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An auction of ornithological art and artefacts will take place at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers in Aylsh

An auction of ornithological art and artefacts will take place at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers in Aylsham on September 30 2017. Pictured is Lot 168: Sheldrake, Shelduck and Ducklings by Allen William Seaby.Photo: supplied by Keys Fine Art Auctioneers. - Credit: supplied by Keys Fine Art Auctioneers

From beautiful bird paintings to taxidermy and books – a flock of ornithological art and artefacts will go under the hammer at auction this week.

Keys Fine Art Auctioneers will be holding the specialist sale – said to be the biggest of its kind – at its Aylsham salerooms on Friday.

There are 406 lots in the sale, many with connections to Norfolk, including works by ornithological artists and taxidermists.

Among them are 14 works by leading ornithological painter John Cyril Harrison, who lived and worked in Norfolk for many years and was a keen supporter of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. One of his works, the watercolour Golden Eagles with Young and Nest, has been listed with a pre-sale estimate of £4,000 to £5,000.

There is also a 17th century first English edition book – called The Ornithology of Francis Willoughby – which has been given a pre-sale estimate of £800-£1,000.

It is the fourth year that Keys has held an ornithological sale, and Keys' director Kevin Lines said this was the biggest yet.

He said: 'In 2013 we first brought together a specialist sale, and it has really taken off since then – to the point where this is now the country's biggest such auction. What is really nice is that many of the leading ornithological artists and taxidermists were either from Norfolk or worked here, so it's entirely appropriate that the UK's largest bird-related sale should take place in the county.'

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The auction will take place this Friday at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers' Aylsham salerooms, starting at 10.30am. Viewing is on Wednesday from 9am to 6pm, on Thursday from 9am until 7.30pm, and on Friday from 8.30am.

For more details, including a downloadable catalogue, visit www.keysauctions.co.uk

Live online bidding will be available at www.the-saleroom.com

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