AN incredible haul of 17th century antiques has been discovered in a house near Burton.
A routine inspection of a property in Yoxall following the death of its owner threw up a remarkable array of items all dating back to the 1600s.
Even more bizarre was the way in which the rooms were laid out with the house almost entirely made up of thousands of pounds worth of furniture, the like of which would have decorated the homes of William Shakespeare and Oliver Cromwell.
The haul included four-poster beds, cupboards and drawers as well as tapestries and paintings, with the couple who owned the house said to have amassed the collection over many years.
Antiques expert Charles Hanson said the collection was one of the most impressive he had ever seen.
He said: “On entering the house it was like going back in time to the period of Shakespeare. Every item of antique furnishing dated back to the 17th century.
“From oak coffers to oak press cupboards and fourteen longcase clocks, you really felt you were back in a period when Charles I was King of England. The property really had the feel of a time capsule.
“They put together a collection of the finest 17th century furniture and furnishings I have seen in my career to date.
“The quantity and quality of such market fresh furniture will create international interest.”
The collection is to be auctioned off from Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall and it is thought the items will be particularly sought after by collectors due to their relative rarity, with a lot of the type of furniture lost during the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Top of the most wanted list is expected to be a four-poster bed dating back to 1620, worth up to £1,500 and an oak and fruitwood dining table from 1630.
Mr Hanson added: “My particular favourite must be the painting of the two young Sussex gentlemen which dates to around 1670. This painting is estimated to fetch up to £5,000.”