Yesterday’s sale of the Chelsea Collection of Severin Wunderman raised a remarkable £881,940 in total, with 90% of all lots selling. The extraordinary furniture and fittings of the home of ‘Time Lord’, Severin Wunderman, who built up the Gucci watch franchise and owned the Swiss watch brand Corum, excited bidders on a national and international level at yesterday’s packed New Bond Street sale.
This sale is the latest in a string of successful single owner collections, following on from the Savoy and Café Royal sales of recent years. Bonhams have continually demonstrated their expertise and prowess in this field and, as a result, have produced some spectacular results.
One of the many highlights of the Wunderman sale was a matched pair of late 19th/early 20th Century carved marble skulls, both crowned with laurel wreaths, which sold for a spectacular £21,600 (against an estimate of £700-1,000).
Elsewhere, an extensive collection of glass finials from the sitting room of Wunderman’s magnificent eight-bedroom Chelsea home reached some extraordinary prices. A collection of red, purple, clear and opaque glass newel post finials, sold for over 50 times its pre-sale estimate fetching £22,800. Elsewhere a collection of clear and opaque glass newel post finials, sold for an equally impressive £18,000 (estimated £400-600), whilst a collection of blue, clear and opaque finials similarly estimated at £400-600, sold for a staggering £16,800.
As part of the substantial furniture section, a large French late 19th Century rosewood vitrine, with fluted frieze, gilt metal mounted cartouche and decorative columns sold for an astonishing £19,200, almost five times its lower estimate of £4,000.
An important oil painting by Julie Delance-Feurgard (1859-1892) entitled Afternoon Tea and mounted in a beautifully ornate frame sold for £17,400, against a pre-sale estimate of £8,000-12,000.
Severin Wunderman’s Chelsea home was his UK base until his untimely death last year at the age of 69. The four-storey Chelsea house was an extension of the man in its physical demonstration of his personality following a brush with lung cancer in the 1990s. This was a man fascinated by the passage of time, and so Severin Wunderman filled his London home with a strange and eclectic mix of skulls, watches and images that spoke of time passing.
Charlie Thomas Head of Furniture at Bonhams Knightsbridge comments: “We are delighted with the results of this fascinating collection, proving the market for period furnishings has never been stronger.”