Among the wealth of ornithological, zoological and botanical works offered in this sale is a stunning collection of almost a thousand early 19th century ornithological watercolours. The thirteen volumes were assembled by the colourful Emperor Woodford in an attempt to capture all known birds. The artists, who included Richard Ramsey Reinagle, Thomas Lewin and Sydenham Edwards, drew on the natural history collections of the day such as those of François Levaillant, Joseph Banks, The Leverian Museum and the menagerie of the Prince of Orange. When hard times forced Woodford to sell the drawings at Sotheby’s in 1809, the collection was acquired by the bibliophile John Dent, who made it available to the ornithologist John Latham for his General History of Birds, first published in 1821.
Fine books on Natural History and other subjects collected by the Earl of Perth, from the library at Stobhall also feature, as well as a collection of books on orchids, rare early photographs of China, a Dutch 17th-century wall map of Southeast Asia and Australia, and a portolan chart of northern Europe by Francesco Oliva.