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Introducing a Category: News & New Developments

News about Mr C’s legacy, and all related topics.


Apparently the descendants of Mr C are involved in a a rather embarassing lawsuit.

Old news, sort of, but perhaps still noteworthy to anybody who is interested in taking a visit to “Coleridge Country”.

For all I know, this home of the Barons Coleridge is not a place the poet even recognized as a family possession during his lifetime, though, but was acquired by his family after long after his death.



Peer sues Sotheby’s for its part in selling family heirloom at a TENTH of its £313,250 value meaning he couldn’t save his ancestral home

  • ‘Coleridge Collar’ was presented to Sir Edward Montagu by Henry VIII

UPDATED: 12:56 GMT, 8 February 2012

A peer is suing Sotheby’s auction house for valuing a family heirloom at £35,000 – two years before it sold for almost ten times that amount.

Lord Coleridge, a descendant of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, had long believed the gold chain dated back to Tudor times, but the London-based auction house said it was a more recent copy.

The family duly sold it for £35,000 as they needed funds to prevent the sale of their ancestral home – but were horrified when the chain later sold for £313,250 at Christie’s, who confirmed it was a genuine artefact.

Lord Coleridge later sold his ancestral home, the Chanter’s House in Devon, to the same man who bought the artefact.

Now Lord Coleridge, fifth Baron of Ottery St Mary in Devon, is suing Sotheby’s for an estimated £450,000 damages after accusing their valuer of being ‘careless’.

The former Guards officer said he would not have sold it privately for £35,000 but for the ‘snap judgment’ in 2006 of the Sotheby’s expert, who said it was from the late 17th century.

His counsel Joshua Munro told Judge Mark Pelling QC the collar heirloom was a gold chain worn by Lord Chief Justices down the years and dates back to the time of Henry VII.

He said as the only surviving Tudor chain of office it was ‘a marvellous and beautiful’ object and had probably been presented to Sir Edward Montagu, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, by Henry VIII.

Sotheby’s maintains its valuation was correct and that ‘reasonable care and skill was used’.

But in 2008 the rival auction house Christie’s sold it for £313,250.

Prior to the sale other dealers were offering as much as £650,000 for private sales.

Giving evidence at London’s High Court, old Etonian Lord Coleridge, 74, said of the collar: ‘I believed it was very valuable and thought it was worth at least £500,000.

‘It was always in the back of my mind that I might have to sell it but we had it for a rainy day.’

The collar came into the Coleridge family through the second baron and was passed down from father and son to the current fifth baron.

Mr Munro told the judge that a Sotheby’s expert was careless in not checking the gold content and investigating properly what the market would pay for the collar.

The hearing continues, and is expected to last five days, .

Pictures and non-related links omitted in this post; please check the original article at www.dailymail.co.uk.