Auctioneers on a routine house inspection were shocked when they discovered antique items in a married couple’s home that had them stepping back to the 17th century.
Furnishings including four-poster beds, tapestries, longcase clocks and bible boxes had been collected by the husband and wife whose home was almost entirely filled with pieces from Shakespearean times.
The hoard of treasures was discovered by Charles Hanson auctioneers at the property near Lichfield in Staffordshire.
The woman who lived in the house outlived her husband, auctioneer Mr Hanson said, but they had spent many years acquiring their pieces together.
“They put together a collection of the finest 17th century oak furniture and furnishings I have seen in my career,” he said.
“The collection felt as though one was wandering around a home in care of the National Trust or English Heritage.
“The quantity and quality of such furniture will create international interest and will also appeal to collectors who wish to acquire a piece of history from a romantic and turbulent period.”
Approximately 180 lots will auctioned on 12 January.