Rufford Abbey Nottingham … catalogue of the Rufford collection including treasures collected by the ancestors of the Savile family during three centuries. To be sold by auction on the premises by .. Knight, Frank & Rutley in conjunction with … Christie, Manson & W on Tuesday, the 11th day of October, 1938 and 9 subsequent days.
4to. 202pp, 14 photo plates (illustrating items of furniture, tapestries, etc). Original printed wrappers. A few pencil notes and prices in margins, mainly relating to the tenth day of the sale. A good copy.
A substantial auction catalogue offering for sale the contents of Rufford Abbey, near Nottingham, the ancestral home of the Savile family. The sale was brought about by a decision by the Savile family trustees during the minority of the 3rd Baron Savile to sell the Rufford Abbey estate, including the house and its contents, to Sir Albert Ball, a Nottingham-based estate agent and property speculator, who promptly consigned everything in the house to auction. The catalogue thus lists 2923 lots of the Savile family’s inherited furniture and furnishings, including tapestries, porcelain, silverware, the library of books, and a few pictures (the better pictures were removed for sale in a separate auction in London). Past owners of Rufford Abbey had included George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax, a major Whig politician in the reign of William III, Sir George Savile, Bart, MP, a prominent mid eighteenth-century parliamentarian, three succcessive Earls of Scarborough, descended from Sir George Savile’s sister, and John Savile, 1st Baron Savile, a distinguished British diplomat who was one of the illegitimate children of the last of these Earls of Scarborough, and it is unfortunate that Sir Albert Ball’s lack of empathy with what he had purchased meant that the Savile family’s accumulated possessions were scattered to the four winds as a result of this auction. Rufford Abbey itself fell into dereliction in the years that followed, much of the house being demolished in the 1950s, and the catalogue is thus one of the few tangible links with the house’s lost past.