Artwork raises millions for Castle Howard’s upkeep

Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, which has been owned by Howard family for more than 300 years.  Pic: James Hardisty (JH100389)
Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, which has been owned by Howard family for more than 300 years. Pic: James Hardisty (JH100389)
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ARTWORK FROM the collections of one of Britain’s grandest stately homes has fetched a total far exceeding expectations at an auction in London.

A group of nine works from Castle Howard in North Yorkshire sold for a combined total of £12.7 million, against original estimate of up to £10.8m, at Sotheby’s yesterday.

Reflecting both the history of the house and the tastes of the men who built and shaped its collections, the works span a range of periods and media, from Roman antiquities to Old Master paintings and 17th-century Italian furniture.

They were offered for sale on behalf of the Trustees of Castle Howard to raise money to finance the upkeep of the property.

Highlights of the sale included a portrait of King Henry VIII, from the studio of German artist Hans Holbein, which was sold for £965,000 and a monumental vase made for the palace of the Roman Emperor Nero, which fetched £1.1m.

The largest price was paid for Ferdinand Bol’s, ‘Portrait of a Boy, 1652’, which sold for £5.2m, way above its initial estimate of £2m-3m. The sale price was a new record for the artist who was one of Rembrandt’s favourite and most talented pupils.

Brothers, Nicholas and Simon Howard of Castle Howard, said: “Over the centuries, our family has had the extraordinary good fortune to be the custodians of many great treasures. We very much hope that those that were sold today will bring as much joy to their new owners as they have to us and to our ancestors. Their sale will help us to secure the future of Castle Howard as it moves into its fourth century.”