Autumn at Bellmans | Strawberry Hill House Valuation Day

07 October 2022
Strawberry Hill House, Twickenham. Credit: Matt Chung

Bellmans will hold a valuation day at Strawberry Hill House for the first time on Monday, 24th October 2022. Strawberry Hill House & Garden is situated in the village of Strawberry Hill, just outside Twickenham, 12 miles west of Central London. Bellmans will bring several specialists from its jewellery and watches, silver, European and Asian ceramics and pictures department as well as a generalist, who will be based around the house 'roadshow' style and are delighted to look at treasures brought along by visitors.

Will something you have found in the attic be worth a lot of money at auction or does that ring that has been passed down in the family have more than sentimental value? Find out on Monday, 24th October from 11am to 5pm - booking is recommended and the entry fee for a regular ticket is £12.50. Donations for the valuations are welcome and will go towards the Maintenance and Conservation of the House. Visitors are invited to bring items along and a porter service will be available for bigger pictures. Good photographs of larger items, such as furniture can also be shown to the specialists for an initial identification.

It promises to be an exciting day out in one of the most picturesque country houses near London with guides on hand to tell some of the stories of this Gothic mansion, well-known because of its founder, Horace Walpole. Born in 1717, as the third son of Britain's first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, he became a pivotal figure in 18th Century society, literature, art and architecture. He is best known as the author of the world's first Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto, and for his vast collection of treasures at Strawberry Hill House.

The popularity of Strawberry Hill House was a key contributing factor in the emergence of Gothic Revival architecture that grew throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries, taking its inspiration from gothic cathedrals around Europe. Largely designed by Walpole’s friends, otherwise known as the ‘Committee of Taste’, which comprised John Chute and Richard Bentley, chimney pieces, doors and ceilings were based on gothic vaulting, medieval tombs and rose windows: ‘all Gothicism, gold and looking glass’ as the poet Thomas Gray described it.

Walpole died in 1797 and the house went to his cousin's daughter and renowned sculptor Anne Seymour Damer. In 1811 it passed to his great niece Elizabeth Waldegrave and then to her grandson. His brother, George, 7th Earl of Waldegrave, arranged the 'Great Sale' in 1842, where most of Walpole's collection sold over the course of a week. After George's death, his widow, Lady Frances Waldegrave had ambitions to secure the House's future and even expanded it, remaining faithful to Walpole's vision and her parties put Strawberry Hill back on the social map. After Lady Walgrave's death in 1879 the House was sold to the De Stern family, and then sold again in 1923 to St Mary's University College, which still owns the site.

To find out more and book your valuation please click here.

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