Tregiffian Cottage, Cornwell, home of John Le Carré


Leading Rosebery’s first Fine & Decorative auction of the year are over 90 lots from the Cornish estate of the late David Cornwell, best known as the spy novelist John le Carré (1931-2020). Purchased in the late 1960s as a family home, Le Carré also wrote several of his espionage novels in the property. The sale includes furniture, garden statuary, works of art and even Le Carré’s juke box. This highly personal collection offers buyers a unique opportunity to purchase items from the esteemed writer. 


Dodi Heath, pictured in her 20s in the late 1950s/early 1960s


A second highly anticipated collection comes from the estate of the American actress of stage, film and television, Dodi Heath (1926-2023).  Heath’s flat in St James's, was the social heart of Hollywood in London for over 40 years, hosting Muhammad Ali and Frank Sinatra among others.  She is famous for her appearance in The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) and alongside Gene Kelly in Brigadoon (1954).  The decor of the apartment with gilded ceilings is by the noted interior designer Nicky Haslam and was the epitome of 1970s glamour.  The sale includes a unique eight-panel Chinoiserie screen designed by Haslam, estimated £2,500-4,000, and Heath’s Louis Vuitton cabin trunk with her personal monogram, that she used as a coffee table, estimated £8,000-12,000.



Lot 616: A black painted folding room screen,

designed by Nicky Haslam, c.1970s


Lot 613: A Louis Vuitton cabin trunk, 1950s


Alongside these two collections, Rosebery’s are excited to offer two lots of Royal interest spanning 250 years.  The first is a letter signed by Charles II, dated 1660, to the Countess of Marischal thanking her for preserving his regalia in his exile, estimated £2,000-3,000.


Lot 582: Royal Interest; A Charles II letter, dated 1660


Also offered is a collection of items relating to Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. Built between 1921-24, it is known as the largest and most famous dolls’ house in the world, containing works from over 1,500 of the finest artists, craftspeople, and manufacturers of the early 20th century.  It currently resides at Windsor Castle.  Rosebery’s lot includes a personal letter from Queen Mary to Thomas Elsley, the renowned manufacturer of cast-iron architectural and decorative fittings, thanking him for his contribution to the project and volume I of the limited edition The Book of the Queen's Dolls’ House, estimate £400-600.



Lot 583: Royal Interest; a collection of items

relating to Queen Mary's Dolls' House


Further highlights include a private collection of antique halberds, (lot 535) and polearms; a rare Dutch East Indian Company engraved goblet, c.1715-25, estimate £3,000-5,000 (lot 424); a fine bronze entitled ‘Dancing’ by the New Sculpture movement artist Edward Onslow Ford, estimate £2,000-4,000 (lot 503) and a Louis XV ormolu-mounted kingwood and amaranth bureau plat, by Jean-Charles Ellaume, second quarter 18th century, formally in the collection of the late Dowager Countess Bathurst, estimate £2,500-4,000 (lot 676).