Flints To Sell A Spectacular Collection of Vintage Butterflies


Housed in a large French polished mahogany cabinet in 4 sections each with its own separate paneled door is an impressive collection of Butterflies. the cabinet is by the Famous maker Hill and is marked with a small circular plaque that reads 'CABINET WORK BY J. J. HILL & SON LONDON N. W. 10' ,each of the 4 cabinets containing 10 drawers, with each drawer on hidden bearer runners with lift-off framed glass lids and integral camphor cell, two pulls, and a single brass label holder to the front. Most of the butterflies with labels giving the collector's name, location, and date. The collection includes butterflies from England, Scotland, and Ireland. 

To be sold in the 'Fine Instruments of Science, Medicine and Books' Date: 24th May, 2023 at 11:00GMT
estimate £4000.00 - £6000.00


The Collection was put together by Geoffrey Alfred Cole, born in 1902 in Swindon, Somerset, the younger of two sons born to Samuel Barrett and Anne (nee Gammon) Cole. The collection was begun around 1912 whilst Geoffrey was a student at Leighton Park School, Reading.


Drawer from the butterfly collection

Geoffrey trained as an accountant and in 1939 he joined the Ministry of Pensions and was posted to Belfast as a hospital accountant during the 2nd World war. Following this Geoffrey was assigned to various different hospitals culminating in a posting to Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton. In 1945 he joined the fledgling National Health Service as treasurer of the South-East Metropolitan Health Service.


Although technically a hobby, Geoffrey’s knowledge gained him a reputation as an eminent amateur lepidopterist. His extensive collection of native British Butterflies has been beautifully preserved and presented.

This collection was originally one of two collections; the other being a collection of native British Moths. On his death, Geoffrey generously donated the moth collection to a national institute to ensure that it would continue to be studied and maintained by the scientific community.