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Royal Exchange gets fired up to sell off heirlooms

Aegon-owned Royal Exchange Assurance is auctioning off its collection of company heirlooms, including a set of firemen&#39s badges, paintings and furniture dating from the 18th Century.

Insurance companies began forming their own fire brigades after the Great Fire of London in 1666. The Royal Exchange society was formed in 1720 and its collection of firemen&#39s badges includes a George III silver-gilt badge valued between £2,000 to £3,000.

Also included in the collection are badges dating from the early 1800s from the Atlas Fire and Life Assurance Society which merged with Royal Exchange in 1959.

The collection includes a number of paintings, some valued at £8,000, a set of Regency mahogany hall chairs and items of silverware.

Royal Exchange merged with the Guardian Assurance to become Guardian Royal Exchange in 1968, which Aegon bought for £759m in August 1999.

The auction is taking place at Christie&#39s in London on June 26.

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