A 3,000-year-old Egyptian statue is among six items that liquidators for the now-defunct holiday firm Thomas Cook are hoping to sell to a museum.
The statue, which depicts a cattle overseer and his wife and dates from the 19th Dynasty (1292-1185 BC), was presented to John Mason Cook, son of the company’s founder Thomas Cook, by the Egyptian authorities in the 1890s, in recognition of the company’s development of the Nile as a tourist destination. It was used as a doorstep for some years before its true value was realised.
The other artefacts for sale include three glass panels designed in 1928 by the jeweller and glass decorator René-Jule Lalique. They were commissioned for the dining car of the Côte d’Azur Pullman Express, a luxury train that ran between Paris and Ventimiglia on the Italian border.
The liquidators are also selling a Waterford Crystal globe presented to the company by an external supplier for its 150th anniversary in 1991.
Other items include a Louis Vuitton trunk once used as a coffee table in Thomas Cook's London headquarters, and some flags that were taken into safekeeping by Cook’s private secretary at the end of a 1898 tour of the Holy Land organised by the travel firm for the German emperor.
The Thomas Cook Group collapsed in September after failing to secure an emergency £200m bailout from the government to plug a gap in its finances.