Artwork collected by Marquesses of Londonderry for display at Wynyard Park to be sold at auction

UNDER AUCTION: The laying of the foundation stone of Seaham Harbour, Co. Durham, 1828, by Robert Mackreth - one of more than 200 pieces of art collected by Marquesses of Londonderry.

UNDER AUCTION: The laying of the foundation stone of Seaham Harbour, Co. Durham, 1828, by Robert Mackreth - one of more than 200 pieces of art collected by Marquesses of Londonderry.

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Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Regional Chief Reporter

ARTWORK collected by a North-East aristocratic dynasty using wealth derived from the region’s coal mines is to be auctioned off.

More than 200 pieces of art purchased by successive Marquesses of Londonderry to decorate the family seat at Wynyard Park, near Sedgefield, will go under the hammer at Christie’s in London.

The Vane-Tempest-Stewart family used colossal riches from the collieries of the North-East to collect rare and unique artwork.

The collection includes a painting, The laying of the foundation stone of Seaham Harbour, 1828, by Robert Mackreth, which is estimated to fetch between £20,000 and £30,000.

The painting was commissioned by the third Marquess and his wife Frances Anne Vane-Tempest after they constructed the harbor to carry their coal to London.

Another picture, Herbert Dicksee’s The Dying Lion, which was hung in the ballroom at Wynyard, is expected to go for between £70,000 and £100,000.

A portrait of Frances Anne Vane inside Westminster Abbey for the Coronation of William IV by French painter Alexandre-Jean Dubois-Drahonet will also be auctioned off. The painting has a guide price of £12,000 to £18,000.

Other reminders of the illustrious history of the Londonderrys include a Louis XIV ormolu-mounted bureau and a pair of Italian olivewood commodes.

Adrian Hume-Sayer, Christie’s specialist and associate director, said the Londonderry family was one of Britain’s wealthiest aristocratic dynasties and was synonymous with the important art collection they assembled.

He said the collected offered "an insight into a vanished world of grand political salons and of glamorous aristocratic house parties", adding: “The historic importance of the family as politicians, industrialists, collectors and patrons, is evident throughout this fascinating group, which gives a rare glimpse into both the public and private lives of this illustrious family and provides a unique opportunity to acquire works which have never before been offered on the open market.”

The title of Marquess of Londonderry was created in Ireland in 1816 for Robert Stewart.

The third Marquess, Charles William Stewart, married the Lady Frances Anne Vane-Tempest, the daughter and heiress of Sir Henry Vane-Tempest, in 1819.

The Vane-Tempest family already owned numerous coal mines in the North-East and the third Marquess extended the empire by buying the Seaham Hall estate and building a new hall at Wynyard Park.

The Wynyard estate remained in the family until 1987 when it was sold to Sir John Hall, former Newcastle United chairman.

A statue of the third Marquess of Londonderry lies in Durham Market Place.

The auction will take place at Christie’s on May 23.

Comments (3)

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6:05pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Voice-of-reality says...

A great shame that the heritage of the nation has to be sold off in this manner and that death duties crippled such estates, whereas those of today's millionnaires (Rooney, Blair et al) will neither have the taste to commission such pieces, nor the philanthropy (with which society was blessed from the artistocracy) to support local communities and jobs.
A great shame that the heritage of the nation has to be sold off in this manner and that death duties crippled such estates, whereas those of today's millionnaires (Rooney, Blair et al) will neither have the taste to commission such pieces, nor the philanthropy (with which society was blessed from the artistocracy) to support local communities and jobs. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 4

11:27pm Mon 31 Mar 14

bambara says...

Philanthropy - LOL "The Vane-Tempest-Stewart family used colossal riches from the collieries of the North-East to collect rare and unique artwork"
So they made a huge fortune on the back of the hard work of the poor sods who worked and too often died down the pits.
Philanthropy, not likely, this stuff was commisioned and bought to impress the other aristocratic families and friends.
It's not like they bought it and hung it in a gallery for the benefit of the public.

Try thinking of it not so much as "death duties" and more as a tax on the unearned income of the person inheriting the money.
After all the ones inheriting have never worked a single day in their lives for that money, which makes this "something for nothing", and we can't be having something for nothing, because "we're all in it together!"
Philanthropy - LOL "The Vane-Tempest-Stewart family used colossal riches from the collieries of the North-East to collect rare and unique artwork" So they made a huge fortune on the back of the hard work of the poor sods who worked and too often died down the pits. Philanthropy, not likely, this stuff was commisioned and bought to impress the other aristocratic families and friends. It's not like they bought it and hung it in a gallery for the benefit of the public. Try thinking of it not so much as "death duties" and more as a tax on the unearned income of the person inheriting the money. After all the ones inheriting have never worked a single day in their lives for that money, which makes this "something for nothing", and we can't be having something for nothing, because "we're all in it together!" bambara
  • Score: -2

11:35pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Of course, bambara, when the mines were privately owned - the north east was a financial and economci powerhouse. Once nationalised the ywere predominantly closed by Labour. The families did get rich but they also employed people, often provided houses, and the philanthropy of the elites is all around - I give you Armstrong and his work in Newcastle, Dorman and his work inTeesside and of course the Pearses in Darlington.
And as for death duties - that was part of my point - these families were crucified by them (though the families supported others) whereas the likes of Blair will ensure that everything is off shore.
Of course, bambara, when the mines were privately owned - the north east was a financial and economci powerhouse. Once nationalised the ywere predominantly closed by Labour. The families did get rich but they also employed people, often provided houses, and the philanthropy of the elites is all around - I give you Armstrong and his work in Newcastle, Dorman and his work inTeesside and of course the Pearses in Darlington. And as for death duties - that was part of my point - these families were crucified by them (though the families supported others) whereas the likes of Blair will ensure that everything is off shore. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 2

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