Scottish castle clear-out unearths £700k time capsule treasure trove – Sky News

A Scottish castle clear-out has unearthed a treasure trove of objects which sold for £730,000 at auction.

Victorian ice cream moulds and 18th Century pistols led the bidding at the 416-lot Bonhams sale on Tuesday.

The objects were found hidden in the cellars and attics of Dunrobin Castle, which was used by the Sutherland family in the Highlands for entertaining during the Scottish season and was visited by Queen Victoria.

Experts said the collection was a “time capsule that evoked a bygone age”, with Bonhams director Charlie Thomas, calling it “one of the most extraordinary sales” he had ever worked on.

Taking place between 10am and 9pm yesterday, the auction at Bonhams, Edinburgh, attracted bids from around the world well over pre-sale estimates.

A collection of Victorian pewter ice cream moulds sold for £1,020, far higher than the estimate of £80-£120.

A rare pair of Scottish all metal flintlock belt pistols fetched £44,000, almost five times the estimate of £8-10,000. They were given by William Gordon, 18th Earl of Sutherland, to Captain James Sutherland in 1763.

Other highlights from the sale included a set of carved oak armorial panels from the Queen Regent’s House in Blythe’s Close, which sold for £17,750, well above the £4-6,000 estimate.

The third panel depicts the impaled arms of the king of Scotland, James V, and Mary Guise, Duchess of Longville, who were married in 1538 at Notre Dame in Paris.

Their daughter Mary Queen of Scots, would have displayed the same arms and as they would have ceased to be used after her death, experts say it suggests the panels were in use for the period 1538-1587.

“With such impeccable and romantic provenance, we had many hundreds of people bidding from all over the world, eager to acquire a piece of history from one of Scotland’s grandest and most historic castles,” Charles Graham-Campbell, Bonhams managing director in Scotland, said.

He added: “As we hoped, it proved to be the sale of the season and we are delighted with the results. Bonhams at its best.”

Sales totalled £732,528 and all prices include the buyers’ premium.

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