In Cork, Ireland, townspeople say that the mysterious Lotabeg House has remained virtually untouched since 1939 when owner Vincent Hart passed away.  Hart was an engineer from Cork who traveled to India in 1903 to serve the British Empire for 30 years. When Hart returned to the family home in 1936, he died three years later and relatives left the home as it had always been. George Gerard Mealy of Mealy's Fine Art says he was "awestruck" by the manor and its contents when he first visited Lotabeg.  Mealy says the home is "a time capsule spanning from the 1830s to the 1940s," brimming with valuable items still intact and frozen in time. Mr. Hart's possessions will be auctioned off today where he last hung his hat in the hallway of the family home, and where it, eerily enough, still hangs today.      The public has driven by the closed entrance of the secluded Georgian house for years on the edge of Cork city, so this auction is a rare opportunity to see what lies beyond what locals refer to as Callahan's Gate.       The Irish Times reports that the first owner of Lotabeg in the 19th century, Daniel Callaghan, was rumored to have built the arch of the entrance with a stone carving of an ever-watchful Irish wolfhound at the top, memorializing the dog that saved Callaghan from drowning in the nearby river Lee. The Hart family went on to purchase the home and spent the remaining years collecting paintings, rare books, silver, taxidermy, service medals and Indian and Asian art.  After the auction today, it's expected that the house itself will be sold at a later date.


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