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400-year-old preserved alligator on sale for just over $300

The alligator was purchased by two brothers who fled religious persecution to America in the 1650s.

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The taxidermied alligator believed to date back to the 1600's. (Chilcotts Auctioneers / In The Right Order via SWNS)

By Ed Cullinane via SWNS

A 400-year-old alligator preserved through taxidermy is among items being sold from a historic country estate - for just £300 ($365).

Nicknamed the "sand snapper" by auctioneers, the alligator is part of a family collection owned by the Huyshe family at their home near Honiton, Devon, England.

The family occupied the home for over 450 years, with the alligator itself being purchased by two brothers who fled religious persecution to colonial America in the 1650s.

Chilcotts Auctioneers revealed the extraordinary item will go up for sale on July 16 alongside a host of items lifted from an ancient family home.

This includes a series of family portraits and a finely carved oak sideboard built using materials from an over-mantle itself created in 1594.

The £1,500 ($1,826)-2,000 sideboard features finely carved oak figures wearing the finest fashions of the 16th-17th centuries and a centerpiece of the Royal Stuart coat of arms.

The finely carved oak sideboard built using materials from an over-mantle itself created in 1594. (Chilcotts Auctioneers / In The Right Order via SWNS)
The finely carved oak sideboard built using materials from an over-mantle itself created in 1594. (Chilcotts Auctioneers / In The Right Order via SWNS)

Auctioneer, Duncan Chilcott said: “It’s the first time that any of these items have left the house in many decades, if not centuries.

"It’s been fascinating peering into their history; they don’t all fit neatly into categories of antiques that we’re familiar with - especially not a certain reptile."

The items will be auctioned at Chilcotts’ Dolphin Saleroom in Honiton.

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