Contents of Richmondshire country house to be auctioned off

Forcett Hall.

The contents of a Richmondshire country house are to be auctioned off later this month.

Tennants Auctioneers of Leyburn will sell the selected contents of Forcett Hall as part of their spring sale on March 19 and 20.

It follows the death of owner James Edwards-Heathcote, who died in January aged 69.

Auctioneers say the sale gives collectors the rare opportunity to acquire works of art that have been part of a family collection for generations.

The collection encompasses paintings, silver, furniture, jewellery, ceramics, works of art, watches and traditional country house furnishings.

The first Forcett Hall was built on the Iron Age settlement at Stanwick St John during the reign of Elizabeth I, however, it was destroyed by fire in 1726.

The hall was redesigned in 1740 by architect Daniel Garrett for Richard Shuttleworth MP, whose family owned the estate from 1582 to 1784.

The hall remained in the family’s ownership until 1938 when it was bought by Lieutenant Colonel Hardress Waller and it has remained in the same family, passing more recently to the Edwards-Heathcotes.

Highlights from the collection include a rare late 17th century illustrated copybook on writing, arithmetic, and calligraphy by Sarah North dated 1686 (estimate: £1,000-1,500).

Also of note are an 18 carat gold repeating pocket watch made by Hubert Sarton of Liege circa 1800 once the property of Sir Nigel Bowyer Gresley, 7th Baronet (estimate: £1,000-1,500), and a Victorian silver cup by Frederick Elkington of London, engraved with an inscription to Captain J.H. Edwards Heathcote on the occasion of his leaving Apedale Hall in 1891 (estimate: £500-800).

Notable paintings from the collection include, Returning with the catch, by John Thomas Hamilton McCallum (1841-1896) (estimate: £4,000-6,000), and Portrait of the three children of Sir John Heathcote of Langton Hall by a Follower of George Romney (1734-1802) (estimate: £2,500-4,000).

An illustrated catalogue will be available at leading up to the sale, and remote bidding is available.