Fine furnishings with Churchill family provenance to be sold at UK auction, Dec. 12-13

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STANSTED MOUNTFICHET, UK – Furnishings with links to one of the most celebrated family names in modern British history will be auctioned at Sworders auction house on December 12-13. Nine pieces in Sworders’ Fine Interiors sale were most recently part of a private collection in Mayfair, London, and previously were owned by Winston Spencer Churchill, MP (1940-2010). His father was the politician Randolph Churchill, MBE (1911-1968); and his grandfather, the legendary wartime prime minister Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965).

Like his celebrated forebears, Winston Spencer Churchill spent much of his life in politics and was in public office from 1970-1983. Many of the pieces entered in the auction were acquired following his second marriage to Luce Engelen, a Belgian-born jewelry maker whom he married in 1997. Together they chose to furnish their fashionable Belgrave Square apartment in the classic country house taste, using both family pieces and others acquired at auctions and galleries. 

The look the couple created was the subject of a 2001 feature in the American lifestyle magazine Veranda, titled simply “The Churchills in London.”

Sworders expects considerable bidder interest to be generated both by the provenance and the pieces themselves, which are mainly 18th-century French and revivalist furniture. Estimates range from around £1,500 to £10,000 ($1,905 to $12,705).

A Régence rosewood commode by Antoine Criaerd, circa 1720, French. Estimate: £7,000-£10,000 ($8,890-$12,705)
A Régence rosewood commode by Antoine Criaerd, circa 1720, French. Estimate: £7,000-£10,000 ($8,890-$12,705)

Leading the selection, with a pre-sale estimate of £7,000-£10,000 ($8,890-$12,705), is a circa-1720 French serpentine commode with a molded brèche violette top and gilt-metal mounts. It is stamped A Criaerd for the cabinetmaker Antoine-Mathieu Criaerd, who worked from 1720-50 in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine district of Paris. 

An early 20th century tulipwood bureau plat with ormolu mounts and a tooled leather top made in Louis XV-style is expected to bring £3,000-£5,000 ($3,810-$6,350), while a 19th-century bronze group after Jean-Antoine Houdon and titled La Baisier Donne, features an ormolu and porphyry socle and is guided at £2,000-£4,000 ($2,540-$5,080).

Additional information and the fully illustrated catalogue may be viewed online at

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