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Castle's curios go up for grabs; pounds 1m auction of stately home contents.

Byline: JOHN VINCENT

THE stuffed head of a mountain goat and a Civil War cannon are among the items up for grabs at the pounds 1m Chirk Castle auction.

Next month's sale features a range of weird and wonderful artefacts, including a large wooden bathing tub used by Georgian laundry girls, 18th century leather fire buckets, Victorian metal dog collars and a 19th century spin-dryer.

The Christie's sale, being held on June 21, was prompted by the Myddelton family's decision to leave the castle after an unbroken connection with the property dating back to 1595.

But a catalogue published yesterday reveals the family is also parting with a stunning array of household objects, some of which have not seen the light of day for centuries.

Unusual items include family papers,letters from the rich and famous, architectural drawings for the rebuilding of the castle,and designs for furniture and stained glass panels.

Guy Myddelton's ancestor, Sir Thomas Myddelton -fourth of the nine sons of the Guy Myddleton and family will leave the castle after an unbroken connection dating back to 1595 Governor of Denbigh Castle in the reign of Edward VI, acquired the castle and its estate for pounds 5,000 -an enormous sum in 1595.

Everyday items reflecting a life of privilege and the daily drudgery of employees are expected to attract considerable interest from dealers and private collectors keen to snap up a piece of history.

Mr Myddleton says in the catalogue preface: ``Chirk is now a very public place,not a place to live in quiet enjoyment with a young family.

``The rooms which we occupy are expensive to run, and unsuitable for modern living,but I hope that we shall be able to keep a much smaller apartment for occasional use, maintaining our proud link with the house.''

Some of the more unusual lots to go under the hammer include: P The head of a mountain goat, late 19th/early 20th century -estimate pounds 300-pounds 500.

Nine leather fire buckets, 18th century -pounds 500-pounds 800.

n Falconry paraphernalia -pounds 50-pounds 80. n Page boy's costume,1909 -pounds 200-pounds 400; lady's fancy dress costume,19th century -pounds 150pounds 250; gentleman's court suit, French, late 18th century -pounds 1,000-pounds 1,500.

Brass and iron cannon,possibly used to defend Chirk in Civil War, 16th century -pounds 500-pounds 800.

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This period painting of Chirk Castle is one of many items to go under the hammer next month
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 25, 2004
Words:411
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