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Last Updated: Friday, 20 May, 2005, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
Art treasure auction raises 8.7m
Furniture from Easton Neston
Old English and French furniture is in the sale
The auction of art treasures from the Easton Neston estate of Tory peer Lord Hesketh fetched a total of 8.7m - nearly 4m more than expected.

The three-day sale of some 1,500 items from the stately home near Towcester, Northants, finished on Thursday.

Lots ranging from dog collars and dresses to Old Masters and fine English and French furniture were bought by collectors from the UK and abroad.

Some items went for much more money than expected in the Sotheby's auction.

A 14th-Century bronze jug fetched six times its estimated value when an unidentified buyer paid 500,000 for it.

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.

The estate has 20 staff who run a pheasant and partridge shoot, and a famous jump racing track with a stiff uphill finish.

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.

Estate treasures auction begins
17 May 05 |  Northamptonshire
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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