200-year-old window seats have Clare Priory connections

A PAIR of window seats with connections to an important Suffolk family are expected to raise in excess of £3,000 when they go to auction this weekend.

Made for the Barker family of Barnardiston, who lived at Clare Priory from the 16th century, the seats date from the early part of the 19th century and were commissioned to sit under each window in the room once known as the Cellarer’s Hall.

Carved in light oak and of a distinctive Gothic style, each of the seats bears the family crest, which can also be seen in the stained glass windows at the Priory.

Auctioneer James Mander explained: “There was a vogue for this style during this period in both furniture and architecture, led by Pugin, which culminated in the building of the Houses of Parliament in London in the 1830s.”

With this history and provenance in mind, the auctioneers have placed a guide price of £3,000 to £5,000 and are expecting serious interest from collectors and dealers when the auction takes place on Saturday (September 22).

Clare Priory is currently home to the Augustinian Friars, acting as a parish and a retreat, and is open to visitors for regular craft fairs and events.

For any further information you can contact the saleroom directly at Mander Auctioneers, Lower Road, Glemsford, Suffolk, or call 01787 282261 or at www.manderauctions.co.uk.