Antique field day

ANTIQUE hunters had a field day as the contents of a manor house were sold at auction — fetching £1.8million. Crowds packed the Edinburgh rooms of auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull on Friday in an everything must go sale, which emptied Cross Hall Manor on t

ANTIQUE hunters had a field day as the contents of a manor house were sold at auction - fetching £1.8million.

Crowds packed the Edinburgh rooms of auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull on Friday in an 'everything must go' sale, which emptied Cross Hall Manor on the outskirts of St Neots.

All of the items, including the house, were owned by Vincent Constantine.

Among the most expensive single lots sold were:

* George Alexander Napier's painting of the screw steamer 'Columbia' - £54,000

* A portrait of a young nobleman - £33,000

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* A selection of regency furniture including a rosewood credenza - £25,000

Lee Young, head of furniture at Lyon and Turnbull, said: "There were some fantastic prices fetched during the day and I was especially please with the Linnell cabinet which made £56,000.

"Country house sales are few and far between these days and we are very pleased with the result."

Cross Hall Manor, the 12th Century home owned by Mr Constantine, played host to a party for former US president George Bush and his wife Barbara six years ago.

Other items sold included four portraits by William Hoare of Bath for £14,000 and a bronze bust of a Roman emperor for £2,100.

A pair of 19th-century Italian carved sienna marble lions made £8,000 while the Duke of Sutherland's Regency-period mahogany four poster bed made £17,000.

Mr Constantine said: "It is the ultimate de-clutter but I couldn't watch them sell - they have given me great pleasure over the years and each item has its own personal memories and I am glad to see others delighting in my collection."

INFORMATION: Cross Hall Manor itself remains on the market with Fine & Country for £1.5million. Contact 0845 603 2825.

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