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.

A woodcut of Jane Austen

Letter by Jane Austen goes on view at museum after being acquired from Maggs

20 August 2019

Jane Austen's House Museum in Hampshire successfully raised the £35,000 required to buy a fragment of a letter written by the great novelist in 1814. The rare manuscript was being sold on behalf of its private owner by London dealer Maggs.

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Pick of the week: 18th century dockyard plans detailing the Royal Navy war machine attract wave of bids

19 August 2019

A complete set of plans showing what was once the world’s largest industrial complex and the British state’s single biggest investment has sold in Cornwall. Thomas Milton’s plans of the Royal Dockyards sold to an online buyer for £10,000 (plus 18% buyer’s premium) at David Lay's latest sale in Penzance.

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The sound of a William and Mary spinet sold for £5500 in Islington

19 August 2019

Relatively few English spinets from the 17th century survive but one surfaced at a Criterion auction in Islington. Loosely catalogued and estimated at just £100-200, it made £5500 (plus premium).

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Hammer to go down on 40 years of collecting hole punches at Lichfield auction

19 August 2019

Antique stationery fans have plenty of purchasing choices: from writing slopes and desks, to ink stands and stationery boxes. But for the true connoisseur have they thought of collecting hole punches?

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Early birds catch bidders’ eye

19 August 2019

Lots offered towards the start of sales at the same auction house prove successful.

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Sowerby minerals surface in Sweden

19 August 2019

An exceptional 11-lot group of the works of James Sowerby featured in a Swedish summer sale.

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Best foot forward for New York sale

19 August 2019

Compiled for official British War Office use on the eve of the American War of Independence, this quarto volume bearing the manuscript title ‘The Uniform of the Several Regiments of Foot in His Majesty’s Service’ doubled the high estimate at Christie’s New York (25/20/13.5% buyer’s premium).

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Unsung monk nurtured new genetic study

19 August 2019

'Versuche über Pflanzen Hybriden' by Gregor Mendel is a paper that marked the foundation of the science of genetics.

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Fashionable but fragile box just sew good

19 August 2019

From the height of almost impractical luxury to a simple piece of homespun craftsmanship, the full creative range of sewing accessories was on offer at the summer sale of specialist auction house Bleasdales (20% buyer’s premium).

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Horace taken to new heights by Captain Cook notes

19 August 2019

The reason that an otherwise unexceptional 1737 English language edition of Horace’s 'Odes, Satyrs and Epistles' – lacking a portrait and three text pages – sold for the substantial sum of £50,000 in the Bonhams (27.5/25/20/13.9%) sale on June 26 is to be found on the front endpaper notes shown below.

British and Irish book auctions: August 20-September 9, 2019

19 August 2019

Our regular listing of British and Irish book auctions.

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ATG letter: Mystery of the missing Fleetwood Mac member

19 August 2019

MADAM – I was interested to see in Auction Reports, ATG No 2403, an early photograph of the band Fleetwood Mac. But I was even more interested when on closer inspection I noticed that Peter Green, the ‘star’ of the band, wasn’t in the picture at all, even though your story mentioned that he was.

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Pre-war Dinky toys deliver in specialist auction

19 August 2019

Two rare pre-war Dinky trade boxes which had been in loft storage for two generations appeared for sale in Lincolnshire. Toy specialist M&M Auctions (21.6% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Spalding offered them on behalf of a family who had owned the toys since new in the mid-1930s.

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English mystery and crime fiction from renowned collector

19 August 2019

A group of 481 rare book lots from the personal collection of renowned collector in the New York literary community features in Heritage Auctions’ rare books sale on September 5.

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Heinz fan Ed Sheeran helps auction ketchup bottles at Christie’s

16 August 2019

Heinz is celebrating 150 years of the brand with a series of events including a charity auction with singer Ed Sheeran at Christie’s.

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McTear’s hosts first bagpipe auction to coincide with Scottish festival

13 August 2019

August in Scotland is famous for its programme of arts across The Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe events.

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Pick of the pistol hammer highs

12 August 2019

Fine sets of pistols, preferably nicely cased, have long been the mainstay of London arms and armour sales. This season’s crop were not as plentiful nor so eagerly contested as we sometimes see, but there were some gems on offer and a selection of them are illustrated here.

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Stopping power to halt an angry tiger

12 August 2019

In the days of the British Raj there was no shortage of would-be shikaris hoping to bag a tiger in India. At the same time plenty of London gunsmiths were ready to supply them with all the fire-power they could persuade them to buy.

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Miss Timber sells in Tennessee

12 August 2019

Large 18th century English doll passed by descent is a highlight of toy auctions.

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Thar she blows for auction record

12 August 2019

Published in 1851 by Richard Bentley as The Whale, the first English edition of Herman Melville’s tale preceded the American issue by four weeks.

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