A HUGE plaster centaur, a bronze and rock crystal chandelier and a rocketship are all set to go under the hammer in a £1m sale.
The items are part of a 450 piece collection of curiosities belonging to Aynhoe Park owner James Perkins.
From today , the doors of the country house, in Aynho, near Bicester, will open for a four-day viewing before the Christie’s auction, in London, on Monday.
Visitors can get up close to a plaster model of a centaur, which was based on part of the Temple Of Zeus, Olympia, and previously part of a collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. It is expected to fetch up to £12,000.
There is also a rocketship as featured in Dan Dare, and a collection of about 15 photographs by Bob Carlos Clarke – including one of chef Marco Pierre White holding a shark.
A 1970 gilt bronze and rock crystal chandelier by Robert Goossens, is in the sale and could fetch £40,000. The original design was reputed to have been commissioned by Chanel, in Paris – a chandelier of this design currently hangs in Chanel’s Beverly Hills boutique.
There will also be a selection of period furniture and important 20th century design works by Tony Duquette, Kam Tin and Fornasetti.
Most of the items are part of Mr Perkins’s collection at Aynhoe Park, where he has previously welcomed celebrities including Sienna Miller, Dita Von Teese, Heston Blumenthal, Sir Paul Smith, Jade Jagger, Liam Gallagher and Kate Moss, Mr Perkins said: “I began collecting as a teenager, and have since been acquiring objects and works of art from sales around the world, rarely able to return home without an interesting addition to my collection.
“I will happily admit to being a compulsive collector, over the years my collection has grown and evolved and it is now time to allow new pieces to take centre stage at Aynhoe Park.
Through Christie’s, I look forward to sharing my passion with other international collectors, as well as welcoming many to enjoy my collection in its setting here at Aynhoe Park.”
Other items from friend Andrew Lamberty, a collector and dealer in modern design, will be included.
Christie’s specialist and head of sale Adrian Hume-Sayer said: “It is impossible not to be charmed by Aynhoe Park’s setting and architectural character, particularly as James’s remarkable collection so perfectly inhabits Sir John Soane’s dramatic interiors.
“A pair of colossal Greek centaurs from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, New York, greet visitors in the pillared hall, setting the tone for what is to be found beyond.
“When Soane remodelled the house in 1800-01, he could scarcely have envisaged that the spaces he created would one day host such a dynamic yet fitting collection.”
For details of the sale, visit www.christies.com Entry is by catalogue