Reeman Dansie are privileged to offer this spectacular and comprehensive collection of Natural History books, taxidermy, paintings and related artefacts.
Bernard’s passion for the natural world began at the age of 12 when he started breeding budgerigars. Money earned from this early venture was spent building aviaries and acquiring cockatiels, Indian ringneck parakeets and various other exotic species. Over time his collection grew extensively and by the 1960s he focussed his energies on owls; breeding over 2000 owls during an award-winning career including 38 sub-species. Allied to his live bird collection, Bernard has spent several decades assembling a comprehensive collection of Natural History books, spanning a spectrum of subjects and including many of the iconic tomes of the genre, his extensive collection lining the walls of every room of his Chelmsford home. Throughout his career in aviculture, Bernard strove to make a positive contribution, and was horrified by the thought of the destruction of natural wildlife and habitat which traditionally provided the specimens seen in Natural History museums around the world. He therefore set about utilising his network of captive breeders, fanciers and zoos, collecting eggs which failed to hatch or skins of birds which had died in good condition, important reference material which would otherwise be lost, he ultimately established a reference collection of 60,000 eggs, representing over 2000 species and sub-species and believed to be the second largest in the U.K. this Herculean feat was achieved by driving long distances to collect specimens and years of sleepless nights, blowing and preparing eggs against the clock before they went bad. This important collection has now been bequeathed to a museum for future research. Bernard also had over 50 skins prepared by leading taxidermists, many of which are offered in our forthcoming sale.
Bernard’s collection comprises many thousands of books and other items and we anticipate several dedicated sales in the coming months and years, Part 1 will be included in our Fine Art auction on the 14th and 15th of February.
Our inaugural January 2024 specialist sale specifically for antique and vintage signage, including BBC Essex interview with our auctioneer Lewis Rabett.
In 2012, David Smith purchased School House in a remote Suffolk village and proceeded to convert the run-down Victorian red brick building into an airy modern living space.