The Devizes saleroom Henry Aldridge & Son (26.4% buyer’s premium inc VAT) is known for its Titanic-related specialism and even this collection of furniture and furnishings had a link to the doomed liner.
Haselbech Hall was the home of Charles Bower Ismay (1874-24), youngest son of the founder of the White Star Line, and his wife Matilda. Brother Bruce Ismay was the infamous chairman of the White Star Line when the Titanic sank and was heavily criticised following the disaster.
The interiors collection had been with the Bower Ismay family until the 1970s and was then bequeathed to the current vendor. The auction house sought the expertise of William Morris scholar Linda Parry to catalogue the items for the October 29 Antiques, Fine Art and Collectables sale.
The two rolls of Morris fabric comprised 10 yards (9.1m) of the Wandle pattern, c.1917, possibly purchased when Morris & Co ceased trading, which sold at £1500 against an estimate of £800- 1000. Thirteen yards (11.9m) of a later Wandle pattern, c.1920-30, sold at £1700 against an estimate of £1000-1200.
Seen in situ
The Howard armchairs feature in a photo of Haselbech Hall taken when the Bower Ismay family were in residence.
A Bridgewater chair estimated at £800-1200 took £2000, while a chair with barley twist stretchers in very distressed condition (with the remains of the c.1931 Liberty & Co Ayesha design fabric clinging on) sold at £650 against a guide of £600-900.
Also from the same source, a Howard footstool sold at £650 (estimate £300-500).