A CHESS set that a Welsh lord wanted put on a bonfire has fetched more than £10,000 at auction – double its original guide price.
Butler James Baxter worked for Lord Mostyn at Mostyn Hall, Flintshire, in the 1880s.
During his time at the mansion he was given a cardboard box to dispose of full of what Lord Mostyn considered to be rubbish and found the chess set.
He was allowed to keep the set and it remained with the Baxter family.
It was discovered the set dated back to ivory carvers in Dieppe and was likely to have been made in the late 18th or early 19th centuries.
The sets were often carved to depict battles between the French and their colonial possessions, in this case the Moors, of North Africa.
Yesterday it sold for £10,625 at Christie’s in London.
The set had been given a guide price of between £3,000 and £5,000.
The money will now be split between the butler’s three great-grandchildren.
Christopher Baxter-Jones, 48, who was brought up in Caergwrle, near Wrexham, and now lives in Surrey, said: “The story has passed down through the family, how our great grandfather had prevented this splendid set being put on the bonfire.
“He had clearly felt it was something worth keeping.”