Property From The Late Dowager Countess Bathurst Sale

GLORIA: Property from the late Dowager Countess Bathurst will be offered across four auctions at Christie’s in July. A dedicated collection sale will be held on 22 July with works also included in three specialist sales throughout the month.

The epitome of style and glamour, Gloria was a successful model in the late 1940s and 50s, working for couturiers such as Jacques Fath and Christian Dior.

Gloria was also featured in Vogue and went on to become known as Britain’s ‘most perfect outdoor girl.’ The collection across the four auctions comprises 255 lots and is estimated to realise in the region of £2,000,000.

Gloria Clarry (1927-2018) married lawyer David Rutherston (1925-1975) in 1965, son of the artist Albert Rutherston (1881-1953) and nephew of artist Sir William Rothenstein (1872-1945). Following the death of her first husband in 1975, Gloria married Henry, 8th Earl Bathurst (1927-2011) in 1978 and moved to his family seat, Cirencester Park.

In 1988, Lord and Lady Bathurst moved again, this time to what would be their last home, Manor Farm, in the beautiful Cotswolds village of Sapperton on the edge of the Cirencester Park estate.

Earl Bathurst died in 2011 and Gloria, then the Dowager Countess remained at Manor Farm, Gloucestershire with regular visits to her London flat in Lennox Gardens, Chelsea. It is from these two properties that the collection being offered for sale originates.

The dedicated Collection sale, GLORIA: Property from the late Dowager Countess Bathurst, to be held on 22 July will include 235 lots spanning Old Master, Impressionist and Modern British paintings, English and European Furniture and Works of Art, alongside Jewellery, Silver and Porcelain and Decorative Furnishings and Objects.

PAINTINGS – Collection Sale, 22 July

An outstanding lot amongst the paintings in the sale is the Group portrait of the four eldest children of the 1st Lord Bathurst – Frances (b. 1708), Catherine (b.1709), Benjamin (b.1711) and Henry (b.1714), by James Maubert, Lot 38, (estimate £50,000-80,000).

Considered to be amongst Maubert’s finest known works, this is one of two large scale group portraits commissioned from the artist by Allen Bathurst, 1st Baron Bathurst, later 1st Earl Bathurst (1684-1775); the work is one of a series of family portraits in the sale.

Further highlights include a group of family portraits by Philip De László (1869-1937) led by a depiction of Lady Apsley (1895-1966), half-length, in a green dress, signed and dated ‘de László/ 1924’ Lot 78, (estimate £25,000-35,000), which was presented to Lord and Lady Apsley on the occasion of their wedding in 1924.

ROYAL & DIPLOMATIC GIFTS – Collection Sale, 22 July

Given by Queen Anne (1665-1714) to Frances, Lady Bathurst née Apsley (1653- 1727); a Queen Anne ‘Bizarre’ Embroidered Bedcover, possibly by James Leman, circa 1710, Lot 18, (estimate £25,000-40,000).

Lady Bathurst had been a Maid of Honour to the young princesses and was an intimate friend of both Queen Anne and her sister, Queen Mary, as evidenced by a surviving cache of letters from Queen Mary to Frances Bathurst.

Further royal lots include a splendid late 18th century Berlin (KPM) porcelain ‘Grand Duke of Courland‘ pattern part dinner-service, given to Henry Bathurst, 3rd Earl Bathurst (1762-1834) when Secretary of State for War and the Colonies (1812-1827) by Friedrich Wilhelm III, King of Prussia (1770-1840) Lot 98, (estimate £15,000-25,000).

Lot 99 and 100, two Vienna Porcelain rectangular still life plaques by Josef Nigg, circa 1817-19, each with an estimate of £40,000-60,000; almost certainly given to the 3rd Earl by Francis I, Emperor of Austria, circa 1820; and correspond to examples in the Royal Collection.

The sale also includes gifts from HRH The Duchess of Gloucester (1776-1857) to Lady Georgina Bathurst (1792-1874) and from Queen Mary (1867-1953), Lilias, Countess Bathurst (1871-1965).

APSLEY HOUSE & ROBERT ADAM – Collection Sale, 22 July

When the Lord Chancellor, Henry, 1st Baron Apsley (later 2nd Earl Bathurst, 1714-94) wanted a prominent London house, he turned to the most fashionable architect- designer of the period, Robert Adam (1728-92) to design Apsley House at the top of Piccadilly whose address is also famously known as No. 1 London.

Twenty-six of Adam’s designs for the house, of circa 1778-79, have survived in the collection of The Sir John Soane Museum, including a design for the library over mantel offered in this sale, Lot 25 (estimate: £10,000-15,000).

The most valuable lot in sale of furniture is Lot 26, a pair of elegant George III sycamore-inlaid and ebony banded, mahogany serpentine commodes, possibly by Ince & Mayhew, circa 1775, that were almost certainly supplied to the Lord Chancellor for Apsley House, London, or Cirencester Park, Gloucestershire (estimate £50,000-80,000)

BROTHER PAINTERS Albert Rutherston & Sir William Rothenstein – Collection Sale, 22 July

This auction provides a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire works by brother artists Sir William Rothenstein (1872-1945) and Albert Rutherston, R.W.S. (1881-1953), Gloria’s first father in law.

Many of the works have never been offered on the open market, passing by descent in the family. Both brothers attended the Slade School of Art and were influential figures in the Modern British Art scene during the early 20th century, counting artists such as Auguste Rodin, William Orpen, Walter Sickert, Augustus John and Charles Conder amongst their circle with works by the latter two artists included in the sale.

There are also portraits of their friends and family, such as William’s portrait of a young Albert, Lot 160, (estimate £600-1,000) as well as works which show defining moments in Albert’s oeuvre such as A laundry girl, Lot 136, (estimate £2,000-3,000) and a painted screen Romance, Lot 141, (estimate £3,000-5,000).

JEWELS Important Jewels, 30 July and Collection Sale 22 July

The diverse and important jewellery is to be offered in both the Collection sale on 22 July and in the Important Jewels sale on 30 July.

It offers an evocative and very personal window into Gloria’s private world through the lens of chosen acquisitions, inheritance and personal gifts amassed throughout a lifetime. Many pieces have historic aristocratic or royal provenance. Lots from the Important Jewels sale on 30 July include: an Art Deco Enamel, Gem and Diamond Pendant Watch, Cartier, (estimate £30,000-40,000).

The Art Deco pendant watch showcases Cartier’s highly innovative approach to design and attention to detail. This small jewel is lavishly set with various gemstones and decorated with fine enamelling displaying the strong chromatic contrasts and geometry so typical of the period; the result is sleek and totally modern but the secret compartment, engraved poem and level of craftsmanship are redolent of an intricate Renaissance jewel conveying a hidden message to the wearer. It was given by Allen Bathurst, Lord Apsley to his wife Viola Apsley, neé Meeking, probably to mark their wedding in 1924.

By family tradition, a gift from Queen Anne (1665-1714) to Catherine Apsley, the first Countess Bathurst (1688-1768), this understated Antique Natural Pearl and Diamond Necklace composed of 39 natural pearls, pearl-shaped and old-cut diamonds, is another highlight from the 30 July Important Jewels sale.

For centuries natural pearls were more highly prized than diamonds and were the preserve of nobility and society’s wealthiest elite. This necklace was undoubtedly considered a great heirloom and was proudly displayed as such in both Thomas Gainsborough’s painting of Tryphena, Countess Bathurst (d. 1807) and Sir James Jebusa Shannon’s painting of Lilias, Countess Bathurst (1871-1965).

The simple strand of graduated pearls remained a prerequisite into modern times for young women when they were photographed for society magazines to mark their coming of age or engagement (estimate £10,000-15,000).

The most valuable piece from the collection is an early 20th Century Diamond Tiara, commissioned from Cartier by Lilias, Countess Bathurst (1871-1965). Old and rose-cut diamonds, silver and gold, (circa 1910) the stones were taken from two tiara’s Countess Bathurst inherited from her mother Lady Glenesk (Important Jewels, 30 July, estimate £200,000-300,000).

The tiara is the epitome of aristocratic splendour and the delicate Belle Epoque scrolling motifs were inspired by 18th-century architectural details. Compared to many Victorian tiaras with their often heavy style of mounting and high surmounts this early 20th-century example must have felt comparatively ethereal, and it is not surprising that Gloria Bathurst clearly enjoyed wearing it and was photographed wearing this beautiful head ornament on various grand occasions.

The collection sale on 22 July also includes 23 lots of jewellery, some with royal provenance, dating from the 18th century to the modern-day and with estimates ranging from £500 – £25,000.


The collection includes an important Ben Nicholson, 1945 (still life), (estimate £500,000– 800,000) to be offered in One: A Global Sale of the 20th Century London on 10 July.

An additional work will also be included in the Classic Art Evening Sale: Antiquity to 20th Century, on 29 July. A Picasso drawing is offered in the Modern Edition: Works on Paper and Prints sale online, 15 June – 1 July.

Significant jewellery in addition to the piece referenced above will also be offered in the Important Jewels sale on 30 July.


To view the full e-catalogue click here.


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