McTear’s brings Dr. Todd’s Cabinets of Curiosities to auction

 McTear’s is privileged to offer the Dr. J. Gordon Todd collection of marine natural history. 

 ‘Scientifically collected with an aesthetic eye’ - Dr. J. Gordon Todd 


Dr. Todd was a well known and much respected member in Scottish natural history circles, having formed an impressive and extensive collection of natural history alongside his other passions, fossils and minerals. 



This collection was proudly displayed in a dedicated gallery in his home, fondly referred to as The Cabinets of Dr. Todd, where it played host to fellow enthusiasts, be they amateur or professional, collectors, academics or dealers.

Dr. Todd, who received his medical degree from Glasgow University, developed a close association with the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University as a visitor, donor and lender of material for display, carrying the torch of the amateur geologist and naturalist which has been a crucial part of the British scientific and institutional exhibiting tradition for centuries.


A lifelong fascination with conchology began on a childhood visit to Chennai when Gordon collected his first shell – an Indian chank from the Bay of Bengal which is regarded as sacred and is often used in Hindu ceremonies.  This first ‘acquisition’ fuelled a passion which lay behind the collection we are offering at auction this month; Dr. Todd selected his shells with care so that each would bring a certain quality to his collection, a quality which we are sure a new generation of collectors will appreciate. His wider enthusiasm for the marine world is reflected in the diverse accompanying lots which include a juvenile thresher shark, an impressive selection of crab species and even a giant worm shell.



It is our pleasure to bring this collection to auction and we hope that you will share our, and perhaps more importantly Dr. Todd’s, enthusiasm for these fascinating specimens.



For a complimentary, no-obligation valuation, visit our Glasgow Galleries or contact a specialist on 0141 810 2880 or 

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