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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Buddy Holly poster pre-dating tragic plane crash goes under the hammer in Dallas

03 April 2020

A rare poster promoting a concert a week before the plane crash that killed three of its performers is coming to auction for the first time this weekend.

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Albert Einstein letters come to auction in Dallas

01 April 2020

Several letters written by Albert Einstein discussing his most significant scientific accomplishments will be among the major attractions in Heritage Auctions’ April 23 sale of historical manuscripts in Dallas.

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Sense of occasion suits the Peter Wyngarde estate sale perfectly

31 March 2020

Peter Wyngarde would surely have appreciated the drama that accompanied the auction of his estate – held with the country in the grip of coronavirus.

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Bids to put Malta on the map at German auction

30 March 2020

Objects relating to the rich history of Malta are perennial favourites at auction. This large early 18th century oil on canvas depicting a map of islands in the Maltese archipelago proved particularly popular in a sale of 15th to 19th century pictures held by Lempertz in Cologne.

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Pick of the week: Mah-jong set that counts for a lot

30 March 2020

The popular Chinese game of mah-jong is a relative newcomer.

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Alamo and O Henry, oh yes

30 March 2020

Sold at $60,000 (£46,295) in a recent New York sale was a broadside, Noticia Estraordinaria, printed in Mexico City in 1836, that brought news of the fall of the Alamo in March of that year.

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Rail rarity sets out on a new route

30 March 2020

A very early railway guide, still in the original decorative boards, was a rare and unusual lot in a recent held by Mullock’s (20% buyer’s premium).

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Invisible Man appeal now clear to see

30 March 2020

This rare poster for 'The Invisible Man', the 1933 Universal Studios horror film, realised a hammer price of $152,000 (£132,175) in Heritage Auctions’ Movie Poster sale in Dallas.

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Inscription in Harry Potter book acknowledges the person who spotted its potential

30 March 2020

Key to a price tag of £95,000 for a slightly bumped first impression copy of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone' offered in a recent Bonhams sale lay in an inscription.

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Timely reminder of Byron in the saleroom

30 March 2020

Association with the name boosts value as part of a sale dedicated to the poet.

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Key work of American political theory sold at Heritage

30 March 2020

Comprising essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, all of which were published under the same pen name, ‘Publius’, The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution… is a key American contribution to political theory.

British and Irish book auctions (all online only): March 31-April 11, 2020

30 March 2020

British and Irish book auctions, March 31-April 11, 2020.

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James Bond guns stolen from North London home

28 March 2020

Detectives are appealing for information after five deactivated guns used in James Bond movies were stolen from a residential address in Enfield, North London.

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Poster from 1930s horror film The Invisible Man appears at Dallas auction

26 March 2020

This rare poster for 'The Invisible Man', the 1933 Universal Studios horror film, realised a hammer price of $152,000 (£132,175) in Heritage Auctions’ Movie Poster sale in Dallas.

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Historic archive of Second World War floating harbour designer bought at auction by museum

24 March 2020

An historic archive belonging to the engineer who oversaw the design of the Mulberry Harbours in the Second World War has been bought by a museum after being offered at Mitchells’ auction last week.

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Pick of the week: Rare The Who poster – once in a Blue Moon chance for collectors

23 March 2020

The Blue Moon, a club above Burton’s on Cheltenham High Street, existed for less than two years from July 1965 to May 1967, but in that time the compact 250-capacity venue with a tiny stage hosted Elton John, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, The Yardbirds and (on February 11, 1967) Jimi Hendrix.

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Rare photos of Alaskan ‘Gold Rush' bid to over 25-times estimate

23 March 2020

An album of 35 photographs relating to the Alaskan ‘Gold Rush’ of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries sold for £1900 rather than the estimate of £50-70 in a recent North Yorkshire sale.

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Hawk bell recalls sad story of Duleep Singh

23 March 2020

There was no shortage of desirable names among the 1370-lot Fine & Decorative three-day sale at Kingham & Orme (23% buyer’s premium), such as Charles Ashbee, Omar Ramsden, Lalique, Christopher Dresser and William de Morgan.

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Austen firsts star in US

23 March 2020

First editions of all of Jane Austen’s major works featured in a sale last month held by Swann Galleries (25/20/12% buyer’s premium).

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Sale drives towards a sell-out

23 March 2020

With just five of the 630 lots of toys and models failing to get away and an £80,000 total well above top hopes, Special Auctions Services’ Newbury sale was, said auctioneer Hugo Marsh, “just like the old days – even better”.

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