Classic Country House Auction

Charterhouse Auctioneers in Sherborne, Dorset, have been instructed to sell the contents of a Devon country house on Wednesday 22nd July.

“It is a classic country house auction the likes of which were once commonplace but now rarely happen”. Commented Richard Bromell. “It has been fascinating sorting, clearing and cataloguing the contents of this country house which has not changed much during the 120 years the family have lived there from the Silver Cross coach built perambulator relegated to the attic rooms decades ago to a framed collection of West Country pony club and other show rosettes which was still hang on a bedroom wall.”

Summerfield House, Summer Lane, Exmouth is a country house built in the 19th century with tall bay windows and stunning views towards the River Exe over rolling Devon countryside.

Highlights of the auction are two Archibald Thorburn watercolour drawings of partridges and grouse, estimated from £10,000 to £18,000, which were probably bought new by the family in 1906.

With the ground floor having ceilings of about 18 feet high, size matters and a large pair of Victorian gilt gesso mirrors, which have no doubt been painted around for years, are valued at £2,500-4,000 and a large 19th century Italian inlaid ebonised cabinet, in the manner of Giovanni Battista Gatti, £8,000-10,000 despite needing some restoration.

In the drawing room, with its floor to ceiling bay windows, there is not unsurprisingly, a Bechstein grand piano. It is understood not to have been played for at least the last 40 years, and is estimated at £600-1,000.

Also in the drawing room are a group of Chinese ceramics and pictures brought back in the 1920’s. Hanging in pride of place above the fireplace is a Chinese scroll painting. Now in two parts, this painting celebrates a year in harvest taking you through the seasons and measures 3 metres when put together and is valued at £2,000-3,000.

Elsewhere in this country house auction there is a vast array of furniture, clocks, pictures, ceramics, books, photograph albums, Oriental items, metalwares, taxidermy and silver along with vintage clothing and lawnmowers from the cellars, out buildings and attic rooms.

Viewing for the auction is on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st July 9.30am-5pm at Summerfield House, Summer Lane, Exmouth EX8 5BD or you can see all the lots and download the catalogue from The auction will be held behind closed doors online at the Charterhouse salerooms in Sherborne on Wednesday 22nd July at 12 noon with telephone and absentee bidding

Charterhouse are now accepting entries for their auction of silver, jewellery and watches with a selection of wine, port and whisky on 6th & 7th August and their auctions of classic and vintage cars on the 29th July followed by classic and vintage motorcycles on 27th August.

For further information regarding these auctions contact Richard Bromell and the team at Charterhouse, The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne 01935 812277 or email images to Richard on

Archibald Thorburn, Partridge in Flight, watercolour, signed & dated 1905, 54 x 76 cm £12,000-18,000
19th century Italian ebonised cabinet £8,000-10,000
Pair of Victorian overmantle mirrors, each over 7 feet tall, £2,500-4,000
Bechstein grand piano £600-1,000
Chinese scroll painting, now in two parts, £2,000-3,000 (detail also)
The dining room
The drawing room
Collection of old rosettes £30-40