Collectables

The term ‘collectables’ (or collectibles) encompasses a vast range of items in fields as diverse as arms, armour and militaria, bank notes, cameras, coins, entertainment and sporting memorabilia, stamps, taxidermy, wines and writing equipment.

Some collectables are antiques, others are classed as retro, vintage or curios but all are of value to the collector. In any of these fields, buyers seek out rarities and items with specific associations.

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Holy smoke and blistering barnacles – comics set records at auction

15 January 2021

A Tintin comic cover in France and a Batman number 1 issue in the US have sold for multi-million-pound sums at auction.

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A true mouse man carving comes to auction in Yorkshire

11 January 2021

The highlight of a private collection of Robert Thompson oak carvings to be offered by Tennants on March 6 is this curious anthropomorphic figure of the ‘Mouseman of Kilburn’.

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Pick of the week: Take tea with the queen – at a twelfth the normal size

11 January 2021

A copy of the Royal Doulton dinner service commissioned in 1922 for Queen Mary’s doll’s house sold for a top-estimate £30,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) as part of the Thomas Goode auction at Sotheby’s.

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Books by Jane Austen’s favourite poet return home to Chawton House

11 January 2021

Chawton House has bought a rare first edition of Poems by Jane Austen’s favourite poet, William Cowper, which was once owned by her brother.

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Books and works on paper: Rugby School gives auction a try

11 January 2021

Controversial school sale of library books and manuscripts includes an Irish/Latin surprise

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Bidders on the scent of an 1810 ‘classic head’ US coin

11 January 2021

Some of the best US coin discoveries are today made in the UK.

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Monstrous German auction over four days

11 January 2021

Presenting, as always, huge numbers of lots – some 2800 this time, an auction held by Reiss & Sohn (19% buyer’s premium) produced some notable prices.

British and Irish book auctions: January 12-30, 2021

11 January 2021

Our regular listing of British and Irish book auctions.

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Single-owner books bring 007 heaven

11 January 2021

A significant collection of Ian Fleming’s books, typescripts and assorted autograph material raised close on £1m at Sotheby’s.

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Medal awarded to Suffragette who threw a lump of iron at Churchill's car comes up at auction

09 January 2021

How could throwing a missile at Winston Churchill’s car earn you a medal if you were British?

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Dorset museum raises funds to secure Thomas Hardy archive from London book dealer

07 January 2021

The Dorset Archives Trust (DAT) has raised the final £5000 needed to purchase a collection of important manuscript and printed material once owned by novelist and poet Thomas Hardy (1840-1928).

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John Chard’s handwritten account of the battle of Rorke’s Drift sells for £140,000

04 January 2021

A handwritten account of the battle of Rorke’s Drift by Lt John Chard of the Royal Engineers, who led the renowned stand against the Zulu attack, sold for a hammer price of £140,000.

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Broadside or chapbooks in demand

04 January 2021

The surprise lot at Thomson Roddick (18% buyer’s premium) was one in which the principal attraction may well have been a penny broadside of 1826.

Norfolk auction sets record for autobiography of pioneering evolutionist Alfred Russel Wallace

04 January 2021

Bid to a record £1900 in a Norfolk auction was a 1905, two-volume first of 'My Life: A Record of Events and Opinions'.

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Sign of the Chicago style at Toomey

04 January 2021

Chicago auction house Toomey (25/20/15% buyer’s premium) offered items with links to important local figures in art and design during its Tradition & Innovation auction.

British and Irish book auctions: January 5-28, 2021

04 January 2021

Our regular listing of British and Irish book and works on paper sales.

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Shakespeare brightened up by colouring

04 January 2021

Shown here is the opening spread of a special copy of an 1895 Dent edition of 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' sold at Lyon & Turnbull (25/20% buyer’s premium).

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Magician's long arm device spotted at Chicago saleroom

04 January 2021

Among the many tricks up their sleeves, magicians could use this crafty device made c.1940s by Jon Martin in London.

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Automobilia: Dominions sign gets into gear

04 January 2021

Petrol-themed enamel signs do not get much better than that made to promote British Dominions Empire Motor Insurance in c.1912.

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First of famous Christopher Marlowe tragedy

04 January 2021

A 1633 first edition of Christopher Marlowe’s 'The Famous Tragedy of the Rich Jew of Malta' was a highlight at Swann Galleries (25/20/12% buyer’s premium).

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