SALE OF MANSIONHOUSE FURNITURE.
TUESDAY, 24th OCTOBER, 1961
Commencing at 11 a.m.
By Auction by Robt M'Tear & Co Ltd
On Tuesday the 24th October 1961 the contents of Craigends House were sold at
auction. All items being sold were exclusively from the estates of the late John
Charles Cuninghame(who died in 1917),his wife and widow Mrs Alison Cuninghame
(nee Pearson) and of his sister-in-law, Miss Helen Laura Pearson. The sale took
place on the instructions of the Trustees, per the family solicitors Holmes,
Mackillop & Co, who had offices in Johnstone and Glasgow.
The contents were on view to the public on Saturday, 21st October and on
Monday, the 23rd October from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Entry to the house was only
allowed on production of the Catalogue of sale, which was sold for one shilling.
Two people were allowed to view the contents prior to the event, however only one
person per Catalogue would be permitted to the sale itself.
The instructions on how to get to Craigends House are themselves a relic of the
past. The house was said to be situated 1.5 miles from Johnstone and 15 miles from
Glasgow. At this time the motorways were not yet built and motorists were
requested to travel from Glasgow via Paisley and Linwood on the A761. When they
arrived at the Merchiston roundabout they would travel along the Langbank Road
the B769 towards the Houston-Crosslee Station (which has since long gone also),
then as we know the road turns a sharp left and then first right towards the House
itself. They were advised that the walls of the estate would appear on the left hand side
approximately 500 yards along the road and the arched entrance a further 500 yards
along. These walls still exist although the arched entrance is also a memory, as are
the horse chestnut tree's which were just beyond them. The books in the library were
not for sale.
The sale catalogue gives us an idea of the size of the house. Lot number 1 took
place on the Principal Floor in the Dining Room. Lot 1 consisted of an Old Turkish
brass and enamel coffee set, with figure decoration in colours, comprising:- Baluster
pot; 4 cups; and 7 inch Starshaped tray. Among the items sold in this room was the fine Victorian
Spanish mahogany telescope dining table which with it's rounded end and seven
spare leaves extending to 15 feet by 4 feet 10 inches and a fine French massive ormolu clock set, comprising
Scroll shaped clock, with enamelled chapters, phrases of the moon and days of the
week apertures, by Deniere, Paris,with surmount Father Time, on a black marble base standing 34" high.
The sale moved onto the Main Hall,the Main Staircase (between the Main Hall and Front Door),the Drawing Room,
the Conservatory (off the Drawing Room),the Library,the Boudoir,the corridor (at the Boudoir and Drawing Room)
,the Small Dining Room,Sitting Room,Morning Room,Business Room, Corridor (from Boudoir to Business Room)before
moving to the main bedroom floor.
MAIN BEDROOM FLOOR
Lot number 322 was the first on this floor, in the Store Room and comprised of an old scriptural engraving, in gilt frame; and a pair
Of colour prints in Empire gilt frames. The sale moved onto the Bedroom number 1 where two lots were of watercolours.
Lot 376 a pair of Flower-pieces, each 13" X 20"m by A. Murray; Flower-piece, with lily pond, 13" X 19", by Julian
Stirrat; and Continental terrace, 17" X 11.5", by Ella du Cane. Lot 376 comprised of a pair of river scenes. each
19.5" X 29", and companion picture. 14" X 21", by R.Talbot Kelly; and a Coast scene, 10" X 14", by J.C. Rogers. The sale
then moved onto Bedroom number 2,Bedroom number 3,Bedroom number 4, the Landing (beyond Bedroom No.4), the Bathroom where lot number
444 would be a 3' Mahogany writing table, with long drawer; 2'Velvet-covered ebonised clover shaped gypsy table; 2 stained chairs, with rush
seat and Victorian mahogany bar back chair!!. Lots 445 thru 469 were in Bedroom number 5, the last lot being another watercolour of
Lake Como in gilt slip, a water colour of Sailing boats in a silver frame and a small framed water colour of Loch Ericht. Next in line was
the Bathroom (off Bedroom No.5, the housemaids pantry (Lot 472 was an electric Hoover vacuum cleaner model 612), Dressing Room No. 1 (between
Bedroom's 5 and 6), Bedroom Number 6 where lot 485 was a Queen Anne design bedstead, Dressing Room No.2, Bathroom facing Dressing Room No. 1,
Before finally ending in the landing and corridors at Lot 529 which was 6 old framed engraving to be found on the back stair case.
Many of the items for sale were listed as defective or damaged. Similarly many items were fairly modern
and much of the furniture was no later than 19th century or reproduction. I am hoping to get round to reproduce the catolague of sale
at some point.
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