Culvertons Antiques

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Behind Closed Doors

10/02/2011 12:58 PM

Demands on housing and improvements to social welfare have reduced the chances of seeing what was once common place, a property standing neglected within a terrace, time slowly leaving its mark on the exterior and life seeming to pass it by. 

Culvertons were recently instructed to carry out a valuation on a collection of books in just such a property, before entering we found out that the last owner had long since traded the life of  a teacher, lecturer and writer for the pursuit of knowledge and excellence away from the prying eyes of the outside world, our valuer was intrigued to find out what lay behind the locked doors of No.12 ?

On gaining access we quickly found out that the word collection was woefully inadequate, a better description would be an incredible library of specialized works numbering in their thousands covering a wide spectrum of scientific learning within the 20th century, not only were the walls of nearly every room lined with books but all the floor space from the basement to the loft area that would normally be given up for everday possessions was given over to machinery and tooling of every type, nearly the entire property had been indian hair weave transformed into an amazing workshop, living space seemed to have been of secondary importance.

Books of this type are invaluable to students of engineering and researchers but of little interest or value to the specialist dealer who generally look for  more historic reference books that have the added bonus of often being beautifully bound.

The representatives of the estate and the company that were to carry out the general clearance were consulted,  and after voicing our desire to find a good home for the books we were given permission to dispose of the library in what ever way we saw fit.

Research revealed that many years ago the owner had lectured at Brunel University, so where better place to start our search for a home for the books, an enquiry was made as to whether the institution  would be interested in receiving such a donation, and after a positive reply a few weeks later they along with Philip Kitchen of Culvertons were on their way to the Bannerman Centre that houses the library within the Brunel campus to be received by the head librarian Ann Cummings.