STANSTED MOUNTFITCHET, U.K. — Items from the remarkable collection of Warner Dailey will be auctioned this month. Some 300 lots from the home of the Anglo-American art and antiques dealer will be sold in a single-owner sale at Sworders on Thursday, February 22. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

For Warner Dailey, the collecting habit began young. An only child born in New Jersey in 1945, he was trading badges in preschool before graduating to stamps and shells. After moving to London with $1,000 and a promise of a job on the front counter at Christie’s in 1968, he spent the 1970s and 1980s working as a ‘runner,’ driving a Mercedes-Benz station wagon around the South of England, filling it with objects that ranged from the best in Russian objects d’art to the weird and wonderful. His clients included the American publishing magnate and Fabergé fanatic Malcolm Forbes, who paid him a retainer to find items for him.

Having bought and sold an estimated 100,000 objects in his career, Dailey’s home in southeast London groans under the weight of pictures, natural history specimens, tribal art, exotic textiles, and objects that just demand to be picked up and studied.

“Collecting has been almost everything in my life. It is a constant stimulation that you can’t get from anything else. What I value most is the gathering, the learning, and the experience of what these objects give you.” The three words he uses to describe the collection are “historic, eclectic, and unusual.”

Estimates at Sworders’ sale range from £300-£400 ($380-$505) for an early 19th-century iron anti-slavery tobacco box retaining its original white-on-green paintwork to £16,000-£20,000 ($20,255-$25,320) for a fine pair of silver-mounted 16-bore flintlock holster pistols engraved with the mermaid crest of Lord Byron’s father.

Dailey has a deep emotional connection to objects that come with a narrative — a story about ownership, an individual, or a culture. Throughout his career he kept careful notes regarding his purchases to ensure the details were not lost. A straw work box in the form of a book (estimate £800-£1,200, or $1,010-$1,520) tells the story of the early 19th-century French prisoner-of-war who made it, but also its more recent ownership history in the collection of John Paul Getty Jr. The box, given by Getty to the heiress and fashion model Nicky Samuel during London’s Swinging Sixties, entered Dailey’s collection on October 20, 2014.

Among his personal favorites is a small leather bag that holds several objects including rings, bracelets, a tooth filling, and a label recording the items were found in the stomach of a man-eating crocodile shot in the Ganges in 1915. Formerly in the collection of Jan and Craig Finch, it has an estimate of £700-£900 ($885-$1,140).

Dailey’s love of objects suited to the kuntskammer or the Indian souk was inspired by a childhood visit to the home of a retired sea captain on Long Island. “There were all these wonderful things, from the jaw of a sperm whale to a Maori tattooed head, and I thought, one day, I want to have a house and collection like this,” he said, recalling.

One of several maritime lots in the sale are the seaman’s papers of Charles Green (1888-1974) documenting his life at sea, including two years with Shackleton in Antarctica as part of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1914-16. Green was the ship’s cook and was among the men who remained on Elephant Island when Shackleton and five crew members sailed to a whaling station in South Georgia, returning to save everyone three months later. Acquired from dealer Laurence Langford, it is estimated at £400-£600 ($505-$760).

Bearing an estimate of £1,000-£1,500 ($1,265-$1,900) is a Victorian oak and gunmetal walking stick engraved to the knob with a view of ships at sea and to the collar with the inscription Mary Rose Sunk 1545 Raised 1840. It was probably made from materials salvaged from the wreck of Henry VIII’s flagship by Charles and John Deane. Contracted to remove wrecks from the Solent by the Admiralty, they developed the first practical diving suit in 1837 with the assistance of Augustus Siebe.