Lord Raglan's collection fetches £2m at auction

SUBMITTED PIC FROM CHRISTIESThe Raglan Collection:Waterloo, Wellington and The Crimea4 April 2012Christie's South Kensington Sale 4138A portrait of Lord FitzRoy Somerset by Andrew Morton, and a selection of lots included in Christie's auction of T

SUBMITTED PIC FROM CHRISTIESThe Raglan Collection:Waterloo, Wellington and The Crimea4 April 2012Christie's South Kensington Sale 4138A portrait of Lord FitzRoy Somerset by Andrew Morton, and a selection of lots included in Christie's auction of T

First published in Gwent news

A PRIVATE collection of war memorabilia from the home of Lord Raglan has sold at an auction for more than two million pounds.

Mad up of historic medals, arms, armour and Indian weapons from the family home at Cefntilla Court, Llandenny, in Usk, it was expected to fetch more than £750,000, but sold for considerably more.

The Raglan Collection Wellington, Waterloo and The Crimea, comprising 312 lots - of which 292 were sold - was handled by London auction house Christie’s, on behalf of Lord Raglan’s heir and nephew, Henry van Moyland.

The total sale, last Thursday, was £2,019,81.

Lord Raglan, Fitzroy John Somerset, died in 2010 aged 82.

His great-great-grandfather, Fitzroy Somerset, commanded British forces in the Crimean War and gave the order that resulted in the ill-fated Charge of the Light Brigade.

The top ten artefacts, which sold to a mixture of buyers, along with private and anonymous parties, from the Middle East and UK, included an exceptionally rare group of honorary awards, distinctions and medals belonging to Field Marshal Lord Fitzroy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan (1788-1855). It's estimated worth was £250,000 but it sold for £290,500.

An Indian antique gold ring, late 18th century, estimated for £10,000 to £15,000 sold for £140,500 to a European private collector while an important Spanish diamond-set gold-hilted sword, circa 1814-15, estimated at £30,000 to £50,000, sold for £43,750 .

But the sale has caused controversy among those who had hoped the collection would be kept together, for the public to be able to view.

Bettina Harden of Save the Raglan Collection called it "a tragedy for Welsh Heritage".

"I would imagine that the late Lord Raglan is spinning in his grave at the thought that a collection of his courageous and splendid ancestor’s treasures and award - which he spent a lifetime looking after, adding to, preserving and showing off with great pride - has now been scattered to the four winds.”

The vice-chairwoman of Usk Civic Society, Ann Morse, previously told the Argus she personally feels that the auction is not what the Monmouthshire lord would have wanted.

Lord Raglan served as president of Usk Civic Society from 1973 until he died in 2010.

When Mr van Moyland announced plans to sell the items in April 2012 a High Court action to block the sale was brought against the estate by the late Arthur Somerset, another nephew of Lord Raglan. A spokesperson for Christie’s said that the original auction was postponed pending resolution of the claim which was dismissed in December 2013.

A statement from Mr van Moyland's lawyers last week said: "Like his uncle, Mr van Moyland cares deeply about Cefntilla and securing its long-term future. In the circumstances, and with regret, Mr van Moyland had little option but to sell certain items from the collection in order to help raise funds towards the million pounds required to carry out the immediate repairs to the house and more for the much-needed modernisation. He is sure that in his position his uncle Fitzroy would have made the same decisions."

Comments (3)

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11:19am Thu 29 May 14

I-mac says...

Surely it would have made more sense to sell the dilapidated pile and keep the collection together! It is the collection which tells the historical stories rather than the house. More British history is lost. Shame.
Surely it would have made more sense to sell the dilapidated pile and keep the collection together! It is the collection which tells the historical stories rather than the house. More British history is lost. Shame. I-mac
  • Score: 0

11:27am Thu 29 May 14

I-mac says...

National Lottery funding might have been used to secure these items for the Nation- instead grants are given out to community centres in less salubrious areas and also to newcomers. Real British history, local and national, is being eroded. I have seen this with my own eyes in Newport and, at the hands of NCC- Bob Bowler and the Conservation gang are like a chocolate teapot. For example, allowing upvc windows to be installed in a conservation area and for allowing people to get away with cultural vandalism at the site of The Lawns in Kensington Place. Notice the resident MP didn't actively help. The true racists and fascists are the ones who do not respect British culture, custom and architecture. In this case, KP is one of only two streets in the locale with such unique architecture. In Bath, Cheltenham et al they would be protected- but not in Newport.
National Lottery funding might have been used to secure these items for the Nation- instead grants are given out to community centres in less salubrious areas and also to newcomers. Real British history, local and national, is being eroded. I have seen this with my own eyes in Newport and, at the hands of NCC- Bob Bowler and the Conservation gang are like a chocolate teapot. For example, allowing upvc windows to be installed in a conservation area and for allowing people to get away with cultural vandalism at the site of The Lawns in Kensington Place. Notice the resident MP didn't actively help. The true racists and fascists are the ones who do not respect British culture, custom and architecture. In this case, KP is one of only two streets in the locale with such unique architecture. In Bath, Cheltenham et al they would be protected- but not in Newport. I-mac
  • Score: 2

12:22pm Thu 29 May 14

Cpt Nolan says...

Shame on you sir to speak untruths of a dead man!
"Like his uncle, Mr van Moyland cares deeply about Cefntilla and securing its long-term future. In the circumstances, and with regret, Mr van Moyland had little option but to sell certain items from the collection in order to help raise funds towards the million pounds required to carry out the immediate repairs to the house and more for the much-needed modernisation. He is sure that in his position his uncle Fitzroy would have made the same decisions."
What about the Bugatties belonging to the estate that Mr van Moyland sold for £1.3m http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-wales-south
-east-wales-12370159

By all reckoning, that should leave an Moyland now with £2.3 in his pocket!
Shame on you sir to speak untruths of a dead man! "Like his uncle, Mr van Moyland cares deeply about Cefntilla and securing its long-term future. In the circumstances, and with regret, Mr van Moyland had little option but to sell certain items from the collection in order to help raise funds towards the million pounds required to carry out the immediate repairs to the house and more for the much-needed modernisation. He is sure that in his position his uncle Fitzroy would have made the same decisions." What about the Bugatties belonging to the estate that Mr van Moyland sold for £1.3m http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-wales-south -east-wales-12370159 By all reckoning, that should leave an Moyland now with £2.3 in his pocket! Cpt Nolan
  • Score: 1

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