Human remains and cinema seats go under hammer

PUBLISHED: 13:57 04 October 2012 | UPDATED: 22:00 20 February 2013

Human remains and cinema seats go under hammer

Human remains and cinema seats go under hammer

A macabre lot at Moore Allen & Innocent's next auction of antiques in the Cotswolds, on Friday, October 12, is a set of human remains

The Cirencester Salerooms
Burford Road,Cirencester,GL7 5RH
Tel:01285 646050
Fax:01285 652862

Human remains and
seats go
under hammer

Its almost Halloween and supermarket shelves are packed with decorations for a spooky costume party. But for those who want to add a bit of authenticity to their creepy celebrations, theres only one place to go.

For a macabre lot at Moore Allen & Innocents next auction of antiques in the Cotswolds is a set of human remains.

Dating from the early days of anatomical research, when bodies were regularly imported from abroad, at least some of the human remains were supplied by Millikin & Lawley of The Strand, London.

Both the pine box in which the bones are contained, along with one of the two human skulls, carries the stamp of the firm, which was established in 1815 to supply surgical instruments, microscopes and osteology devices to the medical profession.

The collection was, until recently, in the possession of a local doctor. It will be offered for sale with a guide price of 200 to 300.

Halloween as we know it today is inspired by the golden age of cinema. Boris Karloff as Frankensteins monster and The Mummy; Bela Lugosi as Dracula; Henry Hull in Werewolf of London: all probably played at Cirencesters Regal Cinema, which was erected in the 1930s and was one of two movie houses in the town.

The cinema showed its last film Calendar Girls on November 27, 2003, and was soon after demolished to make way for a housing development.

Now, almost a decade later, 30 of its original 200 Art Deco seats are being offered for auction.

Most of the seats which have cast iron legs and beech arms and backs upholstered in plush red velvet come in pairs, although a handful will be sold individually.

Some are in need of TLC, but many are in good, albeit faded, condition. Most have rear-mounted ashtrays, harking back to the days when smoking was permitted inside public buildings.

Auctioneers anticipate bids of around 20 to 30 a pair, as the cinema is remembered fondly by many Cirencester residents, despite the fact that it was named by the BBC's Watchdog programme then hosted by Cotswoldian Anne Robinson as one of the six worst cinemas in the country.

Faults listed by the consumer programme included films being delayed, screened upside down, projected out of focus, and breaking down in the middle. The presenter did concede, though, that despite cold and often wet inside it leaked when it rained the cinema had 'lots of character'.

The auction will be held from 10am on Friday, October 12 in Cirencester. For a full auction catalogue, log on to

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