A collection of furniture, antiques, fine art, and books belonging to a notable figure of York’s cultural and heritage scene are to be sold in a single-owner sale at Tennants Auctioneers in North Yorkshire. The Selected Contents of Knavesmire Lodge, York from the Estate of the Late Mr Darrell Buttery MBE will be sold on day one of the auction house’s Autumn Fine Sale on November 11.
Darrell Buttery (1941-2022) was an inspiring teacher, a writer, and a champion of the civic heritage of the city he made his home. Born in Guisborough, he first became enthralled with history and heritage at a young age, when visiting York and its churches when his father was the manager of a cinema in the city. After leaving Guisborough Grammar School, Buttery studied English at Durham University before taking up a career in education teaching English Literature. After his first post at Ashville College in Harrogate, he went on to become the Head of English at Wootton Bassett School before returning to Yorkshire to teach at Nunthorpe Grammar School, Queen Mary’s School near Thirsk, and Pocklington School.
Over the decades Buttery built up an extraordinary depth of knowledge of the history of his beloved York. His dedication to preserving the historic sites of the city led him to join and hold positions in numerous cultural organisations, including becoming Chairman and President of the York Civic Trust, Chairman of York Georgian Society, Governor of York’s Company of Merchant Adventurers, as well as becoming a Conservative member for Harrogate Borough Council. An engaging public speaker with a sharp wit, he fought vociferously numerous planning applications that would despoil York’s important historic sites.
As a collector, he filled his Georgian villa overlooking York Racecourse with art and antiques, seeking out pieces linked with York, and as an author published works including The Vanished Buildings of York (1984), Picture of York Minster from 17th Century to the Present (2007), and the co-authored The Streets of York: Four Centuries of Change (2018).
Darrell Buttery was a deputy lieutenant of North Yorkshire, was appointed MBE in 2018 and is remembered by all who knew him as a deeply kind and courteous man with impeccable manners and a ready wit, who was unceasing in his fight to preserve the many wonders of York.
Among the items now up for auction are a good selection of leather-bound books, with a focus on York’s history, a carved oak bust of St James, possibly French, 17th century, an 18th-century ebony veneered table clock by Thomas Parr of London, and an early 19th-century staved oak and brass-bound rum barrel. An interesting selection of paintings include a 17th-century Portrait of Lady Gertrude Pierpoint by the Studio of Sir Peter Lely and a 17th/18th-century Portrait of a Gentleman by the circle of Charles Jervas.