POSTCARDS estimated to rack up a sale price of only £80 went for a staggering £3,500 in an auction of the contents from Faringdon House.

Yesterday’s sale offered bidders a chance to own books, wine and a chandelier from the home of the late Lord Berners and his companion, Robert Heber-Percy.

Oxford Mail:

Lot 266 was a collection of photographs of the 388-acre estate and postcards addressed to the peer, dating back to 1943.

The lot was estimated to go for between £40 and £80, but went for a whopping £3,500.

One postcard included in the bundle was addressed from Holloway Prison and sent by Diana Mosley, one of six notorious 'Mitford Sisters', during her incarceration there.

Another lot which overshot its estimate was an unopened 1945 bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild, expected to fetch up to £200 but selling for £3,800.

A Victorian chandelier which hung in the porch of the stately home reached a total of £2,500.

Oxford Mail:

At the centre of Lord Berners’s glittering social circle, Faringdon House boasted visits from some of the most influential figures of the 1920s and 1930s.

Guests included household names like HG Wells, author of War of the Worlds, and the artist Salvador Dali.

Mr Heber-Percy, dubbed ‘Mad Boy’, went on to inherit the Faringdon estate upon Lord Berners’s death in 1950, and it was later left to his granddaughter, Sofka Zinovieff, a writer.

She sold the house earlier this year for £11m, to local people who now plan to restore and live in the property.

One of the most sought-after treasures in the sale was Lot 759: the bed from the ‘red bedroom’ which was famously quoted by Nancy Mitford in Ms Zinovieff’s book The Mad Boy, Lord Berners, My Grandmother and Me.

She wrote: “In wartime London, the place I longed to be in the most intensely was the red bedroom at Faringdon.”

The bed, which had been estimated to sell for between £400 and £600, made £2,600.

See the full results online at