Gerry Moore collection in Summers Place sale

Art by renowned doctor and artist, Gerry Moore, will go under the hammer at Summers Place Auctions in spring, alongside sculptures from the late surgeon’s collection.

In 1993, Sotheby’s specialists James Ryland and Rupert van der Werff were involved in putting on a house sale at Heathfield Park in Sussex for Gerry Moore. The sale was filmed by the BBC as a documentary and Gerry was undoubtedly the star with his enthusiasm and artistic drive. Sadly, Gerry passed away in 2018 at the age of 91, and The Times recorded in his half-page obituary that ‘Gerry Moore was an oral surgeon with the soul of an artist, a doctor with a Harley Street practice whose paintings were good enough to be exhibited alongside David Hockney.

Artwork in Gerry Moore Collection

Summers Place Auctions has now been asked by his family to look after the sale of his sculptures and his studio of pictures. The sale of the contents of Gerry Moore’s Devon farmhouse continues with a two-day auction of further pictures and furniture at fellow Billingshurst auction house, Bellmans.

Elsewhere in the spring auction, and following on from earlier selling the Cotswold collection in September, Summers Place is pleased to be able to offer another, equally enticing collection of garden statuary and ornament. It has been acquired over decades by an Irish businessman in Ireland from the 1960s onwards. With his house based in the middle of Ireland, he was able to attend many of the large country house sales at the time and buy some fine examples of garden statuary, uniquely including some made in Ireland as well as in England and some European works.

Garden statuary in Irish Collection

The third collection comes from a local collector, Tim Wonnacott, best known as the BBC TV personality well known for hosting Bargain Hunt. The collection includes garden ornaments from his home and among them is one of the cows presented to Tim by Ester Rantzen, in his capacity as auctioneer and Chairman of Sotheby’s Olympia after he had successfully raised £600,000 for a herd of sixty cows decorated by well known artists.

A cow from Tim Wonnacott's Cow Parade

The Spring Auction will also include the sale of a magnificent barn, which was built within the original grounds of the Order of the Knights of St John Hospitallers where they first based themselves in 1154. The original part of the thatched roofed, wattle and daub clad oak framing of the building’s core was constructed between 1760 and 1780, but some of the oak timbers indicate that they had been incorporated in an earlier building, which could well have been dating back to the time when the farm was owned by Sir Thomas Gresham. He was instrumental in setting up the Royal Exchange under Queen Elizabeth I and it is said that the building included an oak frame made of wood from his estate.

Last but not least, Summers Place Auctions are pleased to be able to include some exceptional gates, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens for The Deanery in Sonning, Berkshire. The house was designed and built by him as a show house for the founder of Country Life, Edward Hudson, with the garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll. While Stanley Seeger owned the house in the 1980s, he made various changes and needed to add bigger gates. The vendor, a big Lutyens admirer, was gifted the gates and hopes that they will now find a new, suitable home.

The first live auction will take place on April 13, followed by a sealed bid sale on April 14.

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