Felix Dennis, extrovert publisher, planter of trees, poet and successful entrepreneur, amassed a vast and varied collection over the course of his colourful life. It is expected to attract international interest when it goes under the hammer at a three-day estate auction in his native Warwickshire.

The 2 000-lot auction will be sold jointly by Bigwood Fine Art Auctioneers in Stratford-upon-Avon and Shrewsbury-based fine art auction house Halls. Christopher Ironmonger, director of Bigwood Fine Art Auctioneers commented: "The auction will provide an opportunity for the world to appreciate the magnitude of his collection."

Felix Dennis (far right) in the 1970s. Image via The Telegraph Felix Dennis (far right) in the 1970s.
Image via The Telegraph

The eclectic mix of The Felix Dennis Collection reflects the long and varied career of a publisher who began his working life selling copies of the underground counterculture magazine Oz on the streets of London in the late 1960s. He later founded his own publishing company and launched a number of magazines that remain popular today, including British news and lifestyle journal The Week. An official statement following his death in June 2014 described Dennis as: "a publishing legend, famed for his maverick and entrepreneurial style and, more lately, a successful and much loved poet."

His collection ranges from early oak and other wooden furniture, which graced The Old Manor, to a collection of fine oil paintings and outstanding pieces of silver, including the 1864 Ascot Cup, by Robert Garrard of London, which is valued at around £60 000.

The Ascot Cup, 1864. Estimate: £50,000-£70,000 Image via Bigwood Fine Art Auctioneers The Ascot Cup, 1864.
Estimate: £50,000-£70,000
Image via Bigwood Fine Art Auctioneers

In addition, Mr Ironmonger has said that Dennis was a loyal supporter of modern craftsmen, often commissioning new works and design items for his homes. As a result there is an impressive range of contemporary furniture, pictures and works of art amongst Dennis' posessions, as well as overseas art from his home in Mustique, Asian and Tribal Art from his flat in New York, and Harley Davidson and Batman pin ball machines which he kept in his lakeside cottage in Connecticut.

His love of the outdoors and his home in Warwickshire reflected by a wide array of garden ornaments including bronze urns, and stone, bronze and marble animal scupltures, to name but a few. There is also a collection of antique cannons and even a child's suit of armour. Dennis adored Robert Louis Stevenson and 'Treasure Island' accounts for a wide collection of maritime pieces which was the theme of Highfield, a massive tithe barn structure that he built in the late 1990s. The building contained a meandering swimming pool, palm trees, pirates dangling from the ceiling, Captain Hook in the rigging and an old brass lighthouse clock. One of the more unusual items is a 1987 yellow Rolls Royce Silver Spirit with the registration number 9999 FD, which Dennis reputedly bought to celebrate making his first million.

Rolls Royce Silver Spur, 1987 Estimate: £12,000-£15,000 Image via Bigwood Fine Art Auctioneers Rolls Royce Silver Spur, 1987
Estimate: £12,000-£15,000
Image via Bigwood Fine Art Auctioneers

Andrew Beeston, senior auctioneer and valuer at Halls, predicts that it will be the UK's landmark auction of 2015. "Estate auctions of this type are few and far between and we are delighted to be involved in hosting this one outside the normal saleroom environment, which will create an extra buzz," he said. "I am looking forward to witnessing the response of people when they enter the 20,000 square foot marquee and see the room settings recreated, together with the spectacular garden statuary and military cannons which will adorn the approach and entrance, It's particularly fitting that the auction is being held on Felix's estate."

All the proceeds from the auction will go to the Dennis estate, the major beneficiary of which is The Heart of England Forest Charity. This is a cause that has been close to Dennis's heart for some time: back in 1989, he had a vision to create a 30,000 acre forest in the heart of England, stretching from the ancient Forest of Arden to the Vale of Evesham. The one-millionth tree was planted around 18 months ago.