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You could buy beautiful antiques from Peak District home of one of UK's most successful businessmen - 03/11/2017

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Stoneleigh in Alstonefield

 

Beautiful antiques collected over a lifetime by one of Britain’s most successful business leaders and displayed in his picturesque Peak District home are coming up for auction.

Sir Colin Corness, who’s listed in Who’s Who, is in the process of selling his country retreat in Alstonefield, a village which took his eye as a boy, and he is also parting company with many of the treasures that lie within.

Sir Colin, former chairman of Redland, the Nationwide Building Society and Glaxo Wellcome and a former director of the Bank of England said: “I first went to Alstonefield as a Boy Scout many years ago and also knew of it as I grew up in nearby Cheshire. It is regarded as one of the Peak District’s most attractive villages.

“When I decided to retire, I wanted to go back to Alstonefield. I looked at many other properties but knew immediately that Stoneleigh, which is a grade II listed property, was right for me. Its proportions were well suited to my needs and my collection of antiques.”

The word ‘retirement’ has to be used loosely as his business expertise meant he continued to have multiple directorships with some of the UK’s best-known companies such as SG Warburg Group, Chubb & Son and WH Smith.

Sir Colin, now 86, was born in a Manchester maternity home in 1931 and recalls: “It ultimately received a bomb during the Second World War.”

He went to school in Uppingham, Rutland, and later studied at Magdalene College Cambridge and The Harvard Business School.

He went on to became a barrister. He was Called to the Bar in 1956.

But amid what he modestly describes as a “very full life” he found time for his hobbies, which included gardening, music and antiques.

“If I got a weekend off I liked to go antique fairs,” said Sir Colin, who was knighted for services to the construction industry in 1986.

Some 150 of his antiques, catalogued as the Sir Colin Corness Collection, have now been consigned to auction at Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall.

That’s because the time has come for Sir Colin to bid farewell to his Staffordshire property. It is sold subject to contract.

His carefully chosen treasures were displayed to great effect at Stoneleigh and include a multitude of eclectic items.

As well as fine furniture, such as a Georgian mahogany campaign secretaire, an 18th century chest of drawers and a George III mahogany serpentine chest of drawers, there are numerous smaller items.

These include painted treen decoy ducks, a silver chamberstick, a 19th century oak linen press, a vintage crocodile skin attache case, a boot rack and a brass ship’s gimmel desk lamp.

Many paintings and prints are also in the sale including an Edgar Hunt farmyard painting, a Venetian watercolour, a 19th century Highland landscape oil painting and a John Speed map of Rutland.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “We are very proud to be handling the sale of part of the contents of Stoneleigh. It is a truly wonderful collection of antiques, gathered with an expert eye by Sir Colin over several decades. I am sure these treasures will go on to be cherished by their new owners.”

 

The Sir Colin Corness Collection will be sold in Hansons’ Fine Art Auction from December18-20. To find out more, call 01283 733988 or email arathbone@hansonsauctioneers.co.uk

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