House and contents sold for £2.4 million

Bamfords junior valuer and auctioneer Dean Roe is pictured with an Indian ivory group of figures, estimated at �60-�100, just one of the many items that are to be auctioned from Alton Manor, the home of the late Lady Hilton, near Idridgehay.
Bamfords junior valuer and auctioneer Dean Roe is pictured with an Indian ivory group of figures, estimated at �60-�100, just one of the many items that are to be auctioned from Alton Manor, the home of the late Lady Hilton, near Idridgehay.

A PRESTIGIOUS house and its contents in Idridgehay sold for a cool £2.415m during a momentous auction.

The entire contents of Alton Manor went under the hammer at a fascinating sale on Thursday and Friday.

An astonishing 1,040 lots were up for grabs, with the house itself, which belonged to notable aristocrat Lady Winifred Hilton. selling for more than double its guide price.

Lady Hilton, who died at the age of 91 last year, was the widow of former Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire Sir Peter Hilton.

Among the items going under the hammer of auctioneer James Lewis, of Bamfords auctioneers and valuers, were clothes worn by Lady Hilton when she met members of the royal family. The firm declined to say who would receive money from the sale.

Every single one of the 1,040 lots were sold, with bids coming in from around the world.

Steven Iredale, an auctioneer and valuer at Bamfords, was delighted with how the sale went.

He said: “It was very successful and we are very, very happy with how it went.

“It was a fitting tribute to two people who were so important in Derbyshire. It was very nice to be involved with it.”

Aside from the house, the pick of the sales was some 19th Century Indian watercolour paintings. There were four in the lot and they sold for an amazing £16,000.

Mr Iredale said: “It was more than expected. We knew they were something quite exciting. It is an emerging market. We thought they would do very well, but £16,000 is a good price.”

A chandelier from Lady Hilton’s library fetched £11,000, while a leech jar from the late-1800s, which was used by doctors to keep leeches in, went for £2,100. Valuers expected it to sell for no more than £1,000.

Mr Iredale said that about 5,000 people in total came to see the lots during the viewing times and on the days of the sales. But the auction stretched even further than the grounds of the manor house. A desk went to a man in Korea,” said Mr Iredale. “And we had bids from China and the USA.”