Highlights from the fascinating Gary Pyper Collection are to be offered as part of Sworders’ upcoming annual Out of the Ordinary sale.
10 November 2022
Gary Pyper began collecting at a very early age. A fascination with objects and the stories behind them proved a welcome alternative to school textbooks and was the impetus behind his first regular Saturday job, working alongside his friend’s father at the local auction house. By the mid-90s, having studied industrial design at university, he was filling vans with mid-century design and running them into London. However, highlights from the Gary Pyper Collection offered as part of Sworders’ annual Out of the Ordinary sale on Tuesday 7 February display a more eclectic eye. From the fossil of a keichousaurus, a marine reptile from the Triassic period (estimate £300-500) to a pair of leather miner's helmets (estimate £300-500), this is the stuff of the Wunderkammer.
A collection of lots from the Gary Pyper Collection.
‘Objects give me a tangible connection to the past and to the craftsman who shaped them,’ says Gary. ‘If something makes me feel intrigued or enlightened in some way, then I add it to the collection.’
For Gary, there was also the joy of the hunt: ‘the more unexpected the discovery, the more rewarding they are. Many of the objects in the collection were found by scouring local flea markets by torchlight, or simply by following up on a random conversation with a stranger.’ It was in this way that he came to own items as diverse as a carrier pigeon message written in code during the Boer War (estimate £150-250) and a 5000-year-old ‘eye’ idol from the ancient Syrian city of Tell Brak (estimate £400-600). Some of the most spirited stories found in the objects Gary sourced have proved invaluable in inspiring the same fascination with the world in his children: ‘educating my kids became one of the main motivations - and justifications - for maintaining such a large and quirky collection. They are both entering into teens now so it’s time to share the contents with a wider audience and free them from the solitude of the attic.’
Late Uruk Period, ca. 3300 to 3000 BCE, Near East, modern Syria, Tell Brak, a Tell Brak idol, of abstract form with perforated eyes, the green stone with amber flecks,9cm high, £400-600
To find out more about the Gary Pyper Collection in our upcoming auction, please contact email@example.com
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