First Mount Congreve auction next week


ON WEDNESDAY next in London, Christie’s, in association with Mealy’s, will hold the first of two auctions to dispose of art and antiques from Mount Congreve. The house, in Kilmeaden, County Waterford, is best-known for its world-renowned gardens, planted by the late Ambrose Congreve who died last year, aged 104.

The London auction includes some 120 lots of furniture, paintings, silver and porcelain and is expected to realise in excess of £2.5 million. Many of these items were acquired by Ambrose Congreve at the auctions of English country house contents after the second World War which are now, in a sense, going home.

Highlights include a 7ft-tall Georgian mirror described as “among the very best of English overmantels in its sinuous design and superb quality” with a price tag of £200,000–£300,000 and a “stunning” ormolu-mounted, white marble urn perfume-burner made by Matthew Boulton, circa 1770, which has an estimate of £70,000–£100,000.

A silver epergne (table centrepiece) by Thomas Pitts, London 1763, once adorned the table at Mount Congreve – believed to be the last house in Ireland where liveried servants attended dinner guests – has an estimate of £80,000 to £120,000.

Among furniture lots are a pair of side tables designed by Robert Adam (estimated at £200,000 to £300,000); and a pair of French Louis XV encoignures (corner cabinets) estimated at £120,000–£180,000.

Part two of the Mount Congreve auction will take place in Ireland in July in a two-day sale at the house on July 10th and 11th. The catalogue will be published next month.

Separately, Christie’s will also sell some paintings by Irish artists next week during its British and Irish art auctions. See details in Forthcoming Auctions listings (right).