Operating since 1782, Sworders is one of the leading fine art and antiques auction houses in the United Kingdom. In 2008, the business expanded into its purpose-built auction rooms in Stansted Mountfitchet, opened by HRH Princess Michael of Kent. This year, we celebrate 10 years in our award-winning premises and, to mark the occasion, we will host a prestigious 10th anniversary sale on Tuesday 19 June, profiling fine furniture, British and European paintings, silver, clocks and works of art.
Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent opening our Stansted Mountfitchet Saleroom in 2008
The creation of what was Europe’s largest straw bale building in it's year of construction was a labour of love for Sworders directors who struggled for five years to be granted planning permission for the project. When work finally began in 2006, craftsmen arrived in Essex from far-afield - the timber frame from Scandinavia and the cedar shingle roof fitted by a team from New Zealand.
While the total bill was close to £1.7m, the principal building material - ordinary straw bales compressed in a baler - cost a relatively modest £4,000 with much of the workforce provided by trainees keen to learn a valuable new skill. Shortly after opening it's doors, the building won a sustainability award from the RICS.
Over the last decade, our beautiful saleroom has been a fitting environment for a series of incredible sales.
In January 2012, Sworders had the pleasure of selling Two Rotating Forms II – a sculpture crafted by English artist, Dame Barbara Hepworth DBE in 1966. Created from alabaster stone, fixed on an ebonised wooden base, this innovative piece of modern British art sold for a weighty £250,000. Another notable piece of modern British art sold in April 2016 - Easter Bouquet. This 1934 oil on canvas, by Suffolk-based artist Cedric Morris, pushed the hammer to £49,000. In June 2017, an early 16th century oak aumbry cupboard sold for £65,000.
Guy Schooling, Chairman at Sworders, comments: “Our auction rooms have attracted a huge variety of extraordinary items – from the curious to the incredible. Our 10th anniversary auction provides an opportunity to celebrate some of the most memorable sales from the last decade. With consignments still being accepted, the high profile nature of the anniversary event is set to attract some truly marvellous items – from the finest art and antiques, to historical artefacts and works of art”.
Dame Barbara Hepworth DBE (1903-1975) 'Two Rotating Forms II'
SOLD FOR £250,000 in January 2012
Cedric Morris (1889-1992) 'EASTER BOUQUET', 1934
SOLD FOR £49,000 in April 2016
An oak aumbry or dole cupboard, English, early 16th century
SOLD FOR £65,000 in June 2017
The anniversary sale will provide an opportunity to bid on a variety of extraordinary items, including a pair of paintings by British marine painter, William John Huggins, estimated at £6,000- £8,000. The paintings illustrate 19th century lifeboats at a boat wreck, believed to be a representation of a real incident.
Also consigned for sale – The Bury Hill cabinets – two George lll period Coromandel lacquer press cupboards constructed from 17th century panels, depicting a palace scene, animals, birds and flowers. In England, the use of this style of Chinese lacquerware to make up pieces of furniture was relatively rare.
'The Bury Hill Cabinets', two George lll coromandel lacquer press cupboards, constructed from 17th century panels decorated in polychrome, depicting a palace scene, animals, birds and flowers. Estimated at £10,000-15,000 for the June sale
Bury Hill is an estate of around 1600 acres located to the west side of the Surrey town of Dorking, created by Edward Walter. The Bury Hill Estate was bequeathed to Walter's son-in-law Viscount Grimston. In 1815 it was purchased by Robert Barclay (1751-1830), the wealthy Southwark Brewer and remained with the Barclay family for one hundred and fifty years. The Bury Hill cabinets are estimated at £4,000 - £6,000 for the sale.
In addition, a beautiful, George IV period silver wine cooler, which takes a partly fluted campana form, engraved with an intriguing crest, with the gadroon border decorated with shells. The item was produced in 1823 by William Bateman, a well-known London-based silversmith. Hester Bateman (1709-1794), grandmother of William, was the most famous English female silversmith of the 18th century.
We are currently welcoming examples of fine furniture, British and European paintings, silver, clocks and works of art for the sale, to be held on Tuesday 19 June. Closing Date - Friday 4 May 2018.
To find out more about the forthcoming sale or to discuss potential consignments, please contact one of our specialists below.
Our specialists hold regular valuation days. Please contact us for more information, or complete the form on this page to enquire about the valuation of your items.
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 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
Auctioneer and Valuer
James is an auctioneer & valuer with 7 years of auction room experience to add to a lifetime of interest in antiques. He heads up the fortnightly Homes & Interiors sales, offering a range of high quality and affordable modern and antique furnishings for the home and garden. These sales are the perfect introduction to the auction world for new and inexperienced buyers.
T: 01279 817778