Discover the eclectic legacy of the late Manfredi della Gherardesca through his extraordinary collection, to be auctioned at Dreweatts on 24 April. Manfredi’s close friend, Charlotte di Carcaci, asked art lovers and legendary tastemakers to select their favorite lots.



The London home of brilliant art dealer and interior decorator, Manfredi della Gherardesca © James McDonald 


For a few years before he died, Manfredi della Gherardesca, the remarkable Italian art dealer and interior decorator, had been planning a grand sale at Dreweatts of some of his most extraordinary possessions. Indeed, the term eclectic, could have been coined for Manfredi’s collecting style which spanned so many genres of art: the contemporary, the antique, the serious, the important, the decorative and the kitsch.

Here at Cabana, before the auction, which takes place on 24 April, we have asked a few art-lovers and legendary tastemakers to name their favorite lots.


Martina Mondadori, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Cabana 


Cabana founder Martina Mondadori chose Lot 32: a bamboo, rattan, walnut and part ebonised breakfront side cabinet. "Manfredi and I shared a love for bamboo and wicker furniture," Martina says, "and this reminds me of times spent together looking at catalogues or antique shops for similar items. This one is magnificent!"


Peter Hinwood, antique dealer

ITALIAN PAINTED SIDE CABINET, 'probably Tuscan', c.1800

Peter Hinwood, the phenomenal antique dealer and ex-movie star, who lives between London and Tangier - and whose eye for colour is second to none - has chosen Lot 46: an Italian painted side cabinet. He says it's the "perfect color combination" and would lift any room; "being 18th century is of course a plus".


Miguel Flores-Vianna, photographer and Deputy Editor of Cabana, and Lulu Lytle, co-founder of Soane Britain


Famed photographer and deputy editor of Cabana, Miguel Flores-Vianna, chose Lot 76: an exceptional Indian Teak Model of the Qutb Minar. "I fell in love with this model of the Qutb Minar during the sale of the contents of Christopher Gibbs’ country house in 2000 and always wondered who had purchased it," Miguel says. "I was happy to find that the model had found its way to a great new home chez Manfredi. I hope it will now go on to live in another wonderful place."

Lulu Lytle, the brains behind Soane Britain, also chose the model of the Qutb Minar: “After an extremely long and incident-rich train journey with my husband and three children in 2008, we rushed across Delhi to see the monumental Qutb at sunset. Its atmosphere was intensified by the combination of evening light and birdsong, and left an indelible mark on those of us old enough to remember! It was Christopher Gibbs who had encouraged me to go and see the Qutb after I first marvelled at it in his house."


Dora della Gherardesca, Manfredi's former wife

A PAIR OF PORCELAIN PHEASANTS, Famille Rose, De Gournay, modern


Dora della Gherardesca, Manfredi’s former wife, has chosen Lot 42: a pair of porcelain pheasant in the mid 17th-century Chinese export manner. Although Dora never lived with these ceramics, she loves their scale and happy colors. 


Lisa Fine, textile designer

'PORTRAIT OF A POODLE', Circle of Jean-Baptiste Oudry, c.1700

Lisa Fine, textile designer extraordinaire, has chosen Lot 46: a Portrait of a Poodle by Circle of Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686-1755). Lisa is crazy about dogs and one of her favourite works of art is White Poodle in a Punt by John Stubbs, and this picture of Manfredi’s reminds her of that painting which is now in Washington. 


Alex di Carcaci, antique dealer and decorator

'PAIR OF CAPRICORNS', attributed to Innocenzo Spinazzi, Florence, Italy c.1775

Alex di Carcaci, the eminent antiques dealer and decorator, has chosen Lot 280: the attributed Innocenzo Spinazzi 'Pair of Capricorns'. These monumental sculptures are very similar to the pair at the Boboli Gardens, a place from which Manfredi gained much inspiration. It is very rare, Alex says, to come across pieces for sale in such great condition, with such exceptional carving and of such unusual design.


Christopher Hodsoll, antique dealer and decorator

GERMAN FORGED IRON OR STEEL MIRRORS, 'probably Augsberg or Nurenburg', c.1600

Christopher Hodsoll, the stylish antiques dealer and decorator has chosen Lot 66: a pair of German forged iron or steel mirrorsHe says, ‘In a rare act of altruism, as I’m going to bid on this lot, I choose these steel mirrors, which have a powerful and mysterious design with strong element of whimsy’. 


Ömer Koç, industrialist and art collector

'AFFENKOPF', Alexej Koschkarow, Russian b.1972

Ömer Koç, the industrialist and legendary art collector has chosen Lot 265: Alexej Koschkarow's Affenkopfsilicon cast of rhesus monkey head with real hair. He says, ‘There are many other lots which I am hoping to try my luck on but this monkey head is unusual, fun, quirky and very emblematic of darling Manfredi’s approach to collecting. Never a slave to passing fashions always juxtaposing the serious and the not so serious, never afraid to mix important stuff with the frivolous.’ 


Lord Barker, politician and art collector

'GERALD HEARD, HEAD STUDY', Glyn Philpot, c.1900

Lord Barker, the politician and collector has chosen Lot 82: Glyn Philpot (1884-1937) Gerald Heard (1889-1971) head studyHe says, ‘I am a great fan of Philpot’s painting, and this is a particularly sensitive sketch.’


Katrin Bellinger, art collector

'A PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST AT HIS EASEL', attributed to Francesco Antonio Ceroni, c.1794

Katrin Bellinger, the art expert and collector has chosen Lot 83: a Portrait of an Artist at his Easel attributed to Franceso Antonio Ceroni. Katrin has a large collection of drawings, oils, watercolours, and photographs showing artists at work, and this painting is a good example of the genre.

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