AN AUCTION of treasures owned by the late Felix Dennis sold for over £1 million.
The three day auction at the flamboyant millionaire publisher’s estate in Dorsington, near Stratford, saw 2,300 lots go under the hammer.
Proceeds from the sale will continue his legacy – through his Heart of England Forest Charity – to create a 30,000 acre forest in the heart of England, from the ancient Forest of Arden to the Vale of Evesham.
Mr Dennis, who died of throat cancer last year, planted the one millionth tree two years ago.
The auction gatherred items from Mr Dennis’ 12 homes around the world – from the Cotswolds and London to New York, and the Caribbean island of Mustique.
There was something for all pockets, with lots selling from £10 for a half barrel planter to £67,000 for The Ascot Cup, a trophy made by Garrards of London in 1864.
There were colourful marlin suspended from the ceiling, a cackling life-size figure of Captain Hook, complete with a ‘pieces of eight” squawking parrot, pop art, antique and contemporary furniture, a selection of bronzes and extensive garden ornaments, to name but of the lots.
The star of the auction was Mr Dennis’ 1987 yellow Rolls Royce, which the tycoon bought after making his first million.
And it will have a familiar face behind the wheel after his former chauffeur Rod Moseley secured the car – and its unique number plate 9999 FD – for £15,500.
Thousands came to view and bid at the auction and many more watched live on the Internet from around the globe.
Christopher Ironmonger, managing director of Bigwood Fine Art Auctioneers, a business colleague of Dennis for more than 12 years, conducted the auction.
He said: “One of the highlights for me was the almost party atmosphere amongst the bidders. They were having a day out and got absolutely drawn into the whole ethos of the auction.
“They were buying amazing things collected by Felix over the years, knowing that they were supporting The Heart of England Forest Charity and that spurred them on.”
David Bliss, executor and manager the estate, said Mr Dennis would have liked to have been there.
He said: “It was more like a party than an auction and Felix loved a party.
“The proceeds of the auction will allow us to carry on with his dream of planting the Heart of England Forest.”