Chester plague carving 'exceeds' auction estimate

The carving next to the Chester house it's based on Image copyright Halls fine Art
Image caption The carving depicts a property, known as God's Providence House, in Chester

A 17th Century wooden carving, made in tribute to a house where the residents survived the plague, has sold at auction for £5,700.

The 1652 oak panel gave thanks to God for allowing the Chester family to survive, despite everyone else on the street dying.

It was estimated to sell for £800 to £1,200 at Halls Fine Art in Shrewsbury.

About 40% of Chester's 5,000 population was wiped out by the plague of 1647-1648.

'Huge interest'

The oak carving depicts the house at 9 Watergate Street and is inscribed with the words "God's providence is mine inheritance".

The original building was destroyed and the current house built in 1652, when the carving is thought to have been created.

The house was restored again in 1862 and now partly houses a coffee shop.

Image copyright Eirian Evans/Geograph
Image caption God's Providence House today houses a coffee shop

The carving's owner, Juliet Blackie, inherited it from her grandfather Robert Beswick, who was born in 1884 and was known to be an avid collector of historical artefacts.

Ms Blackie kept it above the fireplace of the family home, where it is thought to have remained for the past 100 years.

Halls Fine Art director Jeremy Lamond said there had been a "huge interest" in the plaque so was not surprised it had "exceeded its estimate so greatly".

More on this story