For many years Rey, who was born in Zurich and studied in Paris and Geneva, co-owned the Richmond Bookshop, specialising in second-hand arts and humanities books. Recently she has worked as an artist, often using her collection as inspiration.
It took W&W specialist Will Hobbs three days to remove the vast holdings that were carefully displayed on shelving across a five-storey Victorian home.
The contents will be offered across several sales with this tranche followed by an online sale in January of tribal jewellery titled Adornment: The Romy Rey Collection.
Estimated in next month’s sale in Salisbury at £1000-1500 is a 5in (12cm) high serpentine Mazcala mask from Guerrero, Mexico c.300BC-300AD (shown above).
It comes with a full collecting provenance including a paper label stating it was found at Villa de Bravo in 1896 and a copy of a certificate detailing its history from the Musée Barbier-Mueller, Geneva.