Thursday, 25 February 2016

Debo's chairs and mine




I finally got a chance to go through the upcoming Sothebys auction catalogue of the Late Duchess of Devonshire otherwise known as Debo.


Truth be told, I don't have a fascination perse for the Mitford sisters and my interest is mostly based on my love for auctions and the tradition of a public collection of personal items of a esteemed personality such as the auction last year of Winston Churchill's personal items.


But when I saw these Georgian caned bergere armchairs I was a little intrigued as I slso have a similar pair.


This is the one in a bedroom.


And I have the other one in the living room.


My interest was also piqued when I saw this ebonised Regency settee.  


Doesn't it look nice in her bedroom?


But this type of furniture is usually seen as twee, old fashioned, and niche but I never let that stop me!


Because I also have an ebonised Regency settee!  Mine is nowhere near as nice and I'm still in the middle of deciding what to reupholster it in.


But I'd be lying if I didn't admit now I want to read about her properly because it's a bit odd that we had similar seating preferences :)

I can not wait to go to the preview this weekend and will report back to you after the auction!  

31 comments:

  1. Oh, so looking forward to a post on the preview, thank you.

    Adore the detail on your settee. Perhaps you could add another photo to your post with a full view of it as from what I see, it reminds me a little of the Aesthetic movement in its detail. How about a caned back instead of upholstery?

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    1. I might when I get all my junk of it CD! I do use it a lot and my husband thinks to leave it BC it's comfort than it looks. I might consider cane but truth be told my to do list is rather long I don't know when I'll get to it :₩

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  2. You have the same excellent taste!
    Love the pictures I've seen of the house she lived in the last years. Oh goody can't wait to read about the preview. XO

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    1. Or I'm just an old lady now! I love the pictures and hope they recreate the rooms at the auction X

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  3. So funny re the reading up on her because of seating preferences! But I do love the chairs… the settee is gorgeous too. What to upholster it with though??! Horsehair!! You know you want to…. well, I want you too. You could do one of the embroidered horsehairs in whatever colour. Would look stunning. xx

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    1. I was like - who are you really? Plus I love her dog paintings. I'm so so on elvis though I had a huge crush when I was a tween. If you come to London then you can convince me ok?! Xx

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  4. cannot WAIT for your insights about the preview! Promise me you'll think of me when you look at the bees brooches and sautoir. JELLY!x

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    1. I thought of you when I saw those bees!!!!! X

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  5. So often it is the opposite--we see into the home of someone rich and famous, and everything is so horrible that if invited to take one piece, there is not anything we would desire.

    I prefer your settee. I like ebonized furniture in general, but dislike those fan-shapes on the back of the Duchess's.

    I predict the prices will be high--as with so many celebrity auctions, the estimates are set low for later contrast, and people buy according to association, not the actual worth of the pieces.
    --Jim

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    1. I think she does have her unique and strong following so I think it will be popular but it does annoy me when they do the extra low bids so commission bids are a waste of time if you're serious on getting something. But i think it might be a fun preview Jim.

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  6. Lucky you Naomi! How wonderful to be going to the preview! Look forward to hearing. How can you not love Debo and Nancy I ask myself. OK I understand about not loving Diana and Unity and Pamela. I'm keeping my options open on Jessica as I haven't read much of her - "Hons and Rebels" is still sitting on a shelf unread, my shame. But even if we don't love them all - they're just so fascinating. If they hadn't existed and you read a novel about them - you'd think it was crazy far-fetched.
    Love your furniture! So interesting you shared similar tastes with D. Yes, everything in auction will go waaayy above estimated price - people will be just so keen to have something that was hers. The aura of her personality and life - and whole Mitford clan. Just give me one of her bee brooches too please. FF, we can share it! Pammie

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    1. You know it's not that I'm not a fan but it's that I am neutral. I know of them and I'm just hoping they do a hbo or Netflix series based on thrm. It'll be the next downton abbey. But I'll post some pics on IG and do a post for you too see if sothebys did something nice for the auction. X

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    2. Great Naomi! Looking forward. Have you read "Love in a Cold Climate" or "The Pursuit of Love"? Or other books by Nancy? Think you have to read them to love her. Or maybe you have to read them first when you're at an impressionable age. Think I was about 20/21 and I came to them after binge reading Evelyn Waugh. Yes, wish they'd do a series on them! Pammie xx

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    3. Haven't read them!!! I know...i will try BC it's a reference point but funny thing is i have never been an Anglophile. I used to be a Francophile until my mid twenties. At the mo I'm very Scandinavia inspired tv wise anyway ;p xx

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    4. am obsessed with the bridge x

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    5. Season 1 and 2 are indelible in my mind and I don't normally do tv tourism but I went on that very bridge!

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  7. Those pieces you have are stunning! Have fun at the preview.

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    1. Thanks Jen I think it will be fun to people watch too!

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  8. Yes the weird cult around them has always astounded me -but she's actually a pretty intriguing character. I had the same thing happen with me last year during the Bunny Mellon sale -I had an antique chair EXACTLY like 3 being sold which helped me figure out how to upholster it. So now I call it my bunny chair ;-)
    Love your chairs!!! Would love to see something really bold on that settee....are you courageous?

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    1. Thing is that a lot of people just see her as a toff even here so she's not a "high street" name but then again I think like the Churchill auction the crowd will be a mixed one who are there for very different reasons. It's kind of fun to see something similar in catalogues BC it enables me to get more lucky finds. Am I courageous? I was too buy it but now I'm a wimp and lazy ;p

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  9. No, you aren't the only one! I like to go to the Journées du Patrimonine when France opens up some historically significant buildings. And there are all these very well-dressed French couples who gingerly bend over or even kneel down to get a good look at the REAL antiques from all angles, including from underneath (without touching, of course).

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    1. There's an open house day here as well and is very popular. I think it's because it's like a very personal museum where you can really examine and even possibly have it.

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  10. I am going to be a bit of a downer here and say that those chairs don't look comfy at all. I suppose we spend far more time sitting on our asses now than in those days so comfort is key.

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    1. The chairs are ok actually and the armrests are rather ergonomic but I'm still having to get exact seat cushions but the settee is super comfy!

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  11. Naomi, You have some lovely things and good taste! I love cane furniture too. I cannot wait to hear what you thought of the auction!

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    1. Am obsessed with cane, straw, rattan anything of that genre.

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  12. I am sure there are some amazing pieces in the auction. I can't wait to see your photos of the preview!!

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    1. There's a pic with a 150 pound estimate but decided not to bother BC there will be hundreds thinking like me!

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  13. OH< MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!YOU could have been shopping side by side!I SO WISH I COULD BE THERE.............you must SHARE your photos with me.DO TELL what did YOU BUY!!!!!!??

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    1. Auction is Wednesday so o still have time to put that 150 on a pic of chickens ;))

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  14. I'm with Parnassus in preferring your settee to that of Debo's, it should look fabulous once it has been reupholstered. Debo was quite a character and the sale should be fascinating, I look forward to hearing about it.

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