There was time when Auctioneers would judge their performance on the number of grand houses they were asked to clear and steep their cataloguers in 100’s of years of family history and artifacts. Such heady days appear to be long gone, with most grand houses either cleared or in some form of trust. However occasionally, a small part of the grand houses of England do come to the market, as is the case at Sheffield Auction Gallery on May 31st/June 1st when a significant consignment of items from the Bankes family of Winstanley Hall, Near Wigan, Lancashire come to the market for the first time.

James Bankes bought the manor and estate in 1596 from Edward Winstanley shortly after it was built and it remained in the family for over 400 years finally passing out of the hands of the family in the early 2000’s. The Bankes family wealth was based on coal mining and this wealth helped develop and furnish Winstanley Hall including a new Jacobean Wing designed by the famous English country house architect Lewis Wyatt in the early 19th century.

A broad and varied range of items have been consigned for sale including a strong selection of early 19th century silver, 18th century and later furniture lead by a Chinese Lacquer cabinet on stand and an unusual chamber horse, an insightful selection of books from the library, fine 19th century and later porcelain, linen, a high quality Drew and Sons of Piccadilly Ladies Crocodile Skin traveling case and an outstanding dress sporran with armorial crest.

One lot of particular note is the Bicorn hat, lapels, tunic and ancillary dress items belonging to Captain Edward William Bankes, a career Royal Naval officer who in a career lasting over 30 years rose from the rank of Midshipman to Captain ending a career that included executive Officer aboard aircraft carrier HMS Victorious during World War 2, as the Naval ADC to the Queen.


“Bringing a small part of the English Country House history to the market has been a huge thrill for the whole team here at Sheffield Auction Gallery. Specialist Valuers from many departments have been involved in the process and we are very much looking forward to the auctions.” commented Auction House Director, Liz Dashper-Johnson.

For further information please contact the Saleroom office on 0114 281 6161 or enquire@sheffieldauctiongallery.com