Forgotten treasures from the attics of Ayton Castle are to go under the hammer in Wooler this weekend.
The lots up for auction include rare glass negatives showing the captured German fleet at anchor in Scapa Flow.
Auctioneer Jim Railton of the Northern Auction Centre found a large box of the glass plates alongside a collection of photographic equipment that had been gathering dust for many years.
Amongst them were a number of plates featuring the Kaiser’s battleships before German navy commanders ordered them to be scuttled in June 1919.
Some are still there today and a major attraction to amateur divers.
Jim said: “Attics always throw up surprises and these at Ayton Castle did not disappoint. There are almost 100 slides, many of scenic views, but the battleships are an impressive and unusual sight.
“In addition we collected everything from china, pictures and prints, books and chandeliers, even a 16th century Chinese bronze cast as a stylised animal, which together with other items from houses throughout the north will attract buyers from all over the country. There is something for everybody.”
Jim added it would not be the first time the contents of Ayton Castle, a 17 bedroom, red sandstone baronial pile, built in the 19th century, had proved irresistible to a would be buyer.
Mark Twain, the American novelist visited in 1873 and insisted on buying the dining room fireplace. The owners agreed and it still graces his
Connecticut home, which is now a museum.
The auction is set to take place on Saturday, September 13 at 10am.