Thursday 13 September 2018

One Man's Folly ...

... Is Another Man's Folly!

Many interesting things find their way onto my radar courtesy of the interweb, not the least of which is the occasional auction catalogue for various Goods & Sundries. Pictured above is a Victorian-era Folly which is coming up for sale in Paris. While my blog's creed does specify that No Money will be spent around and about these pages, I do anyway offer this up for your delectation on the off chance that your garden needs enhancing. We in the Pipistrello household have no need for such an adornment to our lives, and indeed this style is not in keeping with our Art Deco apartment block, so if your heart does quicken at the prospect of taking delivery of such a charming, ready-antiqued bit of Olde Worlde garden ornamentation, I should only be pleased for you to grasp the bidder's paddle.

This folly, which lived in the garden of the now-demolished Cowbridge House in Wiltshire, home to the wealthy tea trading Brooke family, can be yours in a couple of weeks for an estimated 120,000 - 160,000 euros - a mere snip at the price. The auction blurb tells us the commissioned architect was a Victorian favourite, one John Shaw Jr., but the accompanying Lifestyle Shot does indicate that it won't give shelter to many of your friends and family after all, so large gatherings about it will need to be had only in fine weather. It appears to be missing a couple of its original pine cones upon close inspection of the photographs, but that should not affect its value. Mr P. upon being shown this fine object, did ask the very sensible question, Do They Deliver?, but as always, the devil is in the fine print, so Postage & Handling will need to be dealt with at further cost, as will some rather hefty bidders fees, and you should ask about Assembly Instructions as it may need to be flat-packed.

If you are persuaded you need to make a Statement in your garden but don't have the room for the Folly, or your taste runs to a more Exotique Style, perhaps a Pair of Sphinxes would suit you better? These girls tick many boxes for desirability: they are French, sport terrific Hair, are a teensy bit Risqué, have some floral and fabric details and have their own frolicking stone chubsters astride them so you have no fear of the neighbourhood children climbing atop. Yes, there's a lot going on. They are estimated at about the same price as the Folly but any decent handyman about the home would be able to install them as it's a bit more obvious here which way up the pieces go, plus the auction house has helpfully offered up an accompanying photograph as a sort of Serving Suggestion:

If you are tempted by these offerings, I exhort you to be mindful of the phenomenon of Buyer's Remorse, which can afflict anyone in possession of a credit card, a computer and a bottle of wine. These items aren't called Follies for nothing!


  1. Mr. P. is a wise and practical man indeed "do they deliver?" I can only imagine the headache of transporting these to one's estate. I suppose if one is contemplating such a purchase, one has the means and ways to arrange for delivery.

    On another note, it is sad to think that these items having punctuated their current locations for decades are being removed for sale.

    1. Yes, CD, a practically minded purchaser would have thought about the Fine Detail, but there must be the occasional Impulse Purchaser throwing their hat into the ring now that auctions have gone online.

      You do wonder, beyond the obvious upkeep costs, why homes and gardens get pulled apart after so much effort is made to build them in the first place? This particular auction had grand stone staircases and gates and fountains and what not. The gardens from which they came must have been disassembled back to bare dirt!

      Thank you for stopping by, again.

      ps: Apologies to you, too, for leaving such an untidy mess in your comments box over at the very stylish Chronica Domus.


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