Sotheby’s Chatsworth Attic sale has drawn a remarkable amount of interest. The first day total was £4.4m with 95% of the lots sold. With 20,000 items to be auctioned in 1400 lots, clearing out the Duke of Devonshire’s storage facilities (and making a little cash out of aristocratic knick knacks) the remaining two days are sure to be interesting:
The three-day auction began this morning at 10.30am, and – at barely a sixth of the way through – has already surpassed the pre-sale estimate (£2.5 million for the entire auction.) Some 400 people are in attendance, and their enthusiasm, pitted against that of the 1,000 people bidding via the phones, live over the internet and through absentee bids, is driving prices well beyond expectations. The top lot thus far is a Magnificent George II Carved White Marble Chimneypiece designed by the masterful William Kent c. 1735, which sold for £565,250 – far above its pre-sale estimate of £200,000-300,000.