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Since then, a few contents have returned to the house but many of its original furnishings remained unaccounted for.

The purchases included three lots of elaborately carved ’antiquarian’ furniture, a pair of 7ft 2in x 5ft (2.19 x 1.56m) carved oak buffets with lower sections decorated with birds and cherubs, which made £5000; a 17th century style oak side cupboard featuring a pair of panelled doors with mask ornaments, 5ft 6in x 2ft 7in (1.65 x 1.15m) which fetched £110 and a near pair of 17th century Italian carved walnut hall chairs, or sgabelli, featuring shaped backs with cherub head cresting, above an armorial device which sold at £1000.

The Trust also bid £1900 to secure a 17th century German carved giltwood tabernacle, 7ft 6in x 2ft 7in (1.95m x 78 cm) which had once been located in the Roman Catholic chapel at Oxburgh Hall.

The other purchases were two religious sculptures.

A 16th century Flemish carved and gilded wood, 15in (38cm), panel, depicting Christ in the Wilderness doubled the pre-sale estimate to fetch £3100.

The largest Trust purchase was the 23 x 19in (60 x 50cm) carved alabaster figural group, right, of a nativity scene. Depicting the Holy Family with the three magi and angels overhead, it was estimated at £1000-1500 but sold at £9000.