Toovey’s Late December/Early January Opening Times

Toovey’s close for Christmas at 5pm on Thursday 18th December 2014.

We reopen for pre-sale viewing of our End of Year Sale on Tuesday 30th December from 10am to 4pm
and the sale day, New Year’s Eve, Wednesday 31st December from 9am to the start of the sale at 10am.

Note: all sale enquiries will be responded to on our return.

After the sale, we are  closed from New Year’s Day, Thursday 1st January to Sunday 4th January.

We return to our normal opening hours on Monday 5th January: Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm for valuations and 9am to 5pm for all other enquiries.

We would like to wish all our customers a very Happy Christmas and look forward to welcoming you at our Spring Gardens rooms soon.

The Library Collection of the late W. Leslie Weller MBE, DL, FSA

The Library Collection of the late W. Leslie Weller MBE, DL, FSA

Tuesday 2nd December 2014 at 11am

Toovey’s are proud to announce this additional sale to our 2014 calendar, which comprises the contents of the library of the late William Leslie Weller (1935-2014), consigned from his former home: Hobshorts House, Rookcross Lane, West Grinstead, West Sussex.


Leslie Weller, as he preferred to be known, was born in the Sussex village of Itchingfield. His father was a tenant farmer of some 100 acres close to the church. Leslie was educated at Collyer’s Grammar School in Horsham. His rural upbringing installed in him a love of the Sussex countryside and country pursuits but Leslie also developed strong interests in antiques and the fine arts and Sussex history and antiquities. All these passions would shape his life and work to come. Leslie went on to qualify as a chartered surveyor and in later life held the post of chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Art and Antiques faculty.

Duke of Beaufort and Leslie Weller © Jim Meads
Duke of Beaufort & W. Leslie Weller © Jim Meads

Leslie enjoyed a long and illustrious career in the field of fine art auctioneering. It was his inspiration and dedication that created the first regional centre of expertise outside London for Sotheby’s. For many years he was chairman of Sotheby’s in Sussex and a director of the firm. His other interests led him to achieve the posts of President of the Sussex Archaeological Society and Master of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers. He was a keen horseman and an active member of the Horsham and Crawley Hunt for many years.

Leslie's Garden Office at Hobshorts
Leslie in his Garden Office at Hobshorts

Leslie Weller was the first chairman of Chichester Cathedral Restoration Trust and over a period of thirty years played an important part in raising more than £10million for essential restoration work to the building and artworks within, including more recently the cathedral’s panel paintings by 16th century artist Lambert Barnard. For his services to the cathedral and contributions to the arts, Leslie was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2014.

Despite his numerous achievements, Leslie Weller was a modest man who will be remembered with great fondness by his many friends and acquaintances in our local community, Sussex as a whole and far beyond.

Leslie's Garden Office
Leslie's Garden Office

Company director Rupert Toovey comments: “Leslie was a generous friend and a great inspiration to me. He supported me in becoming a chartered surveyor in the specialist fields of fine art valuation and auctioneering and was delighted when I followed in his footsteps to become chairman of the R.I.C.S. Art and Antiques faculty. It was, therefore, a great honour to be asked by Leslie’s family to conduct this single-owner sale on their behalf.”

Sussex Horsfield extra-illustrated
Fine, extra-illustrated set of Horsfield's Sussex
EH Shepard Original drawing for sale
E.H. Shepard original drawing from Everybody's Pepys

Leslie lived at Hobshorts, a fine 17th century farmhouse in the West Grinstead countryside, with his wife, Brenda, and their dogs. His library was divided between two rooms in the main house and his private office, which was in a charming converted outhouse in the garden, offering a picturesque view across a pond to the South Downs. Leslie’s books reflect all his varied interests and they were very important to him indeed. The sale features a good selection of works on his beloved Sussex, including a fine copy of Thomas Walker Horsfield’s “The History, Antiquities, and Topography of the County of Sussex”, printed at the Sussex Press in Lewes in 1835. Usually in two volumes, this copy was extended to seven in 1892 with about 1500 extra illustrations. Bound in deep purple morocco by Zaehnsdorf, the set will carry a pre-sale estimate of £3000-5000.

An original drawing by the celebrated Sussex book illustrator Ernest H. Shepard leads a collection of other personal effects from Leslie’s library to be included in the sale. Originally published in “Everybody’s Pepys”, this 28 x 18cm pen and ink drawing will be offered with a pre-sale estimate of £600-1000. Other of Leslie’s possessions to be auctioned include maps, a barograph, a globe and two of his gavels.

The sale is on view on Saturday 29th November 2014, from 9.30am to 12noon, Monday 1st December 2014, from 10am to 4pm, and on the day of the auction, Tuesday 2nd December 2014, from 9am to the start of the sale at 11am.

The catalogue will be available in print and online at by mid-November.

Toovey’s December 2013/January 2014 Opening Times

We close for Christmas at 11.30am on Friday 20th December.

We reopen for pre-sale viewing of our End of Year Sale on: Monday 30th December from 10am to 4pm and the sale day: New Year’s Eve, Tuesday 31st December, from 9am to the start of each session. All enquiries regarding this sale will be answered on our return.

After the sale, we are then closed on Wednesday 1st January. We return to our normal opening hours on Thursday 2nd January.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our clients and friends a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year from all of us at Toovey’s.

Toovey’s End of Year Sale 2013, Tuesday 31st December

Robert Thornton Vinaigrette
A Victorian silver vinaigrette, Birmingham 1876 by Robert Thornton, already consigned for the End of Year Sale at Toovey's

Our annual End of Year Sale is always a highly popular event in the auction calendar. Toovey’s are one of only a handful of UK auction rooms to hold a sale between Christmas and the New Year and, indeed, the only one in the South this year! For that reason, there is always particularly enthusiastic support for the sale, from both the antique trade and private collectors. Traders are always keen to return to work and seek out new stock as soon as possible after the Christmas period. Many of our private clients, who are not always able to attend weekday auctions, are still on their festive break and the sale always attracts a new audience of curious browsers, eager to experience their first auction and escape the Christmas television!

There will be a good selection of art, furnishings, silver, jewellery, collectors’ items and rugs on offer and it will be a lively and full day of sales. As always, our café will be open throughout the view day and the sale day.

All are welcome for viewing of the sale at our Spring Gardens Auction rooms on Monday 30th December between 10am and 4pm. We open at 9am on Tuesday 31st December for a quick preview before the auction starts at 10am. The catalogue will be online for a digital preview by Friday 20th December. We are closed for the festive period from Friday 20th to Sunday 29th December and all email enquiries regarding the sale will be replied to after our return to work on Tuesday 30th December.

If you would like to enter items in the sale, we’ll need to view and value them by Friday 13th December at the very latest. The sale is always oversubscribed so bring them sooner, if you can, to be sure of inclusion. Our valuations reception is open between 10am and 4pm from Monday 9th to Friday 13th December.

We look forward to seeing you!