Friday, May 30, 2014

Carole and Anthony Bamford at Daylesford

An aerial view of Daylesford, Gloucestershire.
Image via Victory by Design.
Daylesford is considered by many to be the quintessential English country house.  Previous posts of The Devoted Classicist featured the house here, here, and here. For a look at the historic 1500 acre Cotswolds estate Daylesford today, we consider the present owners Anthony Bamford and his wife Carole.  Not known to many in the United States, the billionaire Lord and Lady Bamford live the lifestyles of the rich and famous at their multiple residences which includes the 17th century Wootton Lodge on 4,500 well-cared-for acres in Staffordshire (which had been bought by his father).
Wootton Lodge, Staffordshire.
Anthony Bamford was knighted in 1990 at the age of 45 and was elevated to the House of Lords in 2013, and created a Life Peer, taking the title Baron Bamford.  Carole Bamford was awarded The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2006 for her philanthropic work for children through the Lady Bamford Charitable Trust.

The courtyard at the Daylesford Organic Farm Shop.
Photo collage from Berry Diaries blog.
Converting the family farms in Staffordshire and Gloucestershire into utilizing organic responsible farming based on traditional methods, Lady Bamford opened Daylesford Organic farmshop and café on the estate in 2002.  Now there are also Daylesford shops in Surrey, on Pimlico Road and in Nottinghill, London, and a concession in Selfridges Food Hall plus an outpost in Japan.  The Bamford brand, launched in 2006, sells natural fiber clothing and natural products for body, baby, and home. 

There are several cottages
on the estate that can be booked
for lodging.  This one is apparently called
the Wood Store, reflecting its previous use..
Photo collage from Daylesford Organic Farm.
Both Bamfords serve on the board of directors of the family business, JCB, founded by his father J.C. Bamford.  Employing around 10,000 people, according to Wikipedia, there are eight plants in Staffordshire, two in Wrexham, one in Derbyshire, a factory in Savannah, Georgia, one in Brazil, three in India, one in China and one in Germany.  According to the JCB website there are 2,000 dealers world-wide to provide 300 products related to construction and agricultural equipment.
The fantastic scale of the Orangery
is revealed in comparison to the tent
set up to celebrate the wedding of a neighbor's daughter.
Photo by NYSD.
Other than some publicity for the Daylesford and Bamford brands, Lady Bamford is reluctant to give interviews, but a good example of putting out the good word (with photos) can be found in the story published in the December 8, 2013, issue of The Independent, which can be read here.  The Bamfords bought Daylesford in 1988 for a reported $22 million, and as Viscount Rothermere had done earlier, hired the interior design firm Colefax and Fowler (now known as Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler Interior Design and Decoration).  Sweeping away the decoration done by Mongiardino for Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza, there was a return to the 18th century style established by architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell and owner Warren Hastings.  Again Daylesford was furnished with important 18th-century English furniture and art, including many items original to Hastings' inventory.

A fragment of the original wallpaper border from the Warren Hastings
era was reproduced by Colefax and Fowler for Daylesford.
Image from the Victoria & Albert Museum collection.
As far as this writer could determine, the Bamford interiors of Daylesford have never been published, even without the location being identified.  (Perhaps Devoted Readers can offer some insight, however).  There have been a few photos of the garden, but a request for more shots to accompany a December, 2007, article in W Magazine was met with the protests.  "'We can't show everything!' she says in her rather high-pitched, clipped voice.  A bit of a standoff follows.  Her initial concession: 'You can take a picture of this artichoke,' she says, perfectly serious."

Proposed alterations under the
entrance court at Daylesford.
Image via public documents.
Although Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza was known to have an interior swimming pool at Daylesford, an ingenious scheme to add a new swimming pool facility was proposed in 2005 that would also include a Mechanical Room, a 16-seat Cinema, a Gym and separate male and female Saunas and Changing Rooms.  With minimal interface to the original structure of the historic house, the addition, presumed to have been approved, was created from the excavations below the existing motor court entrance, with essentially no evidence of the new construction.

A bird's eye view of Daylesford
commissioned by the Bamfords from country
house & gardens painter Jonathan Myles-Lea.
Image via
Living in the country is aided by their private helicopter, one of the largest in England (used by Lord Bamford for his daily commute to his factory in Staffordshire and sometimes loaned to neighbor Prince Charles).  There is a private jet and a 240-foot yacht, The Virginian previously owned by John Kluge.  In addition to Daylesford and Wootton, there is a London mansion and a wine-producing seaside estate in Provence, Chateau de Leoube.  The next post of The Devoted Classicist will feature the Bamfords' home in Barbados, Heron Bay, the legendary beachfront villa formerly owned by Marietta and Ronald Tree (ex-husband of Nancy Lancaster).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza at Daylesford

Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza
on the grounds of his Gloucestershire estate,
Daylesford.  The house was remodeled in the late
18th century by Samuel Pepys Cockerell for
 Warren Hastings with gardens by John Davenport.
Photo by Christopher Simon Sykes via Corbis.
After the 1978 death of the 2nd Viscount Rothermere, Daylesford was sold to Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza.  Known as "Heini" to his close friends, the baron was a Dutch-born Swiss citizen with a Hungarian title having his principle residence Monaco for tax reasons.  He also declared a second residency in the United Kingdom, but spent much of his time in later years in Spain.

Another view of the fantastic Orangery
at Daylesford as it appeared in the early 1980s.
Photo by Christopher Simon Sykes for HG.
The baron was born to a steel and armaments empire that also included oil, natural gas, and shipping.  On his father's death, he inherited hundreds of 14th to 19th century paintings by European masters.  (Many had been bought from American millionaires feeling the hardships of the Great Depression and inheritance taxes).  The baron added a 20th century collection of his own which included some paintings from relatives' collections and some new works. 

A view of the west elevation of Daylesford
in the early 1980s during the ownership of the baron.
Photo by Christopher Simon Sykes for HG.
In 1985, the baron married his fifth wife in a ceremony at his country estate, Daylesford.  He was 64 and she was 41, the "Miss Spain" of 1961.  The bride, Carmen Cervera, known as "Tita" to her friends, had previously been married to the actor Lex Barker of the "Tarzan" films.  Among the attendees were the Duchess of Marlborough, Henry Ford 2nd, and the Duke of Badajoz, brother-in-law to King Juan Carlos of Spain.  The new baroness did not care for Daylesford, however, and it was sold.

The Saloon at Daylesford as decorated by
Mongiardino for Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Photo by Christopher Simon Sykes for HG.
Much of the baron's art collection was housed at Villa Favorita on Lake Lugano, Switzerland.  The villa had been purchased by his father in 1932 when their future in Germany appeared without promise.  After the Lugano City Council essentially rejected plans in 1988 by renown British architect James Stirling to enlarge the villa to better show the collection, his wife persuaded him to relocate 715 works which made up the core of the collection to Spain.

'Portrait of Ann Brown in the Role of Miranda'
by Johann Zoffany, circa 1770, once hung in
the Saloon of Daylesford during the Thyssen-Bornemisza era.
Image via Wikipedia.
The Portrait of David Lyon,
as seen in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum,
had previously hung in the niche in the Saloon
of Daylesford.
The former Villahermosa Palace in Madrid was renovated to the approval of the baroness and opened as the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in 1992.  The collection, which includes silver, gold, and tapestries in addition to paintings, was initially on loan, then transferred to the Spanish Government the following year.  The Thyssen-Bornemiszas maintained residences in London, Paris, Marbella, the Balearic Islands, Jamaica, and Switzerland, but spent much of the time on an estate in La Moraleja, a fashionable suburb of Madrid.  The villa there was furnished with American paintings and the furniture from Daylesford.  The English country house had been lavishly decorated by Renzo Mongiardino, sweeping away the previous schemes by John Fowler for Viscount Rothermere seen in previous posts here and here. 

The Saloon at Daylesford as decorated by
Mongiardino for Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Image from clipping in private collection.
It is always of interest to The Devoted Classicist to see how two great decorators each do a different take on the same house, in this case, for different owners.  Renzo Mongiardino was trained as an architect but his early successes were set designs for the stage and films.  For interior design, he used the visual tricks of the stage crafts;  Mongiardino employed a team of skilled carpenters, decorative painters, drapers, and upholsterers to create a mood, the overall effect being more important than the provenance of specific pieces. 
Details of the walls in the Saloon at Daylesford
as decorated by Mongiardino for Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Image from clippings in private collection.
The stucco decoration on the walls of the Saloon was created by five people working for two months, casting and attaching the stars, painting and glazing the walls, then adding stenciled decoration.  The shafts of the existing columns were painted to resemble porphyry. 

Another view of the Saloon at Daylesford
as decorated by Mongiardino for Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza,
showing the plaster relief decoration of the walls with stenciling.
Image from clippings in a private collection.
Mongiardino's decoration of Daylesford for the baron was recorded, in part, with a series of photos taken by Christopher Simon Sykes that appeared in the July, 1983, issue of House & Garden magazine.  Additional magazine photos are from clippings in a private collection with no identification as to the source.  Watercolor drawings and one photo are from the 1993 book that Mongiardino authored.

Elevations of the Long Gallery of Daylesford
as proposed by Renzo Mongiardino.
The Devoted Classicist Library.
Elevations of the Long Gallery of Daylesford
as proposed by Renzo Mongiardino.
The Devoted Classicist Library.
In ROOMSCAPES, THE DECORATIVE ARCHITECTURE OF RENZO MONGIARDINO, Mongiardino discusses his philosophy behind decorating the walls of the Long Gallery to compliment the Italian seventeenth-century paintings to be displayed.  He was concerned about the dramatic paintings, meant to be hung in shadows inside churches, only occasionally being illuminated by a ray of sun, and how they would appear in a completely new context in the cold light of England.  Mongiardino's story, and it is possible that at least part of the storyline was fiction, was that some long lengths of antique lampas, about sixty centimeters wide with a large design, were found in extremely pure red and brilliant yellow, made in Italy in the early 1600s.  But there was not enough of the antique fabric, so it was paired with alternating lengths of a new fabric custom made near Genoa in the same red and yellow, but with a small scale pattern.  (Although the text says that a wainscot was added to allow for the limited antique fabric, neither the watercolor presentations nor the photos show that feature).

A detail of the Long Gallery of Daylesford
with decoration by Mongiardino for Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Photo by Christopher Simon Sykes for HG.

Mongiardino was pleased with the results, the text revealed, because the paintings became unexpectedly antimated, "the large yellow-and-red damask transformed the dark areas from an opaque black into a deep darkness, full of reflections."  Other than a chandelier in the passage behind the screen of columns, there are no ceiling lights, only picture lights matching the coloring of the frames, mounted either at top or bottom of the paintings, plus the table lamps.

The Long Gallery at Daylesford
as decorated by Mongiardino for Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Photo from ROOMSCAPES.
Another art-filled room was the Garden Room about which little is known except what can be gathered from this composite image shown below. 

For the art lovers, a better view of "The Card Game"
by Balthus, 1948 to 1950.  Now in the
Museo Thyssen, Madrid, the source of this image.

A composite detail view of the Garden room with
a Balthus painting "The Card Game."
Image from clippings in a private collection.

An interesting feature of the Garden Room was the patterned wallpaper, or possibly a chintz, that covered the walls, making no shy step into the background while still complimenting the art.
A composite view of the Library at Daylesford
as decorated by Mongiardino for Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Image from clippings in a private collection.
The Library appears to have been relocated to a different space from what the Rothermeres had used and decorated as what has been described as an amethyst-colored room as the background for art.  A Picasso harlequin hangs against the chimneybreast upholstered, like the other wall surfaces in the room, in violet silk striped in blue and green, specially woven in Florence.  A frieze by Irene Carcano gives a degree of intimacy to the room, depicting neoclassical Pompeian scenes in the style of a Roman cameo.  Mongiardino added deep shelves to hold books, large portfolios, and record albums.  Sofas in 19th century Syrian velvet embroidered in white silk compliment the white marble chimneypiece and white architectural trim.

A composite view of the Cinema at Daylesford
as decorated by Mongiardino for Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Image from clippings in a private collection.
The Cinema Room designed by Mongiardino was decorated with a frieze with silhouettes of film-related representations.  The space was used by the Baron as a holding area for new purchases before finding a place at Daylesford, or becoming part of the picture gallery at Lugano or going on tour as part of the Baron's program of exhibiting his collection.  From left in the image above, the paintings include a 1934 Picasso next to Titian's "Danae;" an 1891 Boudin rests on the center chair; at right on the floor, "Rider on a White Horse" by Balthus, 1941.

A bedroom at Daylesford decorated by Mongiardo
shown as used by Baroness Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Photo by Christopher Simon Sykes for HG.
The bedroom used by the Baroness was decorated by Mongiardino in his interpretation of the quintessential 'undecorated' Country House Style.  What appears to be tea-dipped bed hangings combine with slipcovers and rugs on carpeting to add layers of what might appear to have been accumulated in the great house over generations.  A festoon blind is pulled up behind the gathered valance at the steps to the French doors that open onto a rooftop terrace.  The fabric covering the walls was especially designed by Renzo Mongiardino.

The Domed Room at Daylesford
as decorated by Mongiardino for Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Photo by Christopher Simon Sykes for  HG.
Of all the rooms at Daylesford, the one that looks like it might have been a total fabrication by Mongiardino was the Domed Room.  However, sources say that it was one of the few unchanged rooms that were original to the house by architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell and Mongiardino only decorated it for the Baron.

The Domed Room at Daylesford
as decorated by Mongiardino for Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Photo by Christopher Simon Sykes for HG.
Another view of this room and a number of other rooms shot during the same time period can be viewed on the website of the clearing house for Christopher Simon Sykes photography, The Interior Archive.  (A link could not be activated, but go to their site and search "Daylesford").

In addition to ROOMSCAPES, an out-of-print book with only used copies available in hardback and new but more expensive copies in paperback, there is a more moderately priced option with Laure Verchere's 2013 book RENZO MONGIARDINO, RENAISSANCE MASTER OF STYLE.

The next post of The Devoted Classicist will present Daylesford under the ownership of its next/current owners, billionaire industrialist Sir Anthony Bamford and his wife Lady Carole.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Daylesford's Colefax & Fowler Furnishings

A view of the Saloon at Daylesford
as decorated by John Fowler for the
2nd Viscount Rothermere.
 As Part II in the Notable Homes series on Daylesford, a closer look is given to the furnishings selected by John Fowler and Esmond Harmsworth, the 2nd Viscount Rothermere.  (For the previous post, Part I, click here).  After the viscount died in 1978, his widow and third wife, the former Mary Murchison, returned to live in the U.S. where she died in 1993 at age 62 in a West Palm Beach, Florida, hospital.  A native of Dallas, Texas, Viscountess Rothermere was the daughter of Kenneth Murchison, the founder of a successful insurance partnership, and the niece of Clinton W. Murchison, once one of the world's wealthiest men.  According to her obituary, she maintained homes in Palm Beach, Manhattan, Monte Carlo, and Newport, Rhode Island where she was a supporter of Save the Bay.  In addition, she served on the board of directors of Stratford Hall Plantation in Virginia and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.  Although it was her stepson and step-grandson who inherited the viscountcy, her six sons by a previous marriage and her son with Esmond were well taken care of by a trust that included some shares in the Daily Mail and Daily Standard group of newspapers; a 1997 partial sell-off of shares netted her seven sons GBP 163 million.

A view of Daylesford from the

by J.R. Neale, 1823.
Although Daylesford House had been sold (with the next owners to be discussed in following posts), many of the furnishings remained with Mary, Viscountess Rothermere until a sale on April 16, 1994, in New York at Christie's.  So there were no photos in the catalogue of the furniture in situ at Daylesford, but some of the lots could be seen in a series of delightful but uncredited watercolors, included in this post.

Another watercolor view of the Saloon
at Daylesford as decorated by John Fowler.
Image via Christie's.
Among the most memorable furnishings during the Fowler period at Daylesford are the suite of seat furniture by Thomas Chippendale for Sir David Garrick.  Of course, Chippendale is one of the most famous names in furniture, but Garrick, an acclaimed actor and manager of the Drury Lane Theatre, was a celebrity in his time.

David Garrick's Hampton Villa.
Married to the famous Viennese dancer Eva Marie Viegel, Garrick purchased a furnished villa on the banks of the Thames on the outskirts of London in Hampton in 1754.  Utilizing the top talent of the day, he employed Robert Adam for architectural improvements, Jean Pillement to decorate the drawing room walls with chinoiserie painting, and Capability Brown to landscape the grounds.  From 1768 to 1778, Chippendale was involved with the interiors and the work was documented in bills, correspondence, inventories, and sale catalogues.  An invoice, provided in the Christie's catalogue, which runs from 21 May to 23 September 1768, lists the seat furniture as follows:

      David Garrick, Esq
      To Thomas Chippendale
1768                                                                                L  s  d
Aug 3
      To 8 French Arm Chairs very neatly
      Carv'd & painted Blue & white, stuff'd
      & cover'd with your own Blue
      Damask & Brass nail'd                                         24  -  -
      To 2 large Tub Chairs carv'd &
      painted to match stuff'd & Cover'd
      with damask & large Down Cushions
      for the seats                                                           12  -  -
      To a large French sofa to match the
      Chairs and cover'd with your damask
      & nail'd & a large Feather Cushion
      Blue Cheque cases for the sofa & Cushion            2  -  -                                                  

In addition to this commissioned suite of furniture, Chippendale altered and repaired Garrick's existing furniture.  Also, Chippendale made a bed (now painted green and white) to match this suite that is exhibited in the collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum (click here to see access. no. W.21-1917)

A pair of George III painted bergeres,
circa 1768 by Thomas Chippendale
from the Saloon of Daylesford.
Christie's.  Lot 142, Sale 7906.

A set of six George III painted armchairs,
four circa 1768 by Thomas Chippendale,
two of a later date.  From the Saloon at Daylesford.
Christie's. Lot 143, Sale 7906.
A view of the Saloon showing the back of the settee
en suite with the previous seating.
The settee was of a later date, commissioned by
John Fowler, but it is presumed that all had
the same yellow fabric.  The settee was offered in
the catalog as Lot 144 but was not pictured.
The suite is included in a 1779 inventory when Garrick died and again in the sale catalogue when his widow died in 1823.  Her solicitor bought the house and many of the furnishings, but when the house and contents were sold again in 1864, the suite did not appear in the auction catalogue.  The whereabouts were unknown until Colefax & Fowler assistant Tom Parr found them during John Fowler's decoration of Daylesford.  The existing paint finish was scraped down to find traces of the old blue and white decoration;  thinking the paint finish was more stylish than gilding, Fowler had them painted grey-blue and antique white.
A George III giltwood mirror,
circa 1765, in the manner of John Linnell
from the Saloon at Daylesford.
Christie's. Lot 161. Sale 7906.
A pair of Regency lacquer-mounted and grained rosewood
side cabinets from the Saloon at Daylesford.
Each with a later black slate top.
Christie's. Lot 162. Sale 7906.
The Dining Room at Daylesford
during the Rothermere residency.
Image via Christie's.

A pair of  George III cut-glass, ormolu and blue glass
three-light candelabra, late 18th century.
Christie's.  Lot 96, Sale 7906.
A Regency mahogany four-pedestal drop-leaf
dining table, early 19th century.
Christie's. Lot 186, Sale 7906.
A set of 10 Regency chairs along with 8 of a later date
commissioned by John Fowler for Viscount Rothermere.
Christie's Sale 7178, 2005.
The largest room of the house is the sitting room known as the Long Gallery.  It was comfortably furnished for everyday use. 

The Long Gallery at Daylesford
during the Rothermere residency.
Image via Christie's.

A Scottish George III mahogany open armchair,
mid-18th century.
Christie's. Lot 131, Sale 7906.
A Queen Anne stool, together with a matching copy
of a later date.
Christie's. Lot 164, Sale 7906.
A Louis XVI ormolu-mounted and brass-inlaid ebony
longcase regulateur with equation of time, circa 1780.
The case stamped J. JOLLAIN twice.
Christie's. Lot 113. Sale 7906.

Another view of the Long Gallery
during the Rothermere residency.

The Morning Room pictured in JOHN FOWLER, PRINCE OF DECORATORS and discussed in the previous post of The Devoted Classicist is also known as the Chinese Room because of artwork.  In the reflection in the mirror, note the curtains designed by Fowler and how the swags connected around the curved bay.

The Morning Room at Daylesford
during the Rothermere residency.
Image via Christie's.
A pair of Regency ormolu-mounted rosewood side cabinets,
early 19th century.
Christie's. Lot 130, Sale 7906.
The Library at Daylesford
during the Rothermere residency.
An early George III mahogany kettle stand
with a later canted square top.
Christie's. Lot 172, Sale 7906.
An English bronze bust of Warren Hastings
cast from a model by Thomas Banks.
See the previous post for more on Hastings.
Christie's. Lot 1, Sale 7906.
Another view of the Library at Daylesford
during the Rothermere residency.
Portrait of Warren Hastings
by Lemuel Francis Abbott.
Christie's London, April 15, 1994.
The auction catalogue consisted of property from the estate of Mary, Viscountess Rothermere, and was not limited to furnishings that had been at Daylesford.  The portrait of Warren Hastings might have been at another residence, but that is unlikely and is shown here because of the significance to the history of the house.

Portrait of Margaret Layton of Rawdon,
circa 1620, oil on panel.
Christie's. Lot 191, Sale 7906.

 Margaret Layton's doublet,
the jacket or waistcoat seen in the portrait.
Linen embroidered in silver and silver-gilt thread,
with sequins and gold lace, lined in pink silk.
English, circa 1620 to 1620.
Christie's.Lot 192, Sale 7906.
(A pair of matching leather gloves was offered as Lot 193).
The portrait of Margaret Layton and associated garment were most likely from the Rothermere's London mansion Warwick House.  Facing Green Park, it was built 1770 to 1771 to a design by Sir William Chambers (the architect of Somerset House, the pagoda at Kew, and Albany), but largely rebuilt during the 19th century in the French Renaissance taste.  Purchased in 1924 by Esmond Harmsworth (before he was a viscount), the principal rooms were remodeled in the 18th century style.  A photo of the Rothermeres posing with the portrait and jacket in the background was shown in the previous post.

The catalogue also showed silver and art from the estate that was offered in 13 additional specialty auctions in New York and London, including a portrait by El Greco.

The next post of The Devoted Classicist will present Daylesford as it was decorated by Renzo Mongiardino during the residency of its next owner, Baron Hans Thyssen-Bornemisza.