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Earl of Sutherland is selling off hundreds of family treasures hidden at historic Dunrobin Castle

The Earl of Sutherland is selling off hundreds of family treasures that have been long hidden away at his family’s historic home at Dunrobin Castle in the Scottish Highlands.

The aristocrat is selling off a hoard of items that include eye-catching marble sculptures, a collection of rifles and historic photographs, paintings and portraits. 

There are also smaller items taken from within the castle’s kitchen and cellar, with guide prices ranging from £80 to £12,000 ahead of the auction in April. 

Bonhams will be holding The Dunrobin Attic Sale in Edinburgh on April, with 450 lots up for auction. 

The trove has been described as ‘a fascinating time capsule of domestic operations on a Downton Abbey scale’.

A treasure trove of items from Dunrobin Castle will go up for auction April, with lots valued at as little as £80, rising all the way up to £12,000

Busts and sculptures are among the luxurious items that have been left dwindling on the 120,000 acre estate. The 25th Earl of Sutherland has decided to auction off items from across the castle, showing off some of the most prestigious and mundane of pieces

Busts and sculptures are among the luxurious items that have been left dwindling on the 120,000 acre estate. The 25th Earl of Sutherland has decided to auction off items from across the castle, showing off some of the most prestigious and mundane of pieces 

A collection of firearms will be going up for sale at Bonhams in Edinburgh come April. Among them is a pair of Scottish all-metal flintlock belt pistols made by Alexander Campbell of Doune in the 18th century. They have been valued at between £8,000 and £10,000

A collection of firearms will be going up for sale at Bonhams in Edinburgh come April. Among them is a pair of Scottish all-metal flintlock belt pistols made by Alexander Campbell of Doune in the 18th century. They have been valued at between £8,000 and £10,000

Estimates have been set at a level that will enable as many people to take part as possible and range from £8,000-12,000 for a Portrait of the Duke of Brunswick by the Dutch Golden Age portraitist Jan van Ravesteyn, and £8,000-10,000 for a pair of Scottish all-metal flintlock belt pistols made by Alexander Campbell of Doune, in the third quarter of the 18th century, to £80-120 for a collection of pewter sugar moulds. 

Everyday items used in years gone by are also up for sale.

They include footbaths, floral jugs and washbasins, chamber pots and crested dinner services, as well as meat domes, tiered oyster holders, copper vessels and glass carafes. 

Dunrobin Castle boasts 120,000 acres in the Scottish Highlands – it was inherited by the 25th Earl of Sutherland, Alistair Janson in 2019, who is just minutes older than his twin brother, Martin. 

A mid-19th century white marble bust of Prince Albert (top left) by John Francis has a guide price of between £2,000 and £3,000 at the Dunrobin Attic Sale in April

A mid-19th century white marble bust of Prince Albert (top left) by John Francis has a guide price of between £2,000 and £3,000 at the Dunrobin Attic Sale in April

Charlie Thomas, director of house sales, said: 'The Dunrobin Attic Sale provides a glorious opportunity to purchase a piece of history from one of Scotland's grandest and most historic castles'

Charlie Thomas, director of house sales, said: ‘The Dunrobin Attic Sale provides a glorious opportunity to purchase a piece of history from one of Scotland’s grandest and most historic castles’

Everyday items from the bowels of castle are set to go up for sale alongside historic and artistic pieces. Among them will be utensils that would have been regularly used in the kitchen of the grand Highlands castle in years gone by

Everyday items from the bowels of castle are set to go up for sale alongside historic and artistic pieces. Among them will be utensils that would have been regularly used in the kitchen of the grand Highlands castle in years gone by  

While some of the lots are expected to fetch thousands of pounds, there are some items that are far more accessible for the average buyer, including a set pewter sugar moulds, that are valued at between £80 to £120

While some of the lots are expected to fetch thousands of pounds, there are some items that are far more accessible for the average buyer, including a set pewter sugar moulds, that are valued at between £80 to £120

An illustrated manuscript survey of the North coast of Scotland undertaken by Captain Henry Charles Otter in 1844 could fetch as much as £2,500 at auction in April

An illustrated manuscript survey of the North coast of Scotland undertaken by Captain Henry Charles Otter in 1844 could fetch as much as £2,500 at auction in April

Last September it was revealed Martin Janson had been left just £250,000 in the £18million will that his mother, Elizabeth, the 24th Countess of Sutherland, wrote three days before she died in December 2019, aged 98. 

By contrast, his sister, Lady Annabel Bainton, was bequeathed £3.5 million.

Charlie Thomas, director of house sales, said: ‘The Dunrobin Attic Sale provides a glorious opportunity to purchase a piece of history from one of Scotland’s grandest and most historic castles. 

‘Many of the items have been hidden away in Dunrobin Castle for generations and never been seen on the open market before. They provide a wonderful snapshot of what it was like to live both upstairs – and downstairs – in the Highlands’ premier ducal palace.’

Grand portraits and stationery boxes are both among the items up for auction - showing the diverse lots that will be up for grabs at the Dunrobin Attic Sale. Bonhams director Charles Graham Campbell said the collection 'has everything - great provenance, fascinating items and of course a rare glimpse into a way of life, now long vanished'

Grand portraits and stationery boxes are both among the items up for auction – showing the diverse lots that will be up for grabs at the Dunrobin Attic Sale. Bonhams director Charles Graham Campbell said the collection ‘has everything – great provenance, fascinating items and of course a rare glimpse into a way of life, now long vanished’

Silverware and a crown are among the treasure trove

Empty portrait frames dating back decades will be auctioned off

Silverware, a crown, and empty portrait frames that date back to the 19th century are among a treasure trove of items that will go up for sale later this year 

Dunrobin Castle boasts 120,000 acres in the Scottish Highlands - it was inherited by the 25th Earl of Sutherland, Alistair Janson in 2019, who is just minutes older than his twin brother, Martin

Dunrobin Castle boasts 120,000 acres in the Scottish Highlands – it was inherited by the 25th Earl of Sutherland, Alistair Janson in 2019, who is just minutes older than his twin brother, Martin

Managing Director of Bonhams in Scotland, Charles Graham-Campbell said: ‘Attic sales are always very popular, and the Dunrobin Attic Sale has everything – great provenance, fascinating items and of course a rare glimpse into a way of life, now long vanished. 

‘I am sure that many members of Clan Sutherland around the world and indeed ex-patriot Scots everywhere will be eager to take part in the sale. We are very much looking forward to what promises to be the highlight of our spring season.’


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