Wiltshire

Madame Tussauds figures and five shops to be auctioned

Waxworks of Henry VIII and his wives from Yesterday's World, Great Yarmouth Image copyright Chippenham Auction Rooms
Image caption One lot will be that of Henry VIII and his wives

Madame Tussauds wax figures of King Henry VIII and Tom Thumb, a 14ft (4m) polar bear and five Victorian shops, are to be auctioned in Wiltshire.

The 1,100-lot sale is the entire contents of the Yesterday's World attraction in Great Yarmouth, which closed at the beginning of November.

Expected to fetch up to £300,000, the first lot is to go under the hammer at Chippenham Auction Rooms on Saturday.

Auctioneer Richard Edwards, said it was a "real cornucopia" of items.

Dedicated to the Victorian era and early 20th Century, the museum opened in 2007.

However, despite "substantial investment" in the attraction and efforts to sell it as a "going concern" they were forced to close, directors said.

Image copyright Chippenham Auction Rooms
Image copyright Chippenham Auction Rooms

The first sale on Saturday will see five complete heritage style shops, including an ironmongers and grocers, go under the hammer.

"We haven't seen anything like this come on to the market for many years - it's a huge job," said Mr Edwards.

"But our aim is to ensure that as many of the items as possible remain on public display somewhere or go to collectors or restorers who will really value them."

In the new year, a full-size Victorian carousel, a number of items owned by Queen Victoria and the waxworks will be among the 150,000 other "nostalgia exhibits" to go under the hammer.

"We've had stacks of interest, lots of interest from Australia and a big museum in the UK - which I can't name," said Tora Edwards, who also helps run the auction rooms.

"Waxworks are not something we've sold before but Henry VIII and all his wives will go as one lot. We're not going to divorce them," she added.

Image copyright Chippenham Auction Rooms

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