A VALUABLE antique has been stolen from Burghley House.
The Victorian letterbox was taken fearly last month.
It had been on display for more than 20 years before it was discovered missing on July 8 but police only revealed details on Wednesday this week.
The 19in box dates from about 1850 and has an octagonal design with moulded top. It features an intaglio impression of a Marquess’ coronet, a type of small crown.
Intaglio is a method of printing on copper or zinc plates.
The box was bought by the 2nd Marquess of Exeter for use by the household and has been part of the collection for almost 200 years.
Police are appealing for any information relating to the theft.
A police spokesman said: “This is a very distinctive antique and I would appeal to anyone who is offered it to contact police.”
House director Miranda Rock said: “The loss of this lovely letterbox is very distressing.
“It has huge historic value as part of the treasured collections at Burghley House.”
The value of the letterbox has nbot been revealed.
The Burghley collection has been added to by all the descendents of the Lord High Treasurer since the house was built in the 1500s.
It now contains an exhibition of 17th century Italian masterpieces, a collection of Oriental and European ceramics, fine furniture, textiles and works of art.