When most of us decide to part with extra stuff around the house for a little extra cash, we turn to the local second-hand shop, flea market, or garage sale. But if you're the family of the Earl of Carlisle and your house is Castle Howard, you turn to Sotheby's auction house.
As we've noted before here on the blog, maintaining an enormous English country house in the 21st century is an equally enormous challenge. No matter how beautiful the house may be or how rich in history: age, deferred maintenance, and the taxman will take their toll, requiring the noble families to turn to creative ways to make certain the houses survive. (See here for more about Ugbrooke Park, home of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh; St. Giles House, home of the Earl of Shaftsbury, and Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey), home of the Earl of Carnovan.)
Earlier this year, the Howard family sold nine of their family treasures at auction. No flyers on telephone poles for them - instead Sotheby's created this elegant video that offers a quick yet breathtaking tour of Castle Howard along with highlighting the pieces in the sale. Fans of the 80s version of Brideshead Revision (which was filmed at Castle Howard) will recognize the unmistakable voice of actor Jeremy Irons as the narrator.
If you'd like to read more about the Castle Howard and the famous family who has lived there, here's the post on the Sotheby's website. And if you're curious to learn the results of the sale, here's the overview, including the prices realized.