A duplex in a London building that was once home to Howard Carter, an archaeologist and discoverer of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, hit the market earlier this month with an asking price of £9.75 million ($13.07 million).
Right next to the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal College of Music in the English capital’s tony Kensington district—known for its Victorian buildings, embassies and museums—the Grade II- listed building, Albert Court, was one of London’s first purpose-built mansion blocks, according to a news release Wednesday.
Construction began on the building in 1890, but in 1892 with only four floors built, the project ground to a halt, the news release said. Construction resumed in 1894, and was reportedly completed between 1896 and 1900, with the lowest four levels boasting higher ceilings, more expensive detailing and larger floor plans than those above.
The five-bedroom duplex, which listed two weeks ago, is on the first and second floors of the building. Originally two separate units, the combined apartment now spans more than 4,340 square feet and has high ceilings, chandeliers, a double reception room and adjoining kitchen, a study and a balcony overlooking the Royal College of Music.
It is not clear who is selling the apartment, or how much they purchased the property for.
“The building is absolutely brimming with history; not only has it housed many famous residents over the years, but it has also been used as a film set and as an RAF base during WWII,” said Leo Russell, head of flat sales at Russell Simpson, the brokerage handling the sale. “The ceiling heights, grand proportions and exquisite interiors are reminiscent of a time gone by and we expect it to attract a lot of attention”.
The building was used as part of the set for a remake of “The 39 Steps,” the classic 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film, said a representative for Russell Simpson who declined to mention any other famed residents of the building by name.
Howard Carter, likely Albert Court’s most illustrious resident, was born and raised in Kensington. In 1922, after being hired years earlier by English aristocrat Lord Carnarvon to lead an excavation of Egyptian nobles’ tombs, Carter uncovered the sarcophagus of King Tutankhamun in a secret chamber, which until then, had been undisturbed for over 3,000 years. The discovery has been called the “archaeological triumph of the 20th century,” by the Daily Telegraph.
Upon his return from Egypt, Carter retired from archaeology and lived in his apartment, No. 49 Albert Court, until his death in 1939 at the age of 64, according to the news release.
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