Mid 18th century mahogany bureau that I purchased from the Countess of Arran, present incumbent of Castle Hill, some 25 years ago when the family were having a 'spring clean' of the stable block and attics. Possibly estate made (due to some features including drawer linings of beech) this bureau likely lived all its life in this grand North Devon mansion and if this is indeed the case would be a survivor of the fire of 1934 which destroyed a good part of the building. Probably demoted to lesser rooms or even servants quarters at some time it certainly shows its age being 'battered but unbowed' with a good proportions and a particularly attractive interior fit up. Kept for myself with the intention of carrying out sympathetic restoration but now redundant due to a secretare bookcase taking its intended place it awaits an appreciative owner - perhaps from North Devon with this piece's historic links to that part of the world.
All brasses are the originals (one is missing and will have to be replicated), the hideous later bottom plinth cum brackets must be cast aside and replaced with ogee or appropriate bracket feet and various damage made good.
Within one of the small compartments was Countess Fortescue's ivory Red Cross fob engraved with her name from circa WW1 and this will go to the purchaser (providing the full price is paid for the bureau) along with written provenance if so desired. It is some 40 inches wide and high with a depth of just over 21 inches.
Price £345 €400.86 $455.12