Northern Ireland news

Antique furniture worth millions owned by Lord Ballyedmond to go under hammer

Lord Ballyedmond died in a helicopter crash in March 2014

AN extensive collection of antique furniture owned by Lord Ballyedmond is to be sold at auction today - with estimates it could fetch more than £3 million.

The 'Ballyedmond Collection' contains more than 300 lots from the late Co Down multi-millionaire's luxurious home in London's Belgrave Square.

A Conservative peer and leading industrialist, Lord Ballyedmond - formerly Dr Edward Haughey - was Northern Ireland's richest man when he died in a helicopter crash in March 2014.

The helicopter came down shortly after take-off in foggy conditions near an estate he owned in Gillingham, Norfolk.

The 70-year-old, who founded Norbrook Laboratories and also lived at Ballyedmond Castle in Co Down, had an estimated wealth in excess of £800 million.

Antique furniture from his London home is being sold by his wife Lady Mary Ballyedmond and will go under the hammer at Sotheby's today and tomorrow.

He redesigned the run-down London property after buying it in 2006 and transformed it into an extravagant residence in which he wined and dined heads of state and negotiated business deals.

Inspired by the French salons of the 18th century European enlightenment period, among the items being auctioned is a Louis XVI-style gilt-bronze and Sévres-style porcelain mantel clock dating back to 1880 and valued at £20-30,000.

A pair of George IV armchairs from 1830 are valued at up to £7,000, and a Victorian cut glass 36-light chandelier also has a price tag of £20-30,000.

In its catalogue, Sotheby's in London described the Ballyedmond Collection as "typically extraordinary".

"Typical for an extraordinary man who accepted no boundaries in business, politics, art and friendship," it states.

"The collection presented here was the fruit of selective and judicious buying on a massive scale, both at auction and from dealers, with a rare attention to detail."

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