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Huntley & Palmer family collection amassed over four generations goes up for auction


Huntley & Palmer family collection amassed over four generations goes up for auction

Bussock Wood in Berkshire is to be offered for auction at Dreweatts…

Dreweatts has announced that they have been appointed to sell the contents of the family home of the prominent Palmer family, famed for the much-loved Huntley & Palmer biscuits – considered one of the world’s most famous biscuit companies in the UK during the 19th and 20th centuries. However, the family is also revered for its outstanding knowledge of fine art and antiques across the generations and various arms of the family.

Many will have witnessed the sale of Reginald (1898-1970) and Lena Palmer’s (1900-1981) collection of Chinese art in 2023, a collection originally started by an earlier generation of the Palmer family and developed with careful curation over the years. It was considered one of the most important private collections of Chinese art spanning the late 19th to early 20th centuries and sold to great acclaim.

This latest sale pertains to William (Bill) Palmer (1925-2020), the last survivor of the fourth and final generation of the Palmers to serve as Directors in the original family biscuit empire and his wife Cherry Palmer (1928-2023). Their family home was Bussock Wood, Berkshire and it was here that they developed this wonderful collection together over their lifetime, with their own chosen works sitting alongside those collected by previous generations of the family.

As well as offering selected items from the Chinese art collection, the sale demonstrates the broader range of collecting interests of the Palmer family, with English 18th and 19th century furniture, through to fine art, centred around 20th century British artists, such as Paul Nash (1889-1946), Alfred Wallis (1855-1942) and Duncan Grant (1885-1978).

The contents of Bussock Hill will be offered in a sale titled The Palmer Family at Bussock WoodFour Generations of Connoisseurship at Dreweatts on June 4th and 5th, 2024. It is estimated to fetch £1 million.

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