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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 08:35 GMT 09:35 UK
Estate treasures auction begins
Furniture from Easton Neston
Old English and French furniture is in the sale
Art treasures from the Easton Neston estate of Tory peer Lord Hesketh are being put up for auction on Tuesday.

The three-day sale of some 1,500 items from the stately home near Towcester, Northants, is expected to fetch 5m.

Lots listed in the sale range in value from dog collars to a George III cabinet expected to sell for 300,000.

Other items include fine English and French furniture, Old Masters and British paintings, tapestries, silver and Japanese lacquer work.

Henry Wyndham, chairman of Sotheby's Europe who are conducting the auction said: "The collection of works of art at Easton Neston is one of the most significant to have been put together by a British family over the last 500 years.

Sir Christopher Wren protege

"The house is full of rare and beautiful objects that reflect the changing tastes and fortunes of nearly 20 generations of the Femor-Hesketh family."

Easton Neston has been the seat of the Femor-Hesketh family since 1535, but the present Grade I listed house was built by Nicholas Hawksmoor - a protege of Sir Christopher Wren - in about 1700.

It employs 20 staff and includes the jump racing track famous for its stiff uphill finish, and a pheasant and partridge shoot.

There are also five lodges, three farms and the village of Hulcote.

Last year Lord Hesketh put the entire estate up for sale for 50m and on Monday part of the estate was sold to a private buyer for an undisclosed sum.

Part of country house estate sold
16 May 05 |  Northamptonshire
Stately home treasures to be sold
25 Feb 05 |  Northamptonshire
Deal looms on country house sale
18 Jan 05 |  Northamptonshire

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