Express & Star

Family's 'eclectic' treasure trove from Staffordshire country house to go under the hammer

A treasure trove of ‘eclectic’ antiques curated by a Staffordshire family over 50 years is heading to auction in Lichfield next week.

Last updated
Tom Winterton with a mid-20th century French ebonised and gilt metal and porcelain mounted sideboard.

The principal contents of The Grange, Perton, go under the hammer in Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ two-day Antiques & Home Sale at The Lichfield Auction Centre on Monday and Tuesday, starting at 9.30am both days.

The property was built in 1926 and industrialist Fred Cooper moved in with his family in 1969.

It remained the Cooper home until Fred’s wife Betty passed away earlier this year aged 92. Fred died in 1990, just short of his 68th birthday.

Catalogued across more than 150 lots, auctioneers say the contents of The Grange evoke the history and quality of a bygone lifestyle.

The Grange was built in 1926 and industrialist Fred Cooper moved in with his family 1969.

“Fred had a passion for history and the arts,” said auctioneer Richard Winterton. “His keen sense of humour and unconventional attitude comes across in the eclectic array of furniture, paintings and antiques he carefully curated.

“He chose wisely and had a keen eye for classical pieces with wide and varied taste erring on the side of quality.”

Mr Cooper bought many items from house auctions himself, although three of the largest paintings were already in situ and were purchased along with the property when the family moved in.

One of these is a large oil on canvas by John Brett ARA of MacLeod’s Maidens, Skye.

Fred and Betty Cooper.

Signed and dated 1884, the work was exhibited at the Royal Academy at the time of original purchase that year and is estimated to sell for up to £1,500.

Other paintings include The Encounter by Emil Rau, an alpine scene signed and dated 1900, estimated at £1,500 to £2,000.

Further highlights are an impressive array of marquetry inlaid and porcelain and gilt metal mounted French furniture.

Clocks include a 1973 Dent reproduction of an ingenious Congreve Rolling Ball Clock and a William and Mary walnut veneered longcase clock of one month duration, by Samuel Stretch of Bristol circa 1730.

Meanwhile, a large selection of silver from the property includes an Edward VII silver desk stand used by the Prince of Wales in 1923 estimated at £600 to £800.

Sarah Williams with A Stitch In Time

Made by Catchpole & Williams Ltd London 1903, the 63.62ozt stand bears the engraving ‘I was used by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales KCMG on the occasion of his visit to the Town Hall Wolverhampton 13th June 1923’.

Later the Duke of Windsor, the Prince of Wales in 1923 went on to become Edward VIII and abdicated the throne in 1936 after ruling for less than a year in order to marry twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.

There is also a complete set of The Collected Works of Sir Winston Churchill, from a 1978 limited centenary edition of 2000, with the 34 volumes accompanied by a matching four-volume set of Collected Essays, estimated at £800 to £1,200.

This Edward VII silver desk stand is inscribed that it was used in 1923 by The Prince of Wales, who was later Edward VIII and then, following his abdication, the Duke of Windsor.

“It is an impressive treasure trove of all manner of antiques and collectables lovingly curated over many years,” said senior valuer Sarah Williams.

“This is a great opportunity to come and discover a wonderful selection of items of many styles dating back up to 200 years, and which will appeal to people of all tastes. It has been a delight to catalogue and research.”

The auction catalogue can be viewed online now via and people can bid online, in the room or by prior arranged telephone bid.