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Incredible chance to buy hundreds of rare antiques as The Old Hall contents go under the hammer - 24/07/2017

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Roman column capitals - believed to be from an ancient temple - are among hundreds of extraordinary items from a centuries-old country house coming up for auction in Derbyshire.

The entire contents of The Old Hall at Melton Mowbray are to be sold by Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall – around 300 lots in total.

And that means people have a rare opportunity to buy a slice of 17th century country house grandeur for their own home.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “This is quite possibly the most unique collection of items from one wonderful old country house that we have ever handled.

“The owner of the property was an antiques collector and that means the array of items coming up for auction is tremendously unusual and diverse.

“For example, how often would anyone have the chance to buy Roman capitals, the decorative upper part of a column? They were in the garden at The Old Hall.

“There are atmospheric paintings, too, including a copy of the Mona Lisa, and everything from bellows, warming pans and leather boots to an exquisite collection of Derbyshire Blue John decorative items.”

The Blue John lots include an 18th century vase valued at between £5,000 and £10,000. Blue John is a semi-precious mineral found only in Derbyshire.

Atmospheric garden ornaments and statues are also included in the sale as well as two enormous Renaissance columns in a barley-twist style.

“They are believed to be copies of similar columns seen in the Vatican in Rome,” said Mr Hanson.

“The Old Hall, which dates back to the 17th century in parts, contained several ecclesiastical fittings or items of religious significance, such as an 18th century Spanish ornament depicting baby Jesus.”

The Old Hall collection also includes folk art, many hunting-themed items and all manner of ornaments including a dish incorporating Roman coins.

The original servants’ bells are included in the sale along with an unusual black figure of a man, which may well have once stood on the bow of a ship.

Top hats, leather boots, lamp stands, candle sticks, a spinning wheel, a soft toy dressed in hunting gear, ornate dining chairs, a fish and a shoe last, used in the manufacture of shoes, are also in the eclectic mix.

Mr Hanson said: “The collector of this intriguing mix of lots showed a true passion for bringing rare and eye-catching items into The Old Hall and its gardens. Every piece added character, interest and beauty to the surroundings.

“Now other people have the opportunity to own some of these extraordinary pieces. This auction means bidders will be able to bring country house grandeur to their house, garden, or both, by investing in a statement piece that they would struggle to find, let alone buy, anywhere else.”

The sale of the contents of The Old Hall, Melton Mowbray will take place on Monday, July 24, from 2pm, at Hansons Auctioneers, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, DE65 6LS. Viewing is on Wednesday, July 19, from 11am-7pm and on the auction day from 9am. The contents of The Old Hall will be sold as part of Hansons’ five-day summer Antiques and Collectors Auction on July 20-22 and July 24-25. Bidding starts at 10am each day. People can also bid online at www.hansonsauctioneers.co.uk.

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