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Treasure 117: Estate Sale Catalogues
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Treasure 117: Estate Sale Catalogues

Historic Documents
Léa Moreau
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Treasure 117: Estate Sale Catalogues
Historic Documents
Treasure 117: Estate Sale Catalogues
On display is a collection of local estate sale catalogues. During the 20th century many large estates were sold and the pattern of land ownership in Scotland changed. The division of estates at the time of sale lead to an increase in the ownership of smaller areas. Economic depressions and increased taxation were among the reasons behind the break up and sale of estates, particularly the imposition of death duties, also known as inheritance tax.

The catalogues typically include the following information:

1) The location of the estate and area that it covered in acres
2) The details of the sale of the estate
3) A description of all the properties and other assets on the estate
4) Descriptions of sporting activities usually shooting and fishing taking place on the estate which could be rented out
5) A list of individual properties on the estate; the current tenants and the rents that were paid
6) A list of burdens - these were often financial responsibilities shouldered by the owner of an estate that were transferred to the buyer at the time of sale
7) Photographs of properties and sometimes individual rooms within the main country house on the estate
8) Maps of the estate showing the lots if the estate was to be sold in parts

These catalogues provide a fascinating resource for anyone interested in family or local history as they provide detailed information about individual estates and the people that lived and worked on them.

Learn more about these fascinating documents - including the catalogue relating to the mysterious Slains Castle - in the Treasures from our Collections interactive exhibition on the touchscreen.
Aberdeen Local Studies
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