Cas­tle raid Re­ward of­fered as his­toric col­lec­tion snatched

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Phillip THOMP­SON phillip.thomp­[email protected]­plc.com

HIGHLY valu­able and his­tor­i­cally im­por­tant arte­facts have been stolen “un­der cover of dark­ness” from Sude­ley Cas­tle and now there’s a £10,000 re­ward for the items’ safe re­turn.

In the early hours of Sun­day morn­ing, four of­fend­ers forced their way into the ex­hi­bi­tion area of the stately home in Winch­combe, where they smashed a dis­play case and stole valu­able jew­ellery and arte­facts con­tained within.

CCTV images re­port­edly show the four of­fend­ers ap­proach the prop­erty with a chair, sledge­ham­mer and a large gar­den or builder’s bag.

Police said they made off in a 4x4 ve­hi­cle which was parked nearby.

Sude­ley Cas­tle’s owner Lady Ash­combe said: “We are all sad­dened to learn of this bur­glary. They were beau­ti­ful arte­facts on dis­play for ev­ery­one to en­joy and were very precious to me per­son­ally.”

De­tec­tives from Glouces­ter­shire police are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent and the cas­tle’s in­surer is pre­pared to of­fer the re­ward for the re­turn of the items. The of­fend­ers stole:

» A pre­sen­ta­tion gold box, Swiss, late 18th cen­tury, with a minia­ture of Ed­ward VII set in di­a­monds

» A pre­sen­ta­tion gold and enamel box with the Prince of Wales feath­ers set in di­a­monds

» A Cartier watch mono­grammed AK (Alice Kep­pel), 1910

» A Fabergé gold cig­a­rette case set with di­a­monds

» A Fabergé sil­ver caviar box and sil­ver­mounted vodka glasses, c1910

» A gold snuff­box, Paris 1783

» A sil­ver cig­a­rette case by Mar­shak, Kiev 1908

» A book of ex­tracts from Syd­ney Smith, given to Alice Kep­pel by King Ed­ward VII

De­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent Steve Bean said: “This bur­glary hap­pened un­der cover of dark­ness, but it is still pos­si­ble that some­one may have wit­nesses sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour at or near the prop­erty in the hours lead­ing up to it or af­ter­wards, and may be able to help us iden­tify the of­fend­ers.

“Clearly the stolen items are very dis­tinc­tive and have a great deal of his­tor­i­cal, as well as fi­nan­cial, value.

“They should be easy to iden­tify and if any­one is aware of them be­ing of­fered for sale I would urge them to re­port it to police as soon as pos­si­ble.”

The re­ward is be­ing of­fered strictly on the ba­sis that the en­tire col­lec­tion of items listed above is re­turned to Sude­ley Cas­tle and that all of the items in the col­lec­tion are re­turned in their orig­i­nal, un­dam­aged con­di­tion.

The in­surer of Sude­ley Cas­tle does, how­ever, re­serve the right to pay the re­ward if only part of the col­lec­tion is re­turned in an un­dam­aged con­di­tion, or where the en­tire col­lec­tion is re­turned but some of the items in the are dam­aged in any way.

Pay­ment of the re­ward in these cir­cum­stances is at the sole dis­cre­tion of Sude­ley Cas­tle’s in­surer which will be un­der no obli­ga­tion to pay the re­ward and whose de­ci­sion will be fi­nal. For all en­quiries re­lat­ing to the re­ward con­tact en­[email protected]­ley.org.uk

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the bur­glary has been asked to con­tact Glouces­ter­shire police on 101 quot­ing in­ci­dent 110 of Septem­ber 8.

Clearly the stolen items are very dis­tinc­tive and have a great deal of his­tor­i­cal, as well as fi­nan­cial, value

De­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent Steve Bean

The items stolen from Sude­ley Cas­tle were of his­toric and per­sonal value

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