The Guthrie Castle
Remembrances of the sale at Guthrie Castle
What ended up happening was we actually did get enough money and commitments, FOGC made an offer that would be paid over time.
The seller decided that they would not accept payments over a ten year period of time which, with the tax structure in Scotland, would have been most beneficial to the seller. They would ONLY accept a slightly smaller amount paid now with cash up front.
In late 1982 we learned that Christie’s would be handling an auction of the “Property of Mrs. David Guthrie” including: pictures, furniture, objects of art, silver, books, carpets, ceramics, arms and armour, furnishings, and outside effects. The auction was to be held at the castle on May 9 and 10 of 1983. So, what the FOGC Board of Directors did at that point was to convert the FOGC focus to acquiring Guthrie historical artifacts . We decided to go to Scotland as a team and bid on items at the Christie’s auction. We gathered a few very interested, dedicated people that were members of Friends of Guthrie Castle. They hopped on a plane — and serving as representatives of FOGC — attended the Christie’s sale. I believe that there were 17 in our group, led by William N. Guthrie of Winnetka, IL. The team consisted of Lou Guthrie, Maryon Guthrie Noble (whose knowledge and experience at auctions was invaluable), Brian G. Wink, Norman and Florence Guthrie Glime, Glennys Guthrie Gehring, Dr. Thomas Guthrie, Jean Guthrie, and a few more.
Christie’s came up from London, ran an inventory, took photographs of all the items, built-out a catalog, and produced Lot Numbers on the catalog items. In those catalogs were photos and descriptions that the FOGC members sat down in the Royal Hotel in Forfar and, over drinks, decided what we were going to bid on for Friends of Guthrie Castle given the amount of money that we had. Then, we began identifying which items might have value for the sake of Guthrie heritage (not just for things to have that were old). We tried to make those items the key focal point.