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Image of 1st Earl returns to historic ancestral home of Courtenay family

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 16, 2013

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Powderham Castle Antiques and fine art Fair

A portrait of Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (c1527-1556), will be a major attraction when it goes on sale at The Powderham Castle Antiques and Fine Art Fair. Widely acclaimed as the Southwest of England's premier event for collectors, the fair returns next weekend with 38 exhibitors and more superb pieces than ever.

Powderham Castle has been the home of the Earls of Devon since the 16th century when the Courtenay family fought alongside the Tudors in the Wars of the Roses. It is currently home to the 18th Earl and Countess of Devon. Although the Courtenay family began building what became Powderham Castle in the 14th century, it was Henry VIII who granted the Earldom of Devon in favour of Edward Courtenay, the only son Henry Courtenay, the Ist Marquess of Exeter.

The family went on to suffer a turbulent relationship with Henry VIII and his son, Edward VI. Accused of plots against the Crown, Edward Courtenay spent 15 years in the Tower of London and was later exiled, dying in Padua.

The portrait – seen on our cover – in oils on board, will be on sale at the fair on the stand of Timothy Langston Fine Art & Antiques from London. It is a very rare copy, dating from around 1800, of the original by Steven Van Der Meulen (c1543-1564). Measuring 42x31¾in, it will be on sale for £4,500.

Fine Georgian and Victorian furniture, period silver, sparkling jewellery, 19th and 20th century paintings, Oriental collector's items, Persian carpets, decorative prints, collectable glass, English and Continental pottery and porcelain, clocks and all kinds of unusual decorative pieces feature among the specialist stands at the fair.

With prices from less than £20 to more than £20,000, the fair has something for everyone.

Guy Dennler from Dorset offers a fine selection of Georgian and Regency English furniture including dining-room, drawing-room and salon pieces such as a fine George III period mahogany revolving drum table, circa 1800, and from the same period a walnut and parcel gilt decorated mirror. For buyers in search of a more modern look, Ashburton dealer James Gould from Apollo Antiques specialises in 20th century Scandinavian and European furniture and paintings.

Paintings and furniture specialist John Collins and Son from Bideford, Devon, offers pieces including a George IV mahogany drop-leaf work table and paintings by such widely exhibited artists as Thomas Baker of Leamington, Samuel Walters and Herbert Davis Richter. Brian Ashbee from Bristol shows a range of affordable furniture, local paintings and decorative accessories.

In other areas, local silver specialist Chapel Antiques offers early Exeter hallmarked pieces, Candice Horley from Surrey specialises in art for the boudoir including wonderful decorative prints by Frank Martin, Louis Icart and Paul Emile Felix. From Middlesex, Hassan Alabaf shows a range of hand-woven Persian and Oriental carpets and rugs.

Ondines from Somerset shows glass by Lalique and Galle, while Paul Burnett from Gloucestershire shows many intriguing pieces of vintage furnishings. Roger de Ville from Staffordshire has early English pottery including Toby jugs by Ralph Wood, and Brieve from Cheshire and Terry Robert from Norfolk show 19th and early 20th century jewellery.

Powderham Castle dates from around 1390 when work was begun by Sir Philip Courtenay, ancestor of the present Earl of Devon. It was extensively damaged during the Civil War and considerable restoration and alteration followed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today the castle offers a succession of magnificent halls and state rooms filled with lavish furnishings, tapestries and historic portraits of the Courtenay family, whose home it has been for over 600 years. The breathtaking grand staircase was once part of the Medieval Great Hall. A visit to the fair provides limited access to the rooms, where the fair is hosted.

Powderham Castle Antiques and Fine Art Fair February 22-24, 11am-5pm daily, Tickets: £5. Further information from Cooper Events on 01278 784912.

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