Treasures of Cornwall's Trelissick House includes pictures by Copeland family coachman - John Frederick Herring

Home of the Cunliffe and Copeland families includes stunning collection of Spode, fine furniture and art.

Among the many delights awaiting buyers attending Bonhams auction of the contents of Trelissick House in Cornwall, on July 23-24 are a pair of equine portraits of two hunters "Chantilly" and "King Cole" in their
Stables. Painted by the Copeland family's former coachman (later one of the leading animal painters of the 19th century), John Frederick Herring Snr (1795-1865), they are expected to realise £10,000-15,000 each.

Also by Herring are a series of charming sketches depicting glimpses of country pastimes and sports including fishing, shooting and steeplechasing, each framed set expected to fetch between £2,000 and £3,000.

Herring was born in London in 1795 and the first 18 years of his life were spent in London where he developed his love of horses. He moved to Doncaster where he was employed as painter of inn signs and coach insignia which led to his employment as a night coachman. Painting horses in his spare time he became known as the artist coachman. Moving south again he experienced financial difficulties and was assisted by W. T. Copeland who recognised his prodigious talent and employed him as a coachman and commissioned many paintings from him including designs used for Copeland Spode china. Herring's reputation having been established he went on to work as an animal portraitist to HRH the Duchess of Kent, followed by a commission from Queen Victoria who remained a patron.

These paintings alone must be worth the trip to Trelissick for how many families can boast the fact that a future artist to royalty once held the reins of their coach!

The wonderful collection of Spode and Copeland ceramics at Trelissick includes a stunning service in the Worcester style presented to the family by Josiah Spode himself on the occasion of William Taylor Copeland's marriage to Sarah Yates in April 1826. Consisting of all the items that should grace a table at a banquet, the service is estimated at £8,000-12,000.

Amongst the fine furniture at Trelissick is a George II mahogany partners' desk in the manner of Thomas Chippendale. To be sold with a copy of the original receipt from Harrods to L.D. Cunliffe Esq who purchased the desk on January 26th 1914 for £500, it is now estimated at £20,000 to £30,000.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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