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.

PRINCIPAL FLOOR

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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