Chillesford Lodge collection in sale

A selection of Asian ceramics, Old Master paintings, furniture and collectibles from Chillesford Lodge in Suffolk will go under the hammer at Cheffins in Cambridge as part of the firm’s Fine Sale on December 7 and 8.

Chillesford Lodge in Suffolk

Situated three miles from Orford, Chillesford Lodge was acquired by Joseph Watson, 1st Baron Manton (1873–1922) of Compton Verney in 1918 as part of the Sudbourne Hall Estate. Following the death of Mr Michael Watson in June this year, the family is now selling collected contents of the Lodge, which is being retained as part of the estate. These 30 items which will go under the hammer, would originally have been housed at Compton Verney in Warwickshire, Croome Court, or the other Manton property, Aynhoe Park.

Joseph Watson, 1st Baron Manton, was known as ‘Soapy Joe’ Watson, as he made his fortune as chairman of Joseph Watson & Sons Ltd, soap manufacturers in Leeds, famous for creating the ‘Matchless Cleanser,’ and as a director of the London and North-Western railway. He was also a pioneer of industrialised agriculture and invested much of his fortune into his multiple estates at Sudbourne Hall in Suffolk, Selby, Manton Down, Compton Verney, Offchurch Bury and Thorney.

The Chillesford Lodge Collection at Cheffins includes a series of high value pieces which were collected by the Manton family over the decades. One of the highlights is a portrait of the 18th century comedian, Henry Woodward, by Benjamin Vandergucht (1753–1794), which has an estimate of £2,000-£3,000. Also on offer are two paintings by Mary Beale (1633–1699) of the ancestors of the Earls of Coventry which were kept at the now National Trust property, Croome Court in Wocestershire. These have estimates of £1,500-£2,500 and £1,200-£1,800.

As well as paintings, The Chillesford Lodge Collection includes a number of typical country house antiques, with items such as an Italian walnut commode, from the late 18th century, with an estimate of £1,000-£1,500; a black and gilt japanned three-fold mirror, with an estimate of £200-£400; a George III style giltwood wall mirror from the 19th century with an estimate of £400-£600 and a mahogany metamorphic library armchair in the manner of Morgan and Sanders, with an estimate of £500-£800. There are also a series of collectibles, including a selection of Asian ceramics and a pair of 19th century Dutch Delft tea cannisters, with an estimate of £100-£150.

Jonathan Law, Director, Cheffins said: “Joseph Watson, 1st Baron Manton, was one of the most important industrialists of the early 20th century, and amassed an incredible collection of paintings, furniture and antiques for his various estates throughout the country. The Chillesford Lodge Collection represents just the tip of the iceberg of what was once in his ownership and has been carefully put together by the specialists here at Cheffins to include a diverse selection of Old Master works as well as furniture and collectibles. This is a fantastic example of a traditional English country house sale, the type of which are few and far between.”