HIGHLIGHTS from an important art collection are going on display in Dorchester ahead of an auction later this year.

County town auctioneers Duke’s are hosting a preview of pictures and works of art from the collection of the late William Gronow-Davis at its new gallery in Brewery Square.

The display runs until Wednesday, February 3.

Duke’s has been instructed to sell the contents of King John’s House, at Tollard Royal in Wiltshire, following the death of Mr Gronow-Davis last year.

Mr Gronow-Davis was the lifelong partner of the late Michael Pitt-Rivers and he moved to King John’s house in 1961.

He was an established artist and held bi-annual exhibitions.

She house formed part of the Rushmore Estate which has been in the Pitt-Rivers family for generations and counts film director Guy Ritchie as a neighbour, was once described by novelist Thomas Hardy as ‘quite the prettiest sight I ever saw in my life’.

In addition to a passion for sailing and opera, Mr Gronow-Davis and Mr Pitt-Rivers were both keen collectors of art with items from their high quality collection sill be going on sale at Duke’s on April 14 and selected Asian works of art going on sale at a specialist auction on May 20.

The preview of the collection now on show includes prints and works on paper by Elisabeth Frink, who was a frequent visitor to King John’s House.

A spokesman for Duke’s added: “William Gronow-Davis was also passionate about his beloved whippets and he formed an impressive collection of sculptures in bronze and marble.

“The preview includes seven large-scale bronzes, including a superbly rendered bronze of Frederick the Great with his whippets, by Johan Godfrey Schadaw, which is estimated at £5,000 to £10,000, and a bronze of a whippet looking into a bowl of food, by the Parisian sculptor Henri Alfred Jacquemart, which carries a pre-auction estimate of £8,000 to £15,000.”

The preview is open from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday until Wednesday, February 3.

The display also gives visitors the chance to check out Duke’s new premises at Brewery Square and call into YC’s, a new patisserie and tapas bar opened by award winning chef Jamie Jones, who also owns Yalbury Cottage at Lower Bockhampton.

For more information about the preview exhibition and the auction contact Duke’s on 01305 265 080 or email maddi.puleston@dukes-auctions.com