Diver who salvaged £50m of gold from ship puts historical items up for sale

Many of the items in the sale were bought by Wharton with the proceeds of the salvage, for the home he had gambled to help fund the HMS Edinburgh operation, Midmar Castle, a classic 16th-century Aberdeenshire castle at Inverurie

By Gillian Bell - The Press and Journal

Historical objects owned by a diving engineer who salvaged £50million of Russian gold from a wartime wreck will be sold at auction later this month.

Ric Wharton is selling a selection of the contents of Midmar Castle, near Echt, which was put on the market last year for offers over £3.5million.

Lots include a deep-sea diving helmet, a large collection of arms and a rare bronze cannon.

The cruiser HMS Edinburgh was sunk in 1942 after being torpedoed on the return leg of a voyage from the west coast of Scotland to Russia while carrying Soviet gold as payment to the US for military supplies.

Mr Wharton gambled Midmar to help fund the £3million operation to recover the ship’s treasure from the Barents Sea after rating his diving company’s chances at only 10% to 20%. When the expedition was successful in locating and recovering the haul in 1981, he used his share of the salvage reward to fund the restoration of the 16th-century castle and its collection.

Campbell Armour, of auction house Lyon and Turnbull, said: “Midmar is known as the first of the five great castles of Mar and contains many treasures collected by the gold bullion adventurer.”


Russian gold Ric Wharton Midmar Castle HMS Edinburgh Barents Sea