UPDATE: Royal scandal sells for £2,700

The royal party

The royal party - Credit: Archant

EVIDENCE of a royal scandal, hushed up for more than 100 years, has been sold by an auctioneer in Essex for £2,700.

The stuffed owl

The stuffed owl - Credit: Archant

Photographs and letters about a shooting incident involving the Prince of Wales in 1896, were offered for sale by Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers and made more than four times the original guide price.

A leather album entitled “The Wynyard Park Owl and HRH The Prince of Wales, 23 October 1896” records the visit of Edward, Prince to Wales to Wynyard Park in County Durham. He was part of a shooting party and during the visit it is claimed the Prince shot an owl.

The photographer at the event had the owl stuffed, but it’s thought the future King was so horrified by the potential disgrace of having shot an owl that the whole story was covered up.

Sworders’ managing director, Guy Schooling, said: “An item with such a colourful history always makes for an exciting auction.


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“It was certainly a unique item and there was a lot of interest both in the room, online and on the phone.

“We were delighted that the bidding reached £2,700; I wonder whether the story would have made so much at the time!”

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Another highlight of the auction was a collection of walking sticks which made more than £18,000. The 26 items included carved ivory walking sticks, one of which converted into a telescope and one featuring the carved head and family motto of Vice Admiral Charles Royds, who was First Lieutenant on the ship Discovery used by Scott on his 1901 voyage to the Antarctic.

In total the 24 lots made £18,456.

Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers in Stansted Mountfitchet is now taking entries for their Spring Country House Sale which will be held on May 14.

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