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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 September 2006, 07:32 GMT 08:32 UK
Christie family sell off property
Agatha Christie's home Greenway
Agatha Christie bought Greenway in 1938
Hundreds of personal items belonging to crime writer Dame Agatha Christie are being auctioned off.

The signed first edition books, ceramics, pictures, prints, furniture and jewellery were kept at her Devon holiday home.

Christie lived at Greenway House, near Brixham, for 38 years.

More than 700 lots are going under the hammer at Bearnes of Exeter on Tuesday, with reserve prices ranging from under 100 to thousands of pounds.

Dame Agatha's books have sold more than one billion copies in the English language and another billion in more than 45 foreign languages.

She grew up in Torquay where her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was begun, and several locations in Torquay and Devon inspired her later novels.

Original Agatha Christie book
The sale includes first edition signed books
She bought Greenway in 1938 and although she never wrote any of her books there, it became a holiday home and a retreat for her until her death in 1976.

Christie's grandson, Mathew Prichard, intends to gift many of the possessions built up by his grandmother and family to the National Trust.

The house - but not the contents - was gifted to the National Trust in 2000 by Dame Agatha's daughter, Rosalind Hicks, and her husband, Anthony.

The gardens were opened to the public two years later. The house is undergoing a multi-million pound restoration and is due to be reopened in 2008.

The auction will dispose of some surplus items, with half of the proceeds going to the National Trust to help fund conservation work at Greenway.

The sale coincides with the second Christie Week, a national celebration to mark her birthday and recognise her legacy.

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