Rival Collectors Historic Cabinets from Natural History Museum for Sale at Bonhams


LONDON.- Historic cabinets from the Natural History Museum and, until very recently, home to some of the world’s greatest butterfly collections, are to be sold at Bonhams Gentleman’s Library Sale in London on 19 January 2011. For 80 years the cabinets, mainly of Honduras mahogany, housed the collections of three extraordinary figures whose rivalry and pioneering spirit provided the Natural History Museum with the largest and finest collection of butterflies ever assembled. The collection has now been moved to state-of-the-art, pest proof, climate controlled metal cabinets in the Museum’s new Darwin Centre which will protect and preserve it for future generations. The three men – Birmingham industrialist John Levick, Surrey businessman James Joicey, and Lionel Walter, 2nd Baron Rothschild – were all born in the Victorian era. They were fanatical natural history