An art collection owned by a dealer who ran a Wisbech antiques
shop with his wife for 51 years is to be sold at auction.

Crofts antique dealers, located at 117 Elm High Road, Wisbech, was owned and run by Peter and Patricia Croft since 1950.

After being educated at Wisbech Grammar School, Peter Crofts had volunteered to serve in the Fleet Air Army and subsequently went to the US to train as a pilot.

When, aged 20, Crofts was training as a pilot in Texas in 1945, the engine of his Corsair F4U had burst into flames leaving him seriously injured.

Both his legs were amputated and he had spent three and a half years recovering in hospital.

It was under the guidance of the Stamford dealer Major Bernard Edinburgh that he became an antiques dealer and by 1958 was elected a member of the British Antique Dealers Association.

Despite his disability, he was a keen sailor, owning an 88-year-old clinker-built Norfolk beach boat.

More than 100 lots from the Crofts; collection will be offered as part of Sworder's December 14-15 Fine Interiors sale.

The sale includes a number of items of Wisbech interest, including a rare George III enamel nutmeg grater painted with flowers and the legend 'A Trifle from Wisbech'.

A rare late 18th century oil on board painting depicting a view of the church of St Peter and St Paul will also go under the hammer.

The painting, with a clock movement to the church tower, includes figures conversing on a road identified as Church Terrace with The Duke’s Head pub (today the Duke’s Steakhouse) just visible far right.