News & Insights

Curious Treasures from the Country House Sale

4th September 2018.

The Country House Sale at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn is always packed full of furniture, art and antiques – which would all be at home in an English Country House. However, if you look closely, you can also find curious, arcane items from around the world that have been tucked away in private collections.

The two-day Country House Sale, taking place on the 21st and 22nd September, is no exception, with some fascinating objects up for grabs, including a steel and ebony dentist’s tooth key, a Zulu hair comb, a 19th century brass dog collar and an 18th century ‘teetotum’ – a 32-sided gambling ball.


Expected to attract great interest is a rare Irish pitch pine saddle horse, made by Musgrave & Co of Belfast in the late 19th century (estimate: £800-1,200 plus buyer’s premium). Made for cleaning, storing and repairing tack by the ironworking firm of Musgrave & Co Ltd. Founded in 1843, the family business grew from their beginnings as hardware merchants to manufacturers of their own heating stoves and patented stable and cow-house fittings.  From 1890-1914 the trade in stable fittings flourished, with agents and showrooms throughout Europe and the Americas.  They were commissioned to outfit stables for the likes of the King of Spain and the cattle barons of South America.  As the motor car replaced the horse, Musgrave & Co moved away from stable fittings to concentrate on structural heating and fan engineering.


The sale also includes good private collections, including an extensive Collection of Staffordshire Figures, a Collection of Card Cases and Part One of a Private Collection of Fans. Dating from 1720-1820, 100 fans from the 400-strong collection will be up for sale, including fans with rare biblical and mythological subjects.


Other fascinating items include a 1920s French Pyjama Case, in the shape of a seated dog, a 19th century wooden coffee grinder, a pair of bronze bookends modelled as Darwin’s Monkeys, and a charming early 20th century carved and painted Noah’s Ark set.


All 1400+ lots will be open for viewing to the public on Wednesday 19th September 10am to 4pm, and on Thursday 20th September 9am to 6pm as well as on the morning of the sale.


A fully illustrated catalogue for the Country House Sale will be available on our website leading up to the sale at alternatively, please contact the salerooms for further details.



An early 19th century Irish Saddle Horse by Musgrave & Co. Ltd – Estimate: £800-1,200

An early 20th century carved Noah’s Ark Set – Estimate: £400-600

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