2 APRIL 2008

There was a chance for bidders to take home a piece of royal art history this week when furniture, decorative items and tapestries from palaces in what is now the Czech Republic were sold by the reigning prince of Liechtenstein.

The West European principality's Prince Hans Adam auctioned off the personal items after running out of space for the collection his family had spent five generations collecting. "There is just not enough room to either exhibit all those works of art in museums or to use them for decoration purposes in our private apartments," wrote the prince in a catalogue listing the 460 lots up for grabs at the Amsterdam branch of Christie's.

Items going under the hammer included a pair of 17th-century wooden globes made for the Dutch East India Company by famed Dutch cartographer Willem Janszoon Blaeu. They were snapped up by a Dutch collector for £620,000 - more than double the estimated price and a record-breaking amount for an art object sold in a Dutch auction.

Other lots included 300 18th-century dining chairs bearing a Liechtenstein insignia which may have been used when Holy Roman Emperors Joseph II and his brother Leopold II visited Feldsberg Castle near the Czech town of Valtice.

Photo: ©
Prince Hans Adans has sold a range of items from the family's private collection. After five generations collecting art, the family has apparently run out of space in which to store everything Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
Among items going under the hammer were 300 18th-century dining chairs Photo: © PPE Agency
Photo: ©
Also being auctioned were a pair of 17th-century wooden globes, which went to a Dutch collector for £620,000 Photo: © PPE Agency
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