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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 December, 2004, 16:01 GMT
Castle treasures could return
The hookah that sold at auction - picture courtesy of Christie's
The hookah sold for 80,000 at the sale
Historic treasures which were on display at a mid Wales castle until last year could return to a museum there officials have said.

Thirteen pieces of art which once belonged to Clive of India had been on loan to Powis Castle, Welshpool.

But in 2003 they were removed and taken to London for valuation.

Clive's family sold them earlier this year, along with other artefacts from the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Five items went under the hammer in April at an Islamic art sale at Christie's in London, the auction house confirmed.

They were bought by an unnamed buyer believed to have been from the Middle East.

We're hoping some of the items that left Powis Castle will return
Margaret Gray, house manager Powis Castle

But officials at Powis Castle are making efforts to see some of the treasures be returned to go on display at the site again.

Some of the artefacts sold at auction were part of the Mughal collection brought back to the UK by Clive, the 18th Century governor of India.

They were sold following the death of Vida Schreiber, wife of Viscount Clive.

Among the riches that may return to the museum at Powis Castle include a Hookah pipe, jewels, bowls and a rose water sprinkler.

Castle house manager, Margaret Gray, said: "We're hoping some of the items that left Powis Castle will return - it is possible.

"They are collectables that are priceless - they are items such as bowls, another Hookah, a rose water sprinkler and jewels."

She added: "The items from Powis Castle that were sold will be kept in the UK."

Powis Castle
The collections has been on loan to the museum for many years

Powis Castle was originally built as a simple stone fortress in 1200, and was transformed in the late 17th Century by the 3rd Baron Powis.

In 1784, Lord Clive, son and heir of Clive of India, married into the family, bringing the Clives vast fortune to the castle.

The Clives enriched the castle's store of treasures with paintings, furniture and memorabilia from their years in India which are on show at the Clive of India museum.

Robert Clive is famous for his victory over the Nawab of Bengal at the battle of Plassey in 1757 which signalled Britain's control over India.

Clive, who had an opium addiction, later became governor and commander-in-chief of India before committing suicide after being accused of financial irregularities in 1774.

The treasures sold at an Islamic art sale at Christie's on 27 April included a 17th Century pistol-grip dagger, decorated with floral sprays which went for 650,000.

Robert Clive
Clive of India was an opium addict who took his own life in 1774

A flywhisk, which would originally been fitted with yak hair to enable servants to keep flies from their masters, sold for 800,000.

There are more than 300 items of Indian and far eastern origin still at the museum at Powis Castle, making it the finest private collection in the UK apart from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The Powis Castle museum was opened in 1987 by Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

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