Turkish cavalry swords and a first edition of Ian Fleming’s The Spy Who Loved Me, are among 325 lots to be sold at a forthcoming sale near Kelso.
The 19th-century Eden Hall, east of Kelso, is currently in the process of being sold after being marketed for £990,000.
For more than 18 years it has been the home of internationally-renowned dressage expert, horse trainer and author, Sylvia Loch.
However, following the death of her second husband – leading environmental lawyer Richard Hawkins – last summer, the former Lady Loch has decided to downsize and move to Suffolk to be near her daughter and family.
But before she can leave, she has to dispose of much of the contents of the seven-bedroom Eden Hall, which, with its 26 acres and stables, she had turned into a world-class riding school that attracted people from around the world.
As well as the aforementioned lots, the auction to be held on Saturday, March 7, at Eden Hall itself, will also include furniture, paintings, glassware, wine, garden furniture and many items to do with equestrianism.
“It will be terribly sad to leave, but it’s far too big a place now for me to be rattling about in by myself,” said Sylvia, whose first husband was the late 3rd Baron Loch of Drylaw, a former cavalry instructor, whom she met in Portugal while in her 20s and who introduced her to the art of classical horsemanship.
“It’s a big place and a lot of responsibility. But it’s been really lovely being based here and bringing people from around the world to ride with me and introduce them to the beautiful Borders.
“It’s also the place where I have written all of my books – something about sitting gazing out over the Tweed has just inspired me.”
The auction will be conducted by well-known firm Railtons, and Lady Loch is hoping it will attract a good crowd.
“There’s lots of fascinating items, including memorabilia associated with the historic Loch family, such as the Turkish swords that a Loch ancestor brought back as war booty from the Crimean War.”
Auctioneer Jim Railton has spent two weeks cataloguing items at Eden Hall and told us: “It doesn’t often occur that you get country house sales where you can view the items in their original setting, so it’s always exciting when they do happen.”
There will also be a bric-a-brac sale at the same time, in aid of the dog rescue run by Sylvia’s daughter, and the proceeds from the vintage clothing sold at the auction will go to local churches.