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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Collector interview: Longcase launched my interest

22 June 2020

Devon artist’s first buy is still his most precious – but joined by tables, militaria and much more

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Musical box bird makes appearance

22 June 2020

This blue and white enamelled musical box is be offered in a sale on June 27 at Oakridge Auction Gallery in Ashburn, Virginia.

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5 Questions: Simon Beattie

22 June 2020

Simon Beattie specialises in European cultural history, with interests in cross-cultural material and the history of decorated paper. He is also the founder of Facebook group We Love Endpapers, which has 5000 members.

Travel account of early US sells for many times estimate

22 June 2020

An account of travels in Indian territories in the early 19th century was one of two letters of particular North American interest sold for notably higher than expected sums by Forum (25/20/12% buyer’s premium).

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Tomahawk tempts a buyer at $540,000

22 June 2020

The highlight of Morphy Auctions’ (23% buyer’s premium) sale of historical militaria from the independence struggle and War of 1812 era was a rare and extensively provenanced presentation pipe tomahawk.

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Bidding contest for Nelson letter from HMS Victory and medal group from Battle of the Nile

22 June 2020

A signed memorandum letter sent by Nelson from HMS Victory to one of his captains sold for a mid-estimate £3200 at a recent TW Gaze (18% buyer’s premium) auction in Diss in Norfolk.

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Medal awarded to Victorian soldier wounded at Rorke’s Drift sells to doctor at auction

22 June 2020

A Zulu War medal awarded to a Victorian soldier severely wounded while fighting in the hospital building at Rorke’s Drift has been bought at auction – by a doctor.

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British voyages and a letter from Churchill star at Sotheby's

22 June 2020

The two most expensive lots in an online London books sale of just 100 lots could hardly have been more different.

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Georg Jensen brooch offered at Philadelphia auction

22 June 2020

This Danish silver, amber and agate brooch from c.1915 by Georg Jensen will feature in the art and design sale to be held by Freeman’s of Philadelphia on June 26.

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JK Rowling's children's classic dumped in a skip, now £33,000

22 June 2020

Harry Potter first deemed too scruffy by a public library brings a spellbinding result

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The other evacuation at the time of Dunkirk

22 June 2020

The 80th anniversary of Operation Dynamo, aka the Dunkirk evacuation in May-June 1940, has been in the headlines recently. However, less well known is the fate of the British 51st Highland Division almost 100 miles further along the French coast.

British and Irish book auctions: June 23-July 4, 2020

22 June 2020

Our regular listing of books and works on paper auctions the UK and Ireland.

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American collector secures original Second World War RAF ensign flag

22 June 2020

An American collector bought this original Second World War RAF ensign flag at a recent East Bristol Auctions (18% buyer’s premium).

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Raid on eBay seller's 'fake medal factory' run from garden shed leaves market reeling

15 June 2020

A trading standards investigation has unearthed a ‘medal factory’ in Derbyshire, sparking the fear that thousands of fake military awards and badges could be in circulation.

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Way to unlock Houdini secrets

15 June 2020

Dating from c.1908, a “notebook of secrets from Harry Houdini’s collection” was one of the more successful lots in a very successful magic auction held by Potter & Potter (20% buyer’s premium) with 98% of lots sold and total of around $500,000.

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Newton gets into bubble trouble

15 June 2020

Document signed by the great scientist reveals an investment skill not to the same standard.

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Photocard portraits showing faces of the struggle against slavery

15 June 2020

Originally scheduled for the end of March, an ‘African Americana’ sale planned by Swann Galleries (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) was postponed until May 7, when it was successfully sold online with almost 90% of the 400 lots finding buyers.

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Rare spy camera disguised as pocket watch from 1905 brings bidding battle between two museums

15 June 2020

A rare ‘pocket watch’ sold by East Bristol Auctions (18% buyer’s premium) was more surveillance device than timekeeper.

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First edition of Mary Shelley’s 'The Last Man' offered in dealer's latest catalogue

15 June 2020

A rare first edition of the first fully realised post-apocalyptic tale is on offer in Peter Harrington’s inaugural fantasy and science-fiction catalogue, 'In Other Worlds'.

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Actress Sarah Bernhardt in the frame at Tajan

15 June 2020

This 1890s Japoniste-style photograph frame in brown patinated bronze applied with gilt branches of stylised myosotis is by the Paris firm of Maison Millet.

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