Britain's most expensive home sold - and now the contents are up for grabs

Gold-plated tissue boxes, anyone?

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Rutland Gate in London where a real life Aladdin's cave is up for auction - the entire £50 million contents of a Saudi prince's mega mansion which will sell for just a fraction of the price. See SWNS story SWAUCTION;  The lavish £300 million property was decked out by world renowned interior design company Alberto Pinto during an epic two-and-a-half year refurb in the 90s. But now the mystery owner - thought to be a rich Saudi royal - wants the place gutted and done again so is selling every single item in a huge auction. None of the 1,250 pieces have a reserve, meaning everything from £70,000 Merino chandeliers to £300,000 gold plated Jade-encrusted bath taps could go for a fiver.

What's probably the most expensive house in the country appears to have been sold, for a reported £280 million.

The mansion, at 2-8a Rutland Gate in Knightsbridge, has 60,000 square feet of living space, 45 bedrooms and a swimming pool in the basement.

It's been on the market since the death of its owner, Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, in 2012. And the buyer is believed to have knocked £20 million off the original £300 million asking price.

A living room

"We have received an offer of £280 million, and it is under consideration," Cedric Emmanuel of property agents Swiss Group confirmed to the Independent.

The buyer hasn't been named, although other sources tell the paper that there has been interest from another Saudi national, as well as from a Russian and the nearby Qatari embassy.

But the new owner, whoever they may be, is believed to be uninterested in the house's elaborate furniture and fittings, designed by interior designer and photographer, Alberto Pinto.

A living room

As a result, the contents - believed to have cost £50 million - are up for sale by auction this week. And with an expected total guide price of just £500,000, there are clearly some bargains to be had amongst the 1,200 lots - as long as your taste runs to gold-plated everything.

Up for grabs are everything from Persian carpets to gold-plated tissue boxes - some inlaid with Swarovski crystals - and gold-plated waste paper bins. There are sofas and armchairs by the score.

Even the bathroom fittings, including showers, bidets, vanity units and accessories, are for sale - some decorated with semiprecious stones including malachite and amethyst.

A chandelier

"Every piece in the Knightsbridge auction is unique and has been maintained to the highest specifications," says Mark Flynn, dorector of Pro Auction Limited, which is handling the sale.

"We are confident this sale will awaken the bidders' tastes, with available lots that simply cannot be purchased on the high street."

A gold tissue box

The auction is taking place today and tomorrow at Millennium Knightsbridge. The first of many pairs of gold-plated tissue boxes have already sold, for £360 the pair - hurry, while stocks last.

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