THOUSANDS of pounds are expected to be raised when the contents of the Haining mansion at Selkirk go under the auctioneer’s hammer later this month.
McTear’s auctioneers of Glasgow will sell 188 lots, comprising everything from furniture and paintings to garden sculpture and collectors’ items.
Among the lots bound to attract interest are a collection of 10 paintings by famous Selkirk watercolourist, Tom Scott.
They join a host of other artefacts all purchased for the grand home after it was bought by its late owner, lawyer Andrew Nimmo-Smith, in the 1950s.
As well as the more traditional auction items, the sale, which will take place in Glasgow on July 19, includes the more bizarre, such as a stuffed baby alligator, two giant clamshells and a marble bust of Napoleon.
The latter could prove one of the star lots with a pre-sale estimate of up to £5,000. The same kind of price is expected for an oil on paper of The Deposition, a religious scene, while two large clamshells are expected to make anything up to £350.
There are also almost 200 albums containing cigarette card collections, as well as a considerable number of model warships.
Mr Nimmo-Smith left the Haining to the local community on his death, at the age of 85, in 2009. He stated his A-listed historic home, which has its own loch and is set in 150 acres, was to be used for the “architectural, cultural or historical” benefit of the community.
The Palladian mansion dates back to the late 1800s, but there is existing documentation which records that the Haining estate itself dates from the 15th century and was a Scott stronghold.
While the house itself is now owned by the Haining Charitable Trust (HCT), the contents which are being auctioned do not and are being sold by the trustees of Mr Nimmo-Smith’s estate.
However, Susan Edington from the HCT, said that half of the money raised by the auction is being donated to the trust to help fund its work.
“We want to be able to do a history room, telling the stories of the main two families who have owned the house and estate, as well as the people who worked for them over the generations,” she told us.
“We are also hoping to install a kitchen, which would allow us to cater for small events such as weddings.”
Mrs Edington said the HCT was “thrilled” that McTear’s had agreed to promote the sale as a stand-alone event solely comprising the contents of The Haining.
“All the items in the auction catalogue have been photographed in situ at The Haining, which is wonderful.”
Mrs Edington also stressed that when Mr Nimmo-Smith bought the house in the 1950s, it was empty – none of the items in the auction have a link with The Haining older than that.
“If they had, and had been of more significant historical value, then we would have tried hard to retain them with the house – but that was not the case,” she said.