Magnificent canons’ stalls from Leicester Cathedral – removed to make way for Richard III’s tomb – are coming up for auction.
The giant oak stalls, which stand around 12ft high, were designed in 1927 by Sir Charles Nicholson, 2nd Baronet, a renowned English church architect who worked on more than 50 churches, chapels and cathedrals in his lifetime.
The jaw-dropping Gothic revival stalls will be sold on Saturday, February 17, at Hansons Auctioneers, in Etwall, near Derby, with an estimate of £2,000-£4,000 – but could go for much more.
Hansons’ furniture valuer Edward Rycroft said: “I understand the oak stalls were removed with all proper process using the Cathedral Disposals Policy.
“This all happened as part of works to undertake the first stage of the re-ordering of Leicester Cathedral in 2014, including the creation of space for the tomb of King Richard III.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own something with incredible provenance and history. The oak stalls are exceptional. They have never come up for auction before and may never do so again.”
The stalls are being sold by retired Leicester man Cyril Naylor, who loves church architecture and has been a keen collector of church-related items for several years.
He said: “They took these stalls out to make way for Richard III’s tomb and, as soon as I heard that was happening, I got in touch with Leicester Cathedral and put in a bid for them.
“I have had them for 18 months and kept them in storage. Now the time’s right to part with them.”
The set of 20th century canons’ stalls include one with a raised plaque inscribed 'To The Glory of God' and dated 1927.
Mr Rycroft said: “Each stall is finely hand crafted from English oak and the cornice section on each stall is beautifully carved and pierced with scrolled foliage decoration.
“The panelled backs are applied with Gothic tracery and are inscribed with those who held each seat in the cathedral. This includes the 'Archdeacon of Leicester,' the 'Archdeacon of Loughborough' , 'Walter De Langton, Bishop' and 'The Provost'.
Richard III’s remains were discovered within the site of Leicester’s former Greyfriars Friary Church in 2012. Following extensive genetic testing, his remains were reinterred at Leicester Cathedral on March 26, 2015.
The stalls, lot 2282, will be sold at Hansons Auctioneers, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, DE65 6LS, on Saturday, February 17. The auction starts at 10am. Bids can be made online at www.the-saleroom.com or in advance by emailing [email protected]