Britain’s Earl Spencer has sold £21.1 million worth of furnishings to fund repairs to his stately home.

The earl – who is the brother of Britain’s late Princess Diana – reportedly has a £10 million bill to pay for a new roof on Althorp, the family home in Northampton, so was forced to get rid of many artefacts, including a £9 million painting, to raise the funds. – Earl Spencer’s Auction

1820 part dessert service, Althorp Attic Sale, Christie's

Lot Description
Painted in the Sèvres-style with bouquets and insects within flower and scroll cartouches and gilt and blue feuilles-de-choux borders, comprising:
A footed comport
A circular sauce tureen, cover and stand
Three shaped-square dishes
Two large circular dishes
A medium sized circular dish
Six small dishes
Four oval dishes
Ten plates

The items truly represented an attic sale, for many, such as the riding boots, butler’s trays, kitchen copper jelly moulds and old uniforms, did not seem to come from the first rank of the Earl’s possessions, except for the Rubens masterpiece, (second highest price for a Rubens at auction) and the King David painting by Guercino (highest price for this artist at auction.) Significantly, a number of Spencer carriages were up for auction as well. They more than doubled pre-sale expectations