The origins (or perhaps one should say ‘roots’) of Arnold’s collecting habit – and indeed his choice of career as an architect – can be traced to the interests, and the strong bond he shared with his father Reginald. Not long after Arnold’s parents were married in 1947, their lovingly assembled collection of antique furniture – along with everything else they owned – was lost in a devastating house fire. This must have been all the harder to bear given their lifelong interest in furniture, interiors and classic style. Arnold always thought that his father’s approach to decorating was based on the black and white photographs in a deferential post-war booklet about Clarence House!
Root family life involved frequent visits to shops and salerooms, debates about furnishings, and seemingly endless trips in a heavily laden car between their home in south London (and later Cheltenham) and their holiday house in Sidmouth. Naturally, this led to the acquisition of a Volvo estate, and on at least one occasion, Arnold was asked if his father was an antique dealer.
In adult life, Arnold exercised his extensive knowledge and discriminating eye to assemble his own exceptional collection of pictures and furniture at his beautiful house in Bath – much of which is now included in this estate sale. Following in his parents’ footsteps, Arnold frequently took his daughter, Chloë, on his art-related expeditions; one of the most memorable trips was a visit to the artist and printer, François Lafranca, at his Atelier in Switzerland, from whom many of the Ben Nicholsons on sale here were purchased.
Arnold would be pleased to know that his daughter has taken up the collecting baton. She now spends far too much time monitoring online auction sites in search of the perfect addition for her new home, which she shares with her Border Terrier puppy, Bridget Riley.
Click here to be taken to the catalogue: https://www.wottonauctionrooms.co.uk/catalogue/0CC73752DD746D454A88BE4CF92F8576/788167BDA1BC670DC0C9849C1459E149/sale-of-20th-century-art-to-be-held-at-prior-park-bath-ba2-5/