An antiques dealer has bought a 12-metre oak counter from a former city bank – to save it from a “fate worse than death.”
Brian Beck, who owns European Fine Arts and Antiques, bought the golden oak counter from the Midland Bank in Preston’s Fishergate. The bank is set to become a Sainsbury’s supermarket.
Now the Victorian masterpiece is being stored at the Cannon Street shop, and may become a kitchen in a villa in Marbella.
He said: “It was made by Gillows of Lancaster – you can’t get better.
“Everybody who has seen it admires it. It goes back to late Victorian times, and it’s just a lovely piece.
“I knew the workmanship – I have Gillows furniture.
“It will have been made early 19th century, or mid 19th century for when the bank opened.”
Brian said he was shown the counter in one of the bank vaults, while work was been carried out in the listed building.
He then decided to buy it for an undisclosed fee, and it is currently on display in his shop.
He said: “I’m building a villa in Marbella and I would like to put it in there, either as a big island or even as the kitchen.
“You could put anything you like on it – it would make a super kitchen or island.
“It would be sacrilege to see it be put away somewhere and lost forever or be put into storage and it meaning nothing, and as a Prestonian it means a lot to me.
“I’ve saved a piece of history from a fate worse than death - who knows what would have happened.”
The counter is split into nine pieces, and Brian said he could have it transported to his new villa, or would consider selling it, “as long as the right person got it.”
He added: “It would last the life time of anybody’s home – you would expect something like that in the royal household.”