Shaw House in Wiltshire is a beautiful Grade II listed building which, while being a family home, showcased Hempel’s unique theatrical flair for combining contemporary style with historical nuances, clever design and the epitome of luxury in its interiors.
Anouska Hempel, a former film actress and Bond girl, made her mark in design when she opened London’s first five star boutique hotel Blakes, in South Kensington in 1978, followed by The Hempel in London’s Bayswater. She was presented with the prestigious Andrew Martin Lifetime Achievement Award by HRH Princess Michael of Kent in 2022 for ‘her elusive, impossible to define but instantly recognisable design.’
She describes her former country residence Shaw House as “a happy place” and glancing through the interiors one can see why, as throughout the house she showcases her familiar and unique design techniques that have brought her world-wide acclaim. These include architectural effects such as a play on perspective, dramatic colours emulating various periods and styles, as well as textural fabrics, alongside effective groupings of furniture, set within clever lighting designs that capture the rich colour palette she uses to infuse comfort and style into this nine-bedroom manor house.
The auction titled: Anouska Hempel: Designer At Large will take place online on August 5. It will include furniture, paintings and other works pertaining to the Hempel design ethos spanning contemporary to antiquity.
Commenting on the sale, Joe Robinson, Dreweatts Head of House Sales & Collections said: “Anouska Hempel, a doyen of English interior design, has an iconic aesthetic characterised by bold pattern, fascinating objects and an innate sensibility for atmosphere within an interior. Dreweatts are proud to be offering this collection which stands as a record of her impeccable eye and offers buyers an opportunity to capture works that are ‘AH approved’.”
Among the highlights from this iconic style include a carved marble portrait head of Polideuce, possibly Roman, circa 170-177, estimated to fetch £3,000-5,000.
A walnut and Italian marble topped centre table is estimated at £1,000-£1,500.
A French printed ten-fold screen from the second half of the nineteenth century carries an estimate of £400-£600 and a pair of contemporary kilim upholstered chairs are estimated to fetch £700-£1,000.
Among the artworks is a 17th-century oil painting titled Portrait of a Young Girl with a Lamb (English School), which has an estimate of £3,000-£5,000 and another oil portrait titled Portrait of a Boy and Girl is by the Royal Academy trained British portrait artist George Spencer Watson (1869-1934) which carries an estimate of £8,000-£12,000.
An etching with drypoint and aquatint titled Can-Can is by the French artist Louis Icart (188-1950), celebrated for his charming etchings, sketches and paintings, which helped him stake his claim in the history books of the 20th century. He also produced prints from the etchings and both are highly sought-after. The popularity of his work reached its’ height in the Art Deco period and Icart become an emblem of the epoch. It is estimated to fetch £5,000-£7,000.