North Luffenham Hall Hunting and Game Collection sells for £1500 at auction

17th January 2013

An extensive hunting and game trophy collection, known as "The Fenwick Collection" sold at The Grantham Salerooms for £1500.

Hunting safaris to East Africa became very popular at the turn of the 20th century, especially amongst the upper echelons of society. "The Fenwick Collection" of African game trophies was shot by the Fenwicks during a hunting trip to the Kenyan interior in 1904.

Elsie, Guy and Richard Fenwick, who lived at North Luffenham Hall, Rutland, travelled across Europe to Trieste, Italy where they boarded a boat to Mombasa, on the East coast of Africa .

Saleroom Manager, Andrew Doubleday stated "It's always a privilege as auctioneers to offer good and private collections. The collection had great provenance as well as decorative and historical value."

Elsie kept a detailed diary of her time in Africa which portrays the 'halcyon days' of the sporting gentry in Africa and a fascinating account of a bygone era where the diversity and numbers of species hunted were huge, in comparison to today. The photographs and written entries are a great illustration of colonial life and privilege at that time and a subject many collectors have a great affinity to.

The African game trophies included 15 antlers: Oryx, Kudu, Topi, Impala, Grants Gazelle, Reedbuck, Austrian Chamois, Austrian Roe Deer and Fallow Deer Antlers along with two Reedbuck Heads and one Fallow deer head.

The collection was bought by Mrs S Piggott on the death of Elsie in 1948 at the age of 74. It was put on display at Stonecroft House, North Luffenham until 1986, when the items were put into dry storage.

Auctioneer Richard Plant stated: "The market for trophy heads, antlers and big game taxidermy has been very good in recent years and despite a more general lack of interest in most Victorian and later 'paraphernalia'; these have decorative value that 'bucks the trend'.

We had two telephone bidders on the day and the collection has now passed into the hands of a private buyer in Essex."

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