Silverware, artwork and sculptures among treasure trove of items found in Scotland's Dunrobin Castle


An array of hidden treasures which have been discovered in the attics and cellars of a Highland castle are set to go up for auction next month, with some items estimated to fetch as much as £12,000.

The treasure trove of objects ranging from paintings and sculptures to crested dinner services and silverware were found during a ‘decluttering’ of attics and cellars at Dunrobin Castle near Golspie in Sutherland, Scotland.

Among the items going under the hammer is a portrait of the Duke of Brunswick by the Dutch golden age portraitist Jan van Ravesteyn, which is estimated to fetch between £8,000-£12,000, and a pair of Victorian silver-gilt goblets, which are expected to fetch between £3,000 to £4,000.

Also up for sale is an illustrated manuscript survey of the north coast of Scotland by Captain Henry Charles Otter which could fetch between £1,500 to £2,500.

Among the items that were found at Dunrobin Castle near Golspie in Sutherland, Scotland, was portrait of the Duke of Brunswick by the Dutch golden age portraitist Jan van Ravesteyn, which is estimated to fetch between £8,000-12,000

Among the items that were found at Dunrobin Castle near Golspie in Sutherland, Scotland, was portrait of the Duke of Brunswick by the Dutch golden age portraitist Jan van Ravesteyn, which is estimated to fetch between £8,000-12,000

The Dunrobin attic sale, which will take place at Bonhams in Edinburgh, on April 20, will see the treasure trove of items go up for sale including a selection of paintings and giltwod frames

The Dunrobin attic sale, which will take place at Bonhams in Edinburgh, on April 20, will see the treasure trove of items go up for sale including a selection of paintings and giltwod frames

Also up for sale is an illustrated manuscript survey of the north coast of Scotland which could fetch between £1,500 to £2,500 with Bonhams

Also up for sale is an illustrated manuscript survey of the north coast of Scotland which could fetch between £1,500 to £2,500 with Bonhams

Dunrobin Castle near Golspie in Sutherland, Scotland,  has been home to the earls and dukes of Sutherland since the 13th century

Dunrobin Castle near Golspie in Sutherland, Scotland,  has been home to the earls and dukes of Sutherland since the 13th century

Charlie Thomas, director of house sales at Bonhams, said: ‘The Dunrobin attic sale provides a glorious opportunity to purchase a piece of history from one of Scotland’s grandest and most historic castles.

‘Many of the items have been hidden away in Dunrobin Castle for generations and never been seen on the open market before.

‘They provide a wonderful snapshot of what it was like to live both upstairs – and downstairs – in the Highlands’ premier ducal palace.’   

Also up for sale is a Minton 27-piece part toilet set which is expected to fetch between £400 to £600.

The toilet set features the Sutherland ‘S’ cypher within pink borders and comprises of two pairs of candle sticks, three chamber pots, basin, a water jug and three candle snuffer trays.    

Other items found during the decluttering include vintage ski equipment, 19th century lanterns and Victorian plaster busts discovered in the cellar. 

Victorian silver-gilt goblets which are expected to fetch between £3,000 to £4,000

A collection of silver were among the items found in the attics and cellars at Dunrobin Castle

Victorian silver-gilt goblets (left), which are expected to fetch between £3,000 to £4,000, and a collection of silver plates were found inside the castle

A Minton 27-piece part toilet set, which comprises of two pairs of candle sticks, three chamber pots and a basin, is expected to fetch between £400 to £600

A Minton 27-piece part toilet set, which comprises of two pairs of candle sticks, three chamber pots and a basin, is expected to fetch between £400 to £600

An early Victorian Mahogany and green leather upholstered desk chair, which comes with a velvet cushion embroidered with the Sutherland wild cat crest, is set to fetch between £200-£300

An early Victorian Mahogany and green leather upholstered desk chair, which comes with a velvet cushion embroidered with the Sutherland wild cat crest, is set to fetch between £200-£300

Images released by Bonhams show furniture and household items were found inside the castle which is the family seat of the 25th Earl of Sutherland

Images released by Bonhams show furniture and household items were found inside the castle which is the family seat of the 25th Earl of Sutherland

A 19th century dutch colour twist armorial goblet engraved with a crested shield is also up for sale and expected to fetch between £200-£300

A 19th century dutch colour twist armorial goblet engraved with a crested shield is also up for sale and expected to fetch between £200-£300

A collection of swords and guns were found inside the castle

Also up for auction are a collection of carved giltwood frames

A collection of swords and guns (left) and carved giltwood frames (right) were among the items found in the attics and cellars at Dunrobin Castle 

A collection of mauchline and other tartan wares, including three string tidy boxes, a pair of books, an egg timer and a miniature Quaich, are expected to fetch £400-600

A collection of mauchline and other tartan wares, including three string tidy boxes, a pair of books, an egg timer and a miniature Quaich, are expected to fetch £400-600

Dunrobin Castle is the family seat of the 25th Earl of Sutherland and has been home to the earls and dukes of Sutherland since the 13th century.

Charles Graham-Campbell, managing director of Bonhams in Scotland, said: ‘Attic sales are always very popular and the Dunrobin attic sale has everything – great provenance, fascinating items and of course a rare glimpse into a way of life now long vanished.

‘I am sure that many members of clan Sutherland around the world and indeed expatriate Scots everywhere will be eager to take part in the sale.

‘We are very much looking forward to what promises to be the highlight of our spring season.’

The Dunrobin attic sale will take place at Bonhams on Queen Street, Edinburgh, on April 20. 

A pair of 19th century Ormolu lamps are among the items found in the attics and cellars at Dunrobin Castle

Green painted Tole Deed boxes are among the items found in the castle

Bonhams will also be putting a pair of 19th century Ormolu lamps (left) and green painted Tole Deed boxes (right) up for auction

Victorian plaster busts were found during the 'decluttering' of attics and cellars at Dunrobin Castle near Golspie

Victorian plaster busts were found during the ‘decluttering’ of attics and cellars at Dunrobin Castle near Golspie 

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