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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 June, 2004, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Castle auction raises 1.4m
Carvings and furniture
Furniture and carvings, as well as porcelain are all up for sale
A private collection at a north Wales castle has gone under the hammer at auction for 1.4m.

More than 500 artworks and household objects from the Myddelton family's collection at Chirk Castle were auctioned by Christie's.

The property, owned by the Myddelton famiy since 1595, is run by the National Trust and gets about 80,000 visitor each year.

The family has decided to move to a private home to raise their children.

The top price was paid for a pair of George III chairs, which were sold for 62,000.

The private collection has been held in the family wing of the castle and many of the objects on sale had not been seen by the public before.

The auction was carried out in the grounds of the castle on Monday.

I think the most painful thing is the loss of family portraits which are just too big to take to a smaller house which is where we are moving to
Guy Myddelton
Guy Myddelton said the grounds had become too busy an environment to raise his sons, aged five and three, which had prompted the decision to leave.

"Naturally we are very sad because our family has been here for a very long time, for over 400 years.

"There are a lot of people here - on a busy bank holiday weekend you might find upwards of 1,500 - 2,000 people in the garden," he told BBC Wales.

Book valued at 20,000
This book, valued at 20,000, is one of the 650 items

"I think the most painful thing is the loss of family portraits which are just too big to take to a smaller house which is where we are moving to."

The highest estimated price was for a George III mahogany serving table, which was expected to go for between 50,000-80,000.

But there were smaller, more affordable things to be picked up - walking sticks, crockery, including a cup and saucer which were broken for 5-10.

Christie's representative Jill Potterton said the sale had gone very well.

"The sale totalled 1.4m, a bit more than we were expecting - we'd estimated around 1m.

Stuffed owl
A stuffed owl is one of the variety of items, from across the centuries

"It was a very good result.

"We were in a marquee and we had between 300-400 people and a lot of local interest.

"The Myddeltons were very pleased."

She added: "The were some very good prices for the quirky things."

In pictures: Chirk Castle auction
21 Jun 04  |  Photo Gallery
Aristocrats vacate 'busy' castle
22 Mar 04  |  North East Wales
Modern castle seeks owner
17 Mar 04  |  North East Wales
Castle's medieval Christmas
07 Dec 03  |  North East Wales

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