithological watercolour by Prideaux John Selby (1788-1867)

Est. £800-1,200



Our specialists

Our specialists hold regular valuation days. Please contact us for more information, or complete the form below to enquire about the valuation of your items.

Guy Schooling

Chairman and auctioneer at Sworders. Guy has over 25 years experience in the world of fine art and auctioneering. His passions lie with English furniture and the Arts & Crafts Movement. He is available to undertake valuations of single items or entire collections.


T: 01279 817778

Amy Scanlon

Amy gained a BA (Hons) degree in History of Art at university College London, followed by three years in a leading London art gallery before joining Sworders.  She now leads our picture department with a special emphasis on Modern British and 20th Century Art.



T: 01279 817778

Request a valuation

If you're considering the sale of your items, we are happy to offer a free online valuation service. Please fill out the form and press the 'Submit' button below. Expect to hear from the appropriate valuer as soon as possible.

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Next auction

Homes and Interiors (including Garden Furniture and Ornaments)
Homes and Interiors (including Garden Furniture and Ornaments)

Tuesday, 6th March 2018 10:00

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