Previous News - Fine Art and Antiques from Lympne Place the Hythe home of shipping magnate Sir Philip Haldin sell for £121,700 at The Canterbury Auction Galleries


Fine art and antiques from Lympne Place, Hythe, formerly the Kent home of shipping magnate Sir Philip and Lady Haldin, attracted worldwide interest and sold for a total of £121,700 in a sale conducted by The Canterbury Auction Galleries.

Private collectors vied with dealers from as far afield as the U.S. and Qatar for gems in the collection, which had been created by Sir Philip and Lady Haldin following their marriage in 1917. Sir Philip died in 1953 and Lympne Place was sold in 1958. The couple’s daughter, Ann Daubeny M.B.E. J.P., and her husband, the diplomat and oil company executive, Ronald Daubeny O.B.E., continued the collection following their marriage in 1955. They purchased the Linton Park estate near Maidstone in 1961 and subsequently built Cuckoo Field House on the estate when the large house was sold in 1979. Their son, Philip, who previously managed the estate, had consigned the collection for sale. He has now decided to retire and live abroad.

As anticipated, the most valuable single lot in the sale was an imposing portrait by George Romney (1734-1802), which sold for £11,500. It depicted the diplomat and politician Stratford Canning (1786-1880), 1st Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe K.G., G.C.B.,P.C. wearing a blue coat and yellow waistcoat, seated in an armchair. Best known as British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Canning was a cousin of the Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister, George Canning. He was Envoy Extraordinary and Minister-Plenipotentiary to the United States between 1820 and 1824 and held his first appointment as Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire between 1825 and 1828. The oil on canvas retained its original acanthus leaf pattern frame and was purchased by a dealer from the North West of England.

The single most expensive piece in a selection of good silver was a Charles II silver gilt, two-handled porringer and cover, embossed and chased with a lion, a dragon and bold floral ornament. Bearing hallmarks for London 1669, and the maker's mark D.C. over a rosette in a shield-shaped reserve, the porringer weighed 21.75 ounces and sold to the London trade for £4,600. A set of three George II silver rectangular tea caddies with cast pineapple finials with C-scrolls and floral and leaf ornament by Peter Gillois (London 1758 20 ozs) sold for an above estimate £3,500. They had been purchased in 1917 at a charity auction on behalf of the Red Cross Society and The Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem and given as a wedding present that year to Sir Philip and Lady Haldin. This time out, they were secured by £3,500.

An extensive George V silver fiddle and thread pattern table service by F. Higgins & Sons Ltd, (London 1916/1917), comprising more than 180 pieces weighing a total of 228 ounces, all contained in a teak, brass-bound canteen, sold to the London trade for £4,900, while a good George V silver circular charger by Omar Ramsden with dished centre and oval shield pattern central cartouche within rope pattern borders (London 1925, 42ozs) sold for £4,200 against an estimate of £1,200-1,500. A George V rectangular two-handled tray with bold gadroon shell and leaf scroll mounts by Carrington & Co, (Birmingham 1923,124ozs) also exceeded estimate to sell for £1,300.

The silver section of the sale also included a charming group of more than 60 silver caddy spoons collected by Ronald Daubeny, which were extremely well received. A number of private collectors and dealers competed for the individual lots, the most valuable proving to be a particularly rare William IV example cast with a matted shell pattern bowl and a leaf-capped scroll handle with swan's head terminal. Probably by Richard Sibley, (London 1832 65 grammes), it sold to for £1,100, while a George III spoons modelled as a jockey's cap" by Joseph Taylor, (Birmingham 1800 7.5 grammes) sold for £700, both prices that were multiples of their estimates.

Lympne Place was also home to a number of good clocks, pick of which was a fine George III red japanned and gilt decorated table clock with brass dial and three-train movement with verge escapement, striking and quarter chiming on nine bells, possibly by John Taylor, who is recorded working in Gloucester Street, London, in about 1780. The red japanned case was surmounted by a gilt brass bust and urn finials, and had gilt brass floral mounts to the cant corners and leaf scroll cast side panels. It sold to a private Essex buyer for a mid-estimate £4,700.

An early 20th Century French tortoiseshell and gilt brass mounted mantel clock of Louis XVI design in balloon-shaped case with ornate gilt brass leaf scroll, floral mounts by A. D. Mougin, retailed by Charles Frodsham, 115 New Bond Street, London, sold for £580 and an early 20th century tortoiseshell effect and gilt decorated mantel clock in early 18th century style, the brass dial with calendar dial to arch inscribed John Lane of London, doubled its estimate to sell for £1,200.

Furniture in the collection was all purchased when Sir Philip and Lady Haldin furnished Lympne Place, principal among which was a good walnut rectangular card table of Queen Anne design, which sold to a local private buyer for £1,050. The table had matched veneered panels and crossbanding and stood on bold cabriole legs with leaf carving to the knees and claw and ball feet. It opened to reveal square candle stands to each corner and a fine needlework inset worked with playing cards, coins and various flowers around the borders.

A varied and interesting selection of paintings and prints from the collection saw two lots in particular catch the attention of international buyers. An oil on board by wildlife expert Peter Scott (1909-1989) titled "Widgeon moved by the tide as it creeps over the Saltings", 10ins x 14ins, signed and dated 1975, which had been purchased from Old Bond Street dealers Arthur Ackermann & Son, sold to the U.S. trade for £1,300.

A Qatari dealer, meanwhile, purchased pair of coloured aquatints by Thomas and William Daniell (1749-1840 and 1769-1837) showing views of Fakeers Rock in the River Ganges, near Sultaungunge in India, published by Thomas Daniell, of Howland Street, Fitzroy Square, and dated April 15 1800. They had been estimated at £400-600, but sold for £2,400.

A UK dealer secured a watercolour sketch of two quail, initialled "A.T." for noted bird artist Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935) and dated March 25 1918. Measuring just 6.25 by 5 inches and acquired from The Tryon Gallery, 23-24 Cork Street, London, the sketch sold for £2,300 against an estimate of £400-600.

A U.S. dealer was also the buyer of the unique and iconic Union flag of the Governor-General of India, which flew over the Viceroy's house in New Delhi until the country achieved independence on August 15, 1947. Ronald Daubeny had been Comptroller of the Household in New Delhi and Simla, serving the last Viceroy of India, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and would have been present when the flag was lowered for the last time. It carried the the insignia of the Order of the Star of India, surmounted by a Tudor crown, and was dated 1942. It sold for £1,200 against an estimate of £250-400. The Daubeny family’s contribution to the war effort was recalled by groups of military medals for service in such theatres as Crimea, Egypt, China, India and the Great War, notably from this latter conflict, seven awarded to Giles Bulteel Daubeny (1882-1967) of the Royal Field Artillery (later Royal Garrison Artillery)", comprising the D.S.O. and bar; 1914/15 Star; 1914-1918 War Medal; Victory Medal with Oak leaves; Defence Medal, 1939-1945 War Medal and Croix de Guerre with oak leaves, contained in mahogany box frame made by Spink & Sons Ltd.

A copy of the Edinburgh Gazette for Thursday, 27th September 1917, gives details of D.S.O. awarded after the Battle of the Somme 1916 "For Conspicuous Gallantry and Devotion to Duty. During an extremely critical period when the situation was by no means clear, he kept up continual fire with his battery and rendered invaluable support to the Infantry, although his Brigade was exposed to constant heavy fire and suffering many casualties for two days. His behaviour during this period was beyond praise and it was in great measure due to his coolness, courage and personality that fire was kept up." The bar to the D.S.O. was awarded following an action at the Battle of Ypres 1917. The group sold for £2,700 against an estimate of £1,000-1,500, taking the total for all eight lots of medals to £8,340.

The female side of the Haldin line also made their contribution to the war effort. Among a small quantity of jewellery was a 1940s Cartier gold and silver brooch modelled as a Wren standing on a branch, the leaves of which are set with rose cut diamonds, while the bird's body was set with an oval-cut garnet to the diamond-set head with emeralds for its eye. The brooch was owned by Miss Ann Haldin of Lympne Place, the youngest woman to become a Second Officer in the WRNS in the Second World War. She was also the youngest woman to be awarded an MBE (Military) after the war. Believed to be by Dennis Gardner, who worked at Cartier from the 1940s to his retirement in 1992, the brooch was estimated at £2,000-3,000, but sold to a Belgian trade buyer for £5,500.

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