Let us unveil all the curiosities you could ever imagine: from a taxidermy crocodile head to a collection of fish jaws, a memento mori carved from whalebone, a mammoth tooth, and more.

On 25 and 26 September, Summer Place Auctions in Billingshurst is holding Garden, Natural History and Tribal Art auctions. Needless to say, there’s something to pique everybody’s interests.

With all that’s on offer, it’s tricky to highlight only a few pieces – but we can’t go past the oval glass dome wall case which displays three hummingbirds and an orchid. Measuring 72 cm high and 62 cm wide, it forms part of the taxidermy collection of F. Cecil Cobb.

Cobb wrote a book titled Sport on the Setit, in which he recounted his hunting trip to the Sudan in 1911. The book is illustrated with photographs of some of the animals he shot during the expedition, many of which are presented in this auction.

A taxidermy crocodile head also forms part of Cobb’s collection, alongside a flamingo, springbok, buffalo skull, antelope and more.

Cobb joined one of the most driven and famous big game hunters of all time, Major Percy Powell-Cotton (1866-1940), on one of his many expeditions to Africa. Powell-Cotton set up a museum in his family home at Quex Park near Margate in 1896.

Still in operation today, the museum highlights the Major’s extraordinary zoological collection from over one hundred years ago. Due to the pair’s friendship, many of Cobb’s pieces were deposited in Quex Park Museum. However, because they do not form a part of the Major’s own personal collection, the descendants of F. Cecil Cobb are now offering the pieces for sale.

Another collection forming part of Summer Place Auctions’ sales is the John Robinson Collection. John Robinson (1935-2007) was a British sculptor whose career spanned more than 40 years.

Robinson was once commissioned to sculpt Her Majesty the Queen and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Peter Robinson, the artist’s son and a sculptor in his own right, has recounted how surprised his father was to find the royal women sitting so relaxedly for him.

Peter Robinson also remembers how pleased his father was to hear that the Queen Mother liked the primroses from his wife Margie’s garden so much so that she took them all the way to Scotland with her.

The original plaster heads and bronze castings of both royals are included in the sale.

Despite starting out as a figurative sculptor, John Robinson soon started to explore more abstract and cursive forms within his works. A number of these abstract pieces are included in the sale, including a polished bronze entitled Womb.

This work was inspired by the artist’s interest in symbolic sculpture, where he focused on simple shapes such as the ovoid or egg as symbols of life, and spirals as symbols of mystic knowledge.

Wherever your interests or curiosities may fall, you’ll find an extensive range of goods from Summers Place Auctions right here on Barnebys.

Bid the entire range here

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