Art from Diana`s family homes to go on the block

London: Art, antiques, and even carriages owned by the aristocratic family of Diana, Princess of Wales, are being put on sale in a three days of auctions beginnning Tuesday.

The auctions feature items which once belonged at Althorp House, the Spencer family`s country estate in Northhamptonshire, and in Spencer House, their historic London home.

Althorp was where Diana`s grew up and became the site of her burial following her death in 1997 in a car crash in Paris. The estate is now occupied by Diana`s brother Earl Charles Spencer.

While none of the lots were purchased by Diana, many have been in her family for centuries — including a painting by Peter Paul Rubens, "Commander Being Armed for Battle," which sold for 9 million pounds ($13.7 million) at Christie`s Old Masters sale on Tuesday.

The portrait, which the Spencer family has owned since 1802, was painted in the early 17th century and depicts a bearded man, believed to be the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, being fitted with his armor.

A second painting, "King David" by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, sold for 5.2 million pounds ($7.9 million.)

A sale beginning the next day, the "Althorp Attic Sale," includes important 19th century carriages owned by the family — some with harnesses — as well as saddles, furniture, snuff and cigarette boxes, and military uniforms. A third sale, which starts Thursday, includes works of art and porcelain from Spencer House, which overlooks London`s Green Park.

Bureau Report