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Wednesday, 25 April, 2001, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Disgraced Aitken sells off antiques
Jonathan Aitken says his time behind bars was a 'liberating' experience
The former minister was forced to sell off when declared bankrupt
Disgraced former Cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken is selling off antiques that were once a focal point of his upmarket central London home.

An 18th century Dutch oil painting, with a reserve price of 3,000, a Louis XVI-style clock, furniture, carpets, rugs and various silver items are among lots being sold at Gorringes in East Sussex.

Mr Aitken was forced to sell his possessions when declared bankrupt after a failed libel action against The Guardian and Granada TV's World in Action programme.


It's no different from selling anyone else's things

Nick Muston
Gorringes manager
He was later jailed for 18 months for perjury.

The first day of the sale on Tuesday saw more than 35 lots sold for a total of 8,300.

Bidders secured a pair of 19th century Chinese candlesticks for 5,000, a gold Rolex watch and a silver christening mug with the initials JWA.

Nick Muston, group manager of Gorringes in Lewes, said: "Although many items on sale belonged to Mr Aitken, it's no different from selling anyone else's things. It's just another job which we have been instructed to carry out."

Much media interest

He confirmed that "when we sold some books from his library there was more interest from his friends who were trying to buy things back and present them to Mr Aitken.

"This time we have not had that sort of interest, although it's certainly created a lot of media interest."

The Aitken sell-off finishes on Thursday, with another auction scheduled for June.

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See also:

24 Sep 00 | UK Politics
Sinner studies the saints
07 Dec 98 | UK Politics
Jonathan Aitken - a 'swashbuckling' life
08 Jun 99 | UK Politics
Guardian hails 'victory for free speech'
31 May 00 | UK Politics
Probe into Aitken 'secret account'
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