An exquisite collection of over 100 pieces of contemporary craft formerly owned by the late Victoria, Lady de Rothschild is being auctioned this September and is on public display at the philanthropist’s former Buckinghamshire home, Ascott House. Curated by specialist auction house Maak, along with de Rothschild family friend and designer Tomasz Starzewski, the remarkable collection features work from the likes of Lucie Rie, Rupert Spira, Tapio Wirkkala, Ritsue Mishima, Kondo Takahiro, Junko Mori, Liam Flynn and Marc Ricourt.
An avid collector known for her exquisite taste, Lady de Rothschild moved from Manhattan to London when she met and married Sir Eveyln de Rothschild. They took over as custodians of the historic residence of the de Rothschild family in 1977. Victoria enlisted the help of interior designers Renzo Mongiardino, Robert Kime, and architect Peter Marino to create exquisitely crafted spaces that formed as beautiful backdrops to many family collections.
Maak has been invited by the family to showcase this collection of ceramics, silver, wood, glass, fibre, lacquer and jewellery in the six public reception rooms of this historic family residence. Maak’s upcoming auction of carefully considered, personal pieces follows on the heels of an incredibly successful sale in late 2021 by Christie’s of the bulk of Lady Victoria’s other collections of art, furniture and design.
Victoria built up this significant collection of contemporary craft by leading international makers over a twenty year period, in the years following her divorce from Sir Evelyn. This exhibition brings together two important periods in Victoria’s life, with the unique heritage setting proving an intriguing contrast to the contemporary craftsmanship of today. And yet a sense of harmony is retained, the shared focus of the environment and the artworks on materiality and quality of the hand-made, whether modern or antique, revealing a common thread.
Maak has dedicated the past 14 years to advancing an ever wider international recognition of the contemporary ceramics market. Whilst remaining true to its specialism for studio ceramics and recognising that this dedicated level of specialism is one of the qualities that make Maak unique in the market, Maak is excited to be broadening its scope to include the parallel specialism of contemporary craft as a whole encompassing the very best international makers working with wood, metal, glass, textiles, basketry, lacquer and jewellery. Building on the team’s expertise and extending the bespoke consultancy service, the Lady de Rothschild collection is the debut auction of what will be an annual sale of contemporary craft each Autumn.
The exhibition will culminate in an auction of the collection presented to the market by Maak on 21st September 2023 with auction viewing by appointment with Maak at Ascott House from 12th–20th September 2023.
Ascott House is open to the public until the 10th September. Online bidding and by appointment viewings of the collection at Ascott House will run by appointment with Maak from 12th September until the 21st September, online viewing of the collection can be explored here.
Ascott House was home to Victoria, Lady de Rothschild and her husband and their three children for some twenty years. Members of the family still live in the private rooms there but the house is run by the National Trust and is open to the public from Spring until Autumn each year. The heavily restored Tudor house is thought to date from 1606.
Visitors to the manor house can enjoy the stunning gardens, a mix of formal and informal, with fountains, sculptures and colourful bedding plants interspersed with architectural hedging.
Maak is the preeminent auction house and art consultancy dedicated to the foremost international studio ceramic art and contemporary craft. Established in 2009, Maak runs several auctions a year and provides specialist consultancy services to private collectors and institutions around the world allowing them to nurture the thriving secondary market of contemporary ceramics and craft. www.maaklondon.com
See also: Hunt Slonem at HOFA London