Houghton Hall coat of arms sale

PUBLISHED: 17:01 06 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:58 22 October 2010


A rare drawing by William Kent of Sir Robert Walpole’s coat of arms, which is on the west façade of Houghton Hall, is to go under the auctioneer’s hammer in London.

A rare drawing of Sir Robert Walpole's coat of arms on the west façade of Houghton Hall is to go under the auctioneer's hammer in London today.

The ink drawing with watercolour wash by William Kent has been described as "exquisite" and was re-discovered in Paris in 2001.

It does not come from the Houghton Hall collection of art treasures and is being sold by a private vendor.

The work carries an estimate of between £30,000 and £40,000 and is expected to attract a lot of interest at the sale at Sotheby's in New Bond Street at 2.30pm.

"William Kent was an icon of his era. It demonstrates Kent's virtuosity of line and his skill as a draughtsman," said Sotheby's specialist, Emmeline Stace.

Work began building Houghton Hall, near Fakenham, in 1721 for Sir Robert Walpole who was Britain's first Prime Minister. The house is regarded as a one of the finest Palladian houses in England.

William Kent was largely responsible for the interiors. Kent's work included furniture as well as plasterwork and chimneypieces, which all survive substantially unaltered.

More information about today's auction is available by contacting

0207 293 5720.

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