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25th Sep 2016
Keys Ornithology Sale Lot 168 Sheldrake Shelduck and Ducklings by Allen William Seaby

Britain’s biggest specialist auction of ornithological art and artefacts, which takes place in Norwich at the end of the month, is attracting interest from bird-lovers throughout the UK – and beyond.

Oils, watercolours, prints and sculptures, along with quality taxidermy and bird-related books, are among 406 lots which will go under the hammer at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers in Aylsham on Friday 30th September.

This is the fourth year that Keys has held an such a sale, and in that time the auction has become the UK’s biggest ornithologically-themed auction.  Already interest has been expressed by enthusiasts, collectors and dealers from across the country.

The auction includes many items with Norfolk connections, including works by leading Norfolk ornithological artists, as well as works by some of the county’s – and Britain’s – leading historical taxidermists.

Included in the sale:

  • Fourteen works by leading ornithological artist John Cyril Harrison (1898-1985).  Harrison lived and worked in Norfolk for many years, and was a keen supporter of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.  Among the works is the watercolour ‘Golden Eagles with young and nest’, which has a pre-sale estimate of £4,000-£5,000.
  • Twenty-nine paintings by wildlife artist Roland Green.  Green made his home in a disused drainage mill on Hickling Broad, and set many of his bird paintings against a Broadland background.
  • Fifteen works by artist Richard Talbot-Kelly, who painted many of his works while holidaying in Norfolk and Suffolk
  • Two works by top ornithological artist Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935) and four by fellow British artist George Lodge (1860-1954)
  • Eight stuffed birds by Victorian Norwich master T.E.Gunn, regarded as one of the finest taxidermists who ever lived, and who worked from a studio in St Giles Street – including a little auk, taken at Horning in 1925
  • Further taxidermy by local practitioners, including Walter Lowne of Great Yarmouth and H.N.Pashley of Cley
  • A 17th century first English edition book on ornithology, which has a pre-sale estimate of £800-£1,000

Our previous ornithological sales have elicited great interest, and this year’s is the biggest yet,” said Keys’ director Kevin Lines.  “In 2013 we first brought together a specialist sale, and it has really taken off since then – to the point where this is now the country’s biggest such auction.

“What is really nice is that many of the leading ornithological artists and taxidermists were either from Norfolk or worked here, so it’s entirely appropriate that the UK’s largest bird-related sale should take place in the county.

“Once again the eyes of collectors and dealers from all over the UK will be on our salerooms in Aylsham.”

The auction takes place on Friday 30th September at Keys’ Aylsham salerooms, starting at 10.30am.  Viewing is on Wednesday 28th September from 9am-6pm; Thursday 29th September from 9am-7.30pm; and from 8.30am on the morning of the sale. 

Full details, and a downloadable catalogue are available at www.keysauctions.co.uk; live online bidding will be available at www.the-saleroom.com