Under the hammer: Tribal mask and pine steps from Worksop Manor's attics and cellars

A country house sale is always a source of fascination for many and this was certainly the case when Morphets recently sold the contents of Worksop Manor's attics and cellars.

Built in the 18th century Worksop Manor is located just across the county border in Nottingham and was once described as the greatest house in the North of England.

A Victorian wardrobe which sold for 1,600

The Manor is currently undergoing a programme of extensive refurbishment and as such Morphets were invited to clear the contents of the attics, cellars and some outbuildings.

Our team were delighted to find room after room of 19th century and later furniture and decorative items which made for a quirky meets Downtown Abbey type of sale, perfect for today’s market.

The sale, which was held on Saturday, October 21 drew many new faces to the saleroom and bidding was fast and furious on both the phone lines and the internet.

Highlights on the day included a pair of Victorian painted pine steps with an iron rail and gallery, pictured here, which sold well over estimate for £2,300 and were speedily shipped off to their new home in London.

There has been much speculation about the original use of the ladders, the current favourite being for equestrian use, possibly to view horses training or racing.

Among the smaller items, an African tribal softwood mask carved as a full head, the face with elaborate coiffure and, somewhat unusually, a hat, drew frantic bidding before going under the hammer for £1,500.

Included in the sale were several lots of taxidermy which had the phone bidders and the internet battling to take top bid.

Star of the show was a rough legged buzzard on a branch with lichen covered rock which achieved a hammer of £850.

Not to be out done, it was closely followed by a Shoveller which sold for £800 and a female Goosander by Peter Spicer and Sons, which achieved a hammer of £750.

Also included in the sale were many fine pieces of furniture including tester beds, wardrobes, dining tables and bookcases, many with the impressive proportions one would expect from a manor house.

A beautiful mid Victorian figured and painted walnut wardrobe with carved urn and broken arch pediment and maple and mahogany interior achieved a hammer of £1,600.

Its new owner will need a home of grand proportions as it measured an impressive 3m high.

After the success of the Worksop Manor sale, the Morphets team is now busily cataloguing for our forthcoming Fine Wine, Vintage Port and Whisky sale on Wednesday, November 29, and our Fine Art and Antique catalogue sale on Thursday, November 30.

The catalogue for both sales will be on our website www.morphets.co.uk from Friday, November 17 and should provide plenty of opportunity to secure some unusual Christmas presents and stock the wine cellar in preparation for the festivities.

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