IT'S a Scottish castle fit for a princess with paintings, antique furnishings and silverware.
However, the new Saudi Arabian owner of Killochan Castle, near Girvan, South Ayrshire, doesn't want any of the property's contents – some of which date back to the 18th century.
So the former owner, steel tycoon Princess Viola von Hohenzollern, has decided to send the lot to auction. She expects to raise at least £500,000 from the sale by Bonhams in Edinburgh on November 7.
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Princess Viola – who has business interests in 16 countries, and is a relative of Kaiser Wilhelm II by marriage to the theologian and publisher Markus von Hänsel-Hohenhausen bought Killochan 15 years ago from Michael Knighton, the millionaire former owner of Carlisle United FC.
She sold the castle – which dates from the 14th century – in August this year to the unnamed Saudi businessman for more than £2.2 million.
Among the 250 lots going to auction is a painting titled Winter Shooting, Hares and Ptarmigan, by Victorian artist Richard Ansdell, which is expected to fetch £80,000. There are portraits of her husband's royal ancestors Charles II and William, Prince of Orange.
A pair of 19th-century Italian giltwood and painted settees are valued at £25,000 and 1710 gilded side table at £18,000.
A Queen Anne tapestry chair could sell for £12,000 and a Victorian silver presentation cradle – made in Greenock for JR Reid, Glasgow – estimated to sell for £4000. Among the quirkier items is the stuffed head of a Highland bullock, valued at £700.
Gordon McFarlan, of Bonhams, said: "I expect we'll get bids from four continents for this sale, as a lot of the furniture has a continental European character. Very often, a piece will go back to its original territory. We also expect keen interest from Russia."
He said he was surprised the new owner did not want the castle's contents. Mr McFarlan added: "The Saudi taste is quite elaborate and I would have expected he would go for exactly this sort of thing. It does seem unusual that someone would buy a huge empty shell. Perhaps we will see the new owner of Killochan at a future sale."
The Princess and her husband, whose daughter Olivia Hallman is a fashion model in New York, live in the Netherlands and also have a home in Singapore. They used Killochan – which has fishing rights and is close to some of the world's best golf links – as a holiday home.
Princess Viola said: "I have long had a love of Scotland and have visited the country since the 1980s. In 1997, I succumbed to the opportunity to purchase Killochan Castle. I was often struck by a sense of wonder that I was living in a house that has been continuously inhabited for the last 700 years.
"Some of the objects in the sale were acquired with the house and others were added by me. It is with reluctance that I have decided to leave Killochan but hope others will enjoy attending the sale."
In May, a sale at Stobhall Castle in Perthshire made more than £900,000. The contents of Hensol Castle, near Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway, will be sold next week.