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More than $1 Million Paid for Eccentric’s Antiques

October 23, 1989

CHELTENHAM, England (AP) _ The auction of the lifetime hoard of an eccentric antiques collector brought nearly $1.2 million on the first of six days Monday.

Ronald Summerfield collected more than 10,000 items of china, glass, ceramics, clocks, jewelry, furniture, books, prints and paintings.

When he died last spring at age 73, his three-story house in Cheltenham, western England, was so crammed with treasures that an ambulance crew lowered his body through an upstairs window with a winch rather than trying to get it down the cluttered stairs.

Christie’s said the jewelry, silverware, portrait miniatures, furniture and decorative art objects laid out Monday at the Cheltenham racecourse drew bids from about 300 people and brought in almost $1.2 million.

About 1,300 of the 4,000 lots were sold Monday and the top price of $17,600 was paid for a regency table, the auction house said.

The auction continues Tuesday with objects d’art, barometers and ceramics. The total is expected to surpass the pre-sale estimate of $3 million.

Just before his death, Summerfield created a trust to give most of his fortune to arts charities.

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