William H Stokes Antiques
The building that William H Stokes Antiques traded from on Dollar Street, Cirencester. Image copyright: Christine Matthews via Geograph.

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William Stokes, who died in 2015 aged 94, began trading as a furniture dealer in 1969. By 1974 he was joined in his business by Peter Bontoft.

The pair specialised in furniture and objects of the 16th and 17th centuries and traded through almost five decades until Bontoft’s death in 2018.

The pair first traded from Cold Overton Hall in Rutland, but in 1979 they moved operations to Siddington, Gloucestershire. In the 1990s they moved again to a late-medieval premises in Dollar Street, Cirencester.

The Pedestal will hold the auction on March 4 at Bingham Hall in Cirencester.

It will include both the remaining stock of the dealership and Stokes’ private collection. According to The Pedestal, “William was a shrewd connoisseur with empathy for many diverse facets of early period craftsmanship including English and European wood carving, brass, iron, textiles and silver”.

Five highlights from the sale that also encompasses objects such as treen, lamps and decorative furnishing items, as well as furniture, are listed here.

1. Charles I oak chest

Oak chest

A Charles I oak chest, c.1640.

This large Charles I oak chest, c.1640, carved with three angels, is guided at £3000-5000.

2. Tigerware jug


An Elizabethan tigerware jug.

This 8in (20cm) high Elizabethan tigerware jug has an unmarked silver mount probably 16th century. It is engraved with scrolling flowers and with a vacant cartouche to the front. It is estimated at £300-500.

3. Oak wall settle


An oak wall settle, c.1550.

A large West Country oak wall settle, c.1550, with plank seat and 10 plain panels surmounted by arched crest-panels of Renaissance carving.

4. Dragon finial

Dragon finial

A carved oak heraldic Dragon finial.

A 20in (51cm) English carved oak heraldic dragon newel post finial, c.1550, is estimated at £1550-2500.

5. Crimson silk book cover

Book cover

An Italian crimson silk book cover.

An Italian, late 15th-early 16th century, book cover of crimson silk designed with two evangelists each holding a book, possibly Sicilian, is offered at £1000-1500.

The lots can be viewed on thesaleroom.com.

The Pedestal auction house, founded by former Bonhams furniture specialists Sally Stratton and Guy Savill in 2016, holds sales in a number of locations including Moor Park, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, and operates from an office in Exhibition Road, London.