Auctioneers on a routine house inspection were shocked when they discovered antique items in a married couple’s Staffordshire home that had them stepping back in time to the 17th century.
Furnishings including four poster beds, tapestries, longcase clocks and bible boxes had been collected by the husband and wife whose home was almost entirely filled with pieces from Shakespearean times. The remarkable hoard was found by Charles Hanson auctioneers.
The woman who lived in the Lichfield house outlived her husband, auctioneer Mr Hanson said, but they had spent many years acquiring their pieces together.
Mr Hanson said: “They put together a collection of the finest 17th century oak furniture and furnishings I have seen in my career to date.
“The collection felt as though one was wandering around a home in care of the National Trust or English Heritage.
“The quantity and quality of such market fresh furniture will create international interest and will also appeal to collectors who wish to acquire a piece of history from a romantic and turbulent period.”
From oak coffers to oak press cupboards and 14 longcase clocks from the late 17th century, Mr Hanson said it felt like being returned to a period when Charles I was King.
Approximately 180 lots will be offered to buyers at auction on January 12.
A four poster bed in walnut, which dates to circa 1620, is estimated to sell for £1,000 to £1,500.
A fine oak blanket chest dating to around 1580 is expected to fetch between £300 and £500, while a fine oak and fruitwood dining table crafted in 1630 may sell for up to £1,000.
The items will be auctioned by Hansons at their auction centre in Heage Lane, Etwall in Derbyshire, with a viewing day on January 11.