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A unique collection of political letters from a turbulent period of British history is being auctioned after they were found by chance in an old filing cabinet.MORE >
A rare collection of historic political letters found in an old filing cabinet was sold for £600 at auction today.
The 44 letters, which were 130-years-old, were bought by a telephone bidder from the south-west of England during an antique sale at the Elgin Auction Centre in Elgin, Moray.
They had been written by leading Liberal Party politicians during a turbulent period of internal strife over the then Liberal Prime Minister William Gladstone’s stance on advancing Irish Home Rule.
The letters were found by chance by a 73-year-old pensioner in an old filing cabinet he had bought for £10.
They were bought today by an un-named male bidder in Somerset following some spirited bidding involving several interested parties. It is understood the successful buyer has family connections to one of the letter writers, Liberal statesman and MP John Bright, who was a leading opponent of Irish Home Rule.
Gordon Pirie, the manager of the Elgin Auction Centre, said: “We had a great deal of interest from all over the UK and abroad for these letters and I think that was fairly reflected in the price paid.”
The 73-year-old pensioner who originally uncovered the letters, said after the sale: “I am absolutely delighted by the price they fetched but more importantly I think it is lovely that they have been bought by someone who has a direct connection to them.”