The Grange was built in 1926 and industrialist Fred Cooper moved in with his family 1969.

Treasure trove of eclectic antiques curated for 50 years in Midlands country house goes to Lichfield auction

A TREASURE trove of ‘eclectic’ antiques curated by a Staffordshire family over 50 years is coming to auction in Lichfield next week.

The principal contents of The Grange, Perton, go under the hammer in Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ two-day Antiques & Home Sale at The Lichfield Auction Centre on Monday and Tuesday, May 20-21, starting at 9.30am both days.

The South Staffordshire property, pictured, was built in 1926 and industrialist Fred Cooper moved in with his family in 1969.

It remained the Cooper home until Fred’s wife Betty passed away earlier this year aged 92. Fred died in 1990, just short of his 68th birthday.

Tom Winterton on the stairs at The Grange. On the wall is Emil Rau’s alpine scene ‘The Encounter’.
Tom Winterton on the stairs at The Grange. On the wall is Emil Rau’s alpine scene ‘The Encounter’.

Catalogued across more than 150 lots, auctioneers say the contents of The Grange evoke the history and quality of a bygone lifestyle.

“Fred had a passion for history and the arts,” said auctioneer Richard Winterton.

“His keen sense of humour and unconventional attitude comes across in the eclectic array of furniture, paintings and antiques he carefully curated.

“He chose wisely and had a keen eye for classical pieces with wide and varied taste erring on the side of quality.”

Industrialist Fred Cooper and his family moved into The Grange in 1969. Pictured are Fred and his wife Betty.
Fred and Betty Cooper.

Mr Cooper bought many items from house auctions himself, although three of the largest paintings were already in situ and were purchased along with the property when the family moved in.

One of these is a large (100.5cm high by 210cm wide) oil on canvas by John Brett ARA (British 1831-1902) of MacLeod’s Maidens, Skye.

Signed and dated 1884, the work was exhibited at the Royal Academy at the time of original purchase that year and is estimated to sell for up to £1,500.

MacLeod’s Maidens, Skye, painted by John Brett ARA (British 1831-1902), oil on canvas, signed and dated 1884.
MacLeod’s Maidens by John Brett ARA (British 1831-1902), signed and dated 1884.

Other paintings include The Encounter by Emil Rau (German 1858-1937), an alpine scene signed and dated 1900, estimated at £1,500 to £2,000.

Further highlights are an impressive array of marquetry inlaid and porcelain and gilt metal mounted French furniture.

Clocks include a 1973 Dent reproduction of an ingenious Congreve Rolling Ball Clock and a William and Mary walnut veneered longcase clock of one month duration, by Samuel Stretch of Bristol circa 1730.

A William and Mary walnut veneered longcase clock of one month duration, by Samuel Stretch of Bristol, c.1730, estimated at £1,000 to £1,500.
This William and Mary walnut veneered longcase clock of one month duration by Samuel Stretch of Bristol, c.1730, is estimated at £1,000 to £1,500.

Meanwhile, a large selection of silver from the property includes an Edward VII silver desk stand used by the Prince of Wales in 1923 estimated at £600 to £800.

Made by Catchpole & Williams Ltd London 1903, the 63.62ozt stand bears the engraving ‘I was used by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales KCMG on the occasion of his visit to the Town Hall Wolverhampton 13th June 1923’.

This Edward VII silver desk stand is inscribed that it was used in 1923 by The Prince of Wales, who was later Edward VIII and then, following his abdication, the Duke of Windsor.
The inscribed Edward VII silver desk stand.

Later the Duke of Windsor, the Prince of Wales in 1923 went on to become Edward VIII and abdicated the throne in 1936 after ruling for less than a year in order to marry twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.

Other contents from The Grange include a collection of 18th, 19th and 20th century ceramics including Meissen, Lalique frosted glass Danseuse figures and a Victorian burr walnut games compendium.

There is also a complete set of The Collected Works of Sir Winston Churchill, from a 1978 limited centenary edition of 2000, with the 34 volumes accompanied by a matching four-volume set of Collected Essays, estimated at £800 to £1,200.

Senior valuer Sarah Williams with an early 20th century oil by George Goodwin Kilburne, ‘A Stitch In Time’.
Senior valuer Sarah Williams with an early 20th century oil by George Goodwin Kilburne, ‘A Stitch In Time’.

“What an impressive treasure trove of all manner of antiques and collectables lovingly curated over many years,” said senior valuer Sarah Williams.

“This is a great opportunity to come and discover a wonderful selection of items of many styles dating back up to 200 years, and which will appeal to people of all tastes.

“It has been a delight to catalogue and research.”

Tom Winterton with a mid-20th century French ebonised and gilt metal and porcelain mounted sideboard.
Tom Winterton at The Grange with a mid-20th century French ebonised and gilt metal and porcelain mounted sideboard.

The sale also features jewellery, works of art, collectables and antiques from other estates and vendors across the Midlands, including a rare signed first edition of Sand And Foam by Kahlil Gibran.

A collection of poems and aphorisms first published in 1926, this is edition D of five first editions lettered A to E printed on Borzoi rag paper, and is estimated at £3,500 to £5,000.

Sand And Foam by Kahlil Gibran, a signed first edition lettered D, one of five lettered A to E printed on Borzoi rag paper.
Sand And Foam by Kahlil Gibran, a signed first edition lettered D, one of five lettered A to E printed on Borzoi rag paper.

Further important lots attracting interest are an archive of costumes and ephemera related to music hall icons Wilson, Keppel and Betty collected by final ‘Betty’ Jean MacKinnon, and a 1936 ‘Mighty Wurlitzer’ cinema pipe organ, fully restored and operational.

The auction catalogue can be viewed online now via our Auction Dates page and people can bid online, in the room or by prior arranged telephone bid.

A matching set of four silver candlesticks and candelabrum from a selection of silver in the auction.
A matching set of four silver candlesticks and candelabrum are amongst a selection of silver from The Grange featuring in the auction.

Viewing in person takes place at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park, on Friday, May 17, from 10am-4pm, except for the Wurlitzer which is in situ at its current owner’s property in Cannock, Staffordshire.

Appointments to view – and play – the instrument there may be made via Richard Winterton Auctioneers.

Telephone 01543 251081 or email office@richardwinterton.co.uk to book viewing or to arrange free valuations of all types of items or home visits for large collections and house clearance quotations.

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