Ian and Sharon Aitken

Ian Aitken and his wife Sharon.

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The 900-lot sale features items collected by Ian and his wife Sharon. The couple, pictured above, filled their three-bedroom cottage in Quarndon in Derbyshire with art and antiques that they acquired after marrying in 1988. The former William IV toll house even had a cellar filled with boxes of jewellery.

Bamfords said: “They were well-known faces in the antiques world at fairs and auctions and enjoyed linking their love of travel with their passion for collecting, often returning from around the country, especially favourites Scotland and Jersey, with bags of treasures.”

Sharon died in 2015 and Ian, a former soldier, chartered surveyor and auctioneer, died in November last year and had written in his will that his collection be auctioned by Bamfords.

Bamfords’ James Lewis said: “I first met Ian when I was 24 and he had just retired. He was very kind, generous with his knowledge and contacts, and always immaculately dressed.”

Bamfords had previously bought the Richardson & Linnell name and for this single owner sale the brass plaque from the firm will be attached to the rostrum and Lewis will use Ian’s gavel for the sale. He added: “It is an honour to sell his collection. This will probably be the last ever ‘Richardson & Linnell’ auction.”