Gallery: Ralph Burrows Auction
By LOUISE HUGHES Photos BRIAN PURDY ONE person s huge collection of antiques and memorabilia- many of them from the Fens- will go on sale at auction next week. Thousands of items belonging to the late Ralph Burrows, a well-known local collector, will be s
By LOUISE HUGHES
Photos BRIAN PURDY
ONE person's huge collection of antiques and memorabilia- many of them from the Fens- will go on sale at auction next week.
Thousands of items belonging to the late Ralph Burrows, a well-known local collector, will be sold at Clifford F Cross Auction House, in Wisbech.
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"This is the biggest collection of pieces from Wisbech I have ever seen," said auctioneer Richard Barnwell.
"It is very unusual to come across a massive quantity of items from one person like this.
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"The collection itself is an essential part of the town's history. This whole package really is astonishing."
The collection covers hundreds of years: earlier pieces date from the beginning of the 19th century right up to a signed Beatles picture.
Among the collection are 130 pieces of Wisbech crested ware as well as Elgood's ash trays, Fenland railway memorabilia and traditional brewery bottles.
There are thousands of cigarette cards and postcards of Murrow and Wisbech, war time postcards and 20th Century film stars.
Toys, pill makers, farming equipment and pub pieces will also go on sale.
Many items are engraved with various spellings of Wisbech, before the current version of the town's name was standardised in the mid 19th Century.
"I only see one or two pieces of Wisbech crested ware a year, to come across over 100 is incredible," Mr Barnwell added.
"For anyone who is interested in the town and local history, there is a lot here for them."
The late Ralph Burrows, who was from a Wisbech St Mary fruit growing family, was well-known for collecting thousands of antiques from the Fens.
Mr Burrows died last year, and now his collection will be divided into around 1,200 lots to be sold over two days on Thursday June 26 and Friday June 27.
"Anything you can think of, you will guarantee that it is here," said Mr Barnwell.
"Ralph knew all about the history of these things and I'm afraid to say that I personally don't know their providence.
"He was a local collector who wanted to ensure the items remained in the Fens - we sincerely hope these pieces stay here rather than be taken all over the world."
The full catalogue of items can be found at www.the-saleroom.com.
# Doors open at 9am on both days for viewing at Clifford F Cross Auction House, in The Chase, Wisbech. The auction will begin at 12 noon on both days.