The upcoming Bonhams Home and Interiors Sale in London on July 25 will offer more than 50 of the splendid candelabra that lit up the Painted Hall in Greenwich in the middle of the 20th century. Divided into 16 lots, they have a combined estimate of £100,000.
“Originally built in 1692 to provide accommodation for retired sailors, the complex of buildings at Greenwich, of which the Painted Hall is part, became the Royal Naval College for Officers of the Royal Navy in 1869. The Painted Hall — designed by Christopher Wren with murals and ceiling paintings by James Thornhill — served as home to the National Gallery of Naval Art until 1936 when it was extensively restored as a dining room for the Naval College,” stated the auction house.
The Hall opened in its new guise in 1939, and the candelabra were commissioned to order and made the previous year. Manufactured by Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co Limited London, they bear the monogram of George VI who, as reigning monarch, was the Admiral of the Fleet from 1936-1952. The Royal Naval College moved from Greenwich to Dartmouth in 1998, since when the site has been under the stewardship of the Greenwich Foundation.
Bonhams Silver specialist Miles Harrison said: "The Painted Hall at Greenwich is one of the grandest Baroque spaces in the country and the great room laid out for a banquet under the light of these candelabra was a magnificent sight. These candelabra, which have been meticulously cleaned and restored to their former glory, are powerful reminders of those grand occasions."
Bonhams has a heritage and reputation for connoisseurship and bespoke service known throughout the world. Founded in London in 1793, the auction house is the sole remaining international auction house that is privately owned and in British hands. Bonhams hold more than 400 specialist sales a year in 60 different categories at their flagship salerooms in London, New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong.
Founder: Louise Blouin