Aynhoe Park is auctioning off its eccentric collection of art, furniture and curiosities in January 2021

The owners of Aynhoe Park, the stunning Cotswolds stately home and celebrity wedding venue, are auctioning off its iconic contents in January 2021 - with a genuine dinosaur skull, unicorn sculpture and Insta-famous ‘flying giraffe’ all going under the hammer.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published

Aynhoe Park owners, James and Sophie Perkins, are auctioning off the entire collection of weird and wonderful treasures inside their world-famous Cotswold stately house – including iconic, and regularly Instagrammed, sculptures and original artworks by James Perkins himself.

If lockdown has got you searching for interior inspiration, take a look through the dramatic contents of Aynhoe Park in nearby Oxfordshire, with everything going under the hammer in what must be one of the most glamorous house clearance sales ever witnessed.

Being organised by auctioneers Dreweatts, the three-day sale entitled ‘Aynhoe Park: The Celebration of a Modern Grand Tour’, is being held online on Wednesday 20 and Friday 22 January 2021.

It is described on Dreweatts’ website as ‘inside its grand and imposing walls, historic opulence and modern whimsy come together to create a place unlike any other country house in the world’. They are not kidding.

Some of the items available include Aynhoe Park’s instantly recognisable unicorn and giraffe floating on balloons; as well as art by Stik; furniture, which may have been owned by the Royal family; and a massive plaster cast of a section of the Porch of the Maidens.

Resembling the kind of decadence that wouldn’t be out of place in the life of an eccentric rock star, the 700 lots that make up Aynhoe Park’s contents go under the hammer at Dreweatts’ first ever virtual house sale.

Prices range from around £2,000 for a railway steamer trunk branded ‘First Class Orient Express London – Paris – Instanbul’ to the actual skull of a triceratops, which will set bidders back £180,000 to £250,000. With fees on top of any bids placed.

Deputy Chairman of Dreweatts, Will Richards, said: ‘Aynhoe Park really is an Aladdin’s cave of beautifully-chosen works, from the academic to the more eclectic and from the ancient to the contemporary.

‘Appropriately titled The Celebration of a Modern Grand Tour, (it) is the realisation of a lifetime’s passion and a contemporary take on a tradition that would have been originally reserved for the upper echelons of society… In line with James’, Sophie’s and Dreweatts’ pioneering spirit it may also be the first ever ‘virtual’ house sale!’

Anyone interested in placing a bid will need to register their interest with Dreweatts in advance.

By Andrew Merrell

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