A PRIVATE collection from a country estate sold for three times the expected £1m price tag after a “frenzied” auction.

A huge plaster centaur, a bronze and rock crystal chandelier and a rocketship were among 449 pieces that went under the hammer at Christies, in London, on Tuesday.

The collection of curiosities belonged to Aynhoe Park owner James Perkins and sold for £3,252,138.

Ten of the items that saw the largest gap between estimate and sale price included 1970s gilt bronze and rock crystal chandelier by Robert Goos-sens.

It sold for £133,250 to a private client from Asia, but was originally expected to fetch between £25,000 and £40,000.

The original design of the piece is believed to have been commissioned by Chanel in Paris and a chandelier of this design currently hangs in Chanel’s Beverly Hills boutique.

Also surpassing its estimate was a plaster model of a centaur and a Lapith maiden, which was based on part of the Temple Of Zeus, Olympia, and previously part of a collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. It sold for £73,250 to a private buyer from the United States, it had been expected to sell for up to £12,000.

A Duchess chandelier by Mark Brazier-Jones, estimated at £20,000 sold for £67,250 to an anonymous buyer.

And a 1980s turquoise, slate and brass mounted floating cabinet, by Kam Tin, sold for £127,250, more than quadruple its estimate of £30,000.

In a joint statement Andy Waters, Christies head of department, and Adrian Hume-Sayer, specialist and head of sale, said: “The magical atmosphere of Aynhoe Park captivated an international audience who, in frenzied bidding, produced remarkable prices for a diverse array of objects, from classical plaster casts and a bowler-hatted giraffe through to a rock crystal Chanel chandelier.

“This unique collection resonated with the present vogue for dramatic interiors with a twist of fun.

“The eight-and-a-half hour sale more than tripled pre-sale expectations.”

A total of 405 pieces – 90 per cent of the collection – were sold to buyers in the US, Asia and the UK as well as a number of anonymous bidders.

Mr Perkins hosted a public viewing of his collection at Aynhoe Park, Aynho, near Bicester, in the days leading up to Tuesday’s sale.

Mr Perkins, who has welcomed celebrities including Sienna Miller, Liam Gallagher and Kate Moss to Aynhoe Park, said he started the collection as a teenager buying items during his travels around the globe.

He said: “I will happily admit to being a compulsive collector, over the years my collection has grown and evolved and it is now time to allow new pieces to take centre stage at Aynhoe Park.”


A French rock crystal chandier, believed to have been commissioned by Chanel

Estimate: £25,000 to £40,000

Sold: £133,250

A taxidermy of a giraffe drinking

Estimate: £4,000

Sold: £12,500

A plaster cast of the monumental face of Ludovisi Juno

Estimate: £3,000 to £5,000

Sold: £85,250

Plaster model of a centaur and a Lapith maiden from the Temple of Zeus

Estimate: £8,000 to £12,000

Sold: £73,250

Twelve sections from the Parthenon frieze

Estimate: £6,000 to £9,000

Sold: £67,250