A Modern Grand Tour; A Collection of Curiosities is a private sale created by James Perkins Sarah Haden in response to the internationally acclaimed Christies' 2012 auction at Aynhoe Park.

Immersed in the newly re-modelled interiors is a collection of curiosities, sculpture, taxidermy, furniture, photography and art inspired by James’ passion for the unusual and extraordinary. The pieces will be exhibited for 3 days at Aynhoe Park from 15th to 17th November. Included are selected works from the dramatic mise en scene created by James, newly created limited editions that will remain in the permanent collection and a number of works by his favourite designers and tomorrow’s artists.

Each year a new collection will be presented for sale, reflecting the unique and dynamic style that has become synonymous with Aynhoe Park.

“Opening the doors of Aynhoe Park our expectations of the “grand scale domestic” are confounded by the presence of fantasy and magic. Creatures of myth and collections of curiosity shape our experience as we find ourselves immersed in the expressions of James Perkins’ Modern Grand Tour. Passionate about architecture, inspired by explorations into the past and imaginative engagement in the present, James draws us into his transcendent vision of eclectic possibilities.” - Sarah Haden

This year artists, photographers and designers include both acclaimed names like Based Upon, Mark Brazier-Jones and John Swannell, leading artists Chris Levine and Paul Fryer, established designers and artists such as Ben Rousseau and Mark Johnston as well as emerging names such as Henry Bruce, Ian Douglas-Jones, and Robi Walters. London Connoisseur has recently introduced to James and the collection exciting talent by Haberdashery, Yasemen Hussein, Nest, Helen Amy Murray, Rocco Turino and Studio Swine to sit alongside collectibles by Paul Evans and Tommi Parsinger.

There is a broad and eclectic reach to the collection: the Aynhoe Moon in bright gilt frame casts its light and contours in the salon and is offset by the fragile transitions suggested by Haberdashery’s light sculpture Leaves; in the library, the formal dynamic shifts into a natural habitat for functional form with Based Upon’s bronze fragmented crack and is punctuated by an outsize parrot by Robi Walters perching nearby, its recycled card wings nestling next to historic leather bound editions; large-scale taxidermy is in abundance and included in the private sale are a rocking horse zebra, one of the feature polar bears of the entrance hall and a playfully presented juvenile giraffe exhibited alongside the extraordinary bronze baby piano by Based Upon in the Orangery. Based Upon have a leading international reputation for their work with liquid metals and mark making techniques. Challenging traditional categories of design and art, with work that is sculptural and at the same time a domestic functional object, their pieces have a distinctive homecoming at Aynhoe Park.

There are also discoveries such as Bouke de Vries' reincarnated ceramic sculptures, a centenary model edition of an Aston Martin DBR 1 and the neon sign Confess 2013, creating playful associations next to serious artefacts such as “I am a Walrus”.

This is a contemporary Modern Grand Tour in which we are being encouraged to look with the curiosity of Alice in Wonderland when faced with multiple perspectives and a not inconsiderable amount of precious metal. The private sale takes place at a time when the eccentricities of the “British Collector” are recognised by the international marketplace and many pieces from James Perkin’s collection have been acquired for international collections and designers’ own homes.

Aynhoe Park
Aynho, Oxfordshire
Banbury OX17 3BQ United Kingdom
Ph. +44 (0)18 69810636

Opening hours
Saturday and Sunday
From 10am to 5pm