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Downton Abbey set designer sells contents of the Old Rectory at Wickhambreaux for more than £500,000 at auction

A designer for the TV series Downton Abbey who lists Sir Elton John among his clients has sold the antique contents of his home near Canterbury for £525,000.

The 153 pieces of valuable furniture, pictures, porcelain and silverware from Giles Newby Vincent's country house at Wickhambreaux went under the hammer at Bonhams in London yesterday.

Architect to the stars Giles Newby Vincent
Architect to the stars Giles Newby Vincent

They were from the Old Rectory in the village which he is also selling to help fund the restoration of a villa in the south of France.

The highlight was a George II carved walnut, feather-banded bureau which tripled its estimate to achieve £80,500.

A war time Christmas present from an English gentleman to his wife, it was offered with an annotated receipt, “To a war worn housewife! Best Christmas Wishes and a tribute of profound admiration, 1942”

A George II walnut cross-banded and feather-banded bureau which sold for £80,500 inc. premium
A George II walnut cross-banded and feather-banded bureau which sold for £80,500 inc. premium

Mr Newby Vincent, an architect and interior and garden designer worked on ‘the Crawley house’ used in the acclaimed television series Downton Abbey.

One of the garden alterations he made included lowering the front courtyard wall - opening up the view across the churchyard into the front garden which was frequently used in location shots of the series.

The architect, who runs his own design company, was born into a family of antique dealers and architects, from which he inherited his love of old buildings and restoration.

He has worked on numerous National Trust restoration projects as well as for clients across Europe and the Caribbean.

He said: “It has been a labour of love to assemble these pieces but although I love many of them, it is time for a new chapter.

"I hope their new owners will appreciate them as much as I have.”

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