Belfast Telegraph

Historic auction items on show

A decorative collection of arts and furnishings from Irish country houses have transformed Slane Castle into a set from a period drama.

More than 700 pieces due to go under the hammer on Tuesday at the Co Meath venue have been on display for budding collectors.

Dining chairs, carpets, model boats, paintings and a ceremonial Swedish sleigh are among the lots to be sold at Adam's Irish Country House Collection Sale. Prices range from 100 euro up to 30,000 euro.

James O'Halloran, managing director of Adam's, said visitors at Slane arrive to what almost feels like the set of Downton Abbey.

"Furniture and collectables are displayed to their greatest potential, in period-like interior settings, laid out room by room," he said.

"Irish country houses and their antique and exotic contents have, for years, been the inspiration and attraction to many people decorating and collecting for their homes."

Highlights include an Imperial Russian silver Cloisonne spoon given by the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna to the governess of her four princesses, Margaret Alexandra Eagar from Limerick, in 1904.

The Tsarina and her family were later murdered during the Bolshevik Revolution. The spoon could fetch up to 5,000 euro.

The christening robes of a British peer whose father believed he was a teapot are also expected to be sold for 5,000 euro.

The rare satin and silk embroidered suit, pillow, quilt, and bonnets was worn by the fourth Earl of Darnley, John Bligh, in 1767. Bligh was one of seven children of the third Earl of Darnley, also named John Bligh.

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