Theatrical Scenery

When the Austen family moved to Bath in May 1801, they offered the contents of their home, Steventon Rectory, for sale at auction.

No catalogue of the sale has ever been found, but Robin Vick did find the following advertisement for the sale, in the Reading Mercury of 20th April 1801.

(For full details, see the JAS Report, 1993: The Sale at Steventon Parsonage.)
Steveton Parsonage, near Overton, Hants.

To be SOLD by AUCTION by Mr Stroud, On the premises, on Tuesday the 5th May 1801,and two following days at eleven o’clock.
The neat HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, well made Chariot (with box to take off) and Harness, 200 volumes of Book, Stump of Hay, Fowling Pieces, Three Norman Cows and Calves, one horse, and other Effect.
The furniture comprises four-post and field bedsteads, with dimity, moreen and other furnitures, fine feather beds and bedding, mattresses, pier and a dressing glass, floor and bedside carpets, handsome mahogany sideboard, modern set if circular dining tables on pillar and claws, Pembroke and card ditto, bureaus, chests of drawers and chairs, a piano forte in a handsome case (by Ganer) a large collection of music by the most celebrated composers, and an 18 inch terrestrial globe (by Adams) and microscope, mahogany library table with drawers; bookcase with six doors, eight feet by eight feet; a smaller ditto, tea china, a table set of Wedgwood ware, eight day clock, side of bacon; kitchen, dairy and brewing utensils,13 ironbound casks, an end of hops, set of theatrical scenes &c, &c.

This small collection of theatrical scenery was the last physical remnants of the theatricals performed in the barn at Steventon.

As Robin Vick speculates:
The fact that they had painted scenes suggests that their productions, though presumably not approaching the grandeur of the intended performance at Mansfield Park, were of a fairly ambitious nature.

So sad to think they were still in that barn and then sold off , for what purpose? Firewood, perhaps?