A stately manor house once belonging to the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester is the centre of an auction that will see its contents—in some cases with royal provenance—up for sale.
Prince Richard and Birgitte lived at Barnwell Manor in Northamptonshire until the mid-‘90s, when they moved to Kensington Palace because they could not afford to pay for the 436-year-old home any longer.
Dreweatts Auctioneers is now selling the historical contents within Barnwell Manor at auction and expects to get around £1.7 million for the pieces. Following the royal couple’s departure, Barnwell Manor was owned by an antique dealer.
A spokesperson for the auctioneering firm said: “The sale will include a curated offering of important and decorative furniture, paintings and works of art, including provenances from some of our great houses and historic collections.
“This atmospheric house, medieval castle and the surrounding gardens will form the dramatic backdrop to the sale, with the full sale view being hosted on the premises, affording collectors and connoisseurs the rare opportunity to see and acquire beautiful and sometimes unusual objects within a wonderfully historic context.”
Items with royal provenance that date back to the House of Hanover are set to be auctioned, including a George III serpentine figure that auctioneers estimate will fetch between £20,000-£30,000 and a set of eight George II walnut chairs that could fetch £40,000-£60,000.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester moved to Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace in 1995 after the property became too difficult to maintain with their allowance from the Sovereign Grant. They continue to rent out the property to generate income.
In 2019, the royal couple downsized again and moved out of Apartment 1A to a smaller home on the grounds of Kensington Palace, in a residence known as the Old Stables. The small cottage was once home to Sir Tommy Lascelles, private secretary to Edward VIII, George VI, and Elizabeth II.