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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Gallery brings out the colourful side of the Middle Ages

04 December 2023

From 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' to 'The Last Duel', films nearly always depict the Middle Ages as dark, dingy and beset by bad weather.

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Indulge your wanderlust with two travel poster exhibitions

04 December 2023

London poster specialist stages two shows – one held in an embassy

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Most famous novelist of her day – now hardly known

04 December 2023

Top-selling lot in Halls’ (24% buyer’s premium) books and manuscripts sale on November 15 was a collection of 14 letters written by the Anglo-Irish novelist Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) between 1818-31.

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Jade catalogue owned by the last tsar

04 December 2023

Among the many highlights of the Alan and Simone Hartman collection at Bonhams New York is a copy of the monumental catalogue of the famed Bishop collection of Chinese jades. The deluxe volume, once owned by the last tsar of Russia, carries expectations of $100,000-150,000 as part of the 114-lot dispersal on December 14.

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Dealer to sell decorations from a royal Christmas tree at Hansons

04 December 2023

Dealer Daniel Hadden is hoping for an early Christmas present with the sale of two tree decorations that once belonged to Queen Victoria.

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Not a bog standard auction offering

04 December 2023

The Christmas Rare Books & Collectors sale at Irish auction house Fonsie Mealy on December 12-13 includes No33 of only 150 copies in a limited special edition of Bog Poems by Seamus Heaney illustrated by Barrie Cooke (London, Rainbow Press, 1975).

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Presentation copies with a special touch

04 December 2023

Pictured here are two fine 19th century presentation copies that, unexpectedly, topped sales in South Cerney and Cambridge in October.

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Shipshape $7000 surprise

04 December 2023

A group of letters sent from a clipper ship captain in Shanghai during the Second Opium War (1856-60) to his sons in the Charlestown area of Boston resounded with bidders at Merrill’s Auctioneers (21% buyer’s premium) in Williston, Vermont on November 3.

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Of mice and men and a pesky pup

04 December 2023

Scrap of paper came as result of half a manuscript book being chewed into ‘confetti’ by Steinbeck’s dog

Napoleon hat

Ridley Scott's Napoleon hits cinemas as a Bonaparte bonanza takes hold of auction houses and dealers

28 November 2023

Napoleon director Ridley Scott’s film charting the rise and fall of the French emperor is in cinemas across the UK.

Waverley typewriter,

Pick of the week: Short production window is key to typewriter’s rarity

27 November 2023

The writing was on the wall for the Waverley not long after it entered the market in 1895.

Books and works on paper auction calendar, November 28-December 10, 2023

27 November 2023

Our regular listing of UK and Irish book auctions

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Chess collecting: now it’s your move

27 November 2023

How much would you spend on an antique or vintage chess set? Here are three examples from different periods that sold across a wide range of prices.

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Shooting gallery target to get your teeth into

27 November 2023

In September 2020, Soulis Auctions knocked down record prices at a sale of the Richard and Valerie Tucker collection of carnival shooting gallery targets.

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Dial M for huge 007 memorabilia price

27 November 2023

To say that James Bond memorabilia is hugely collectable is not a statement to cause a huge shock.

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The difference detail can make to mass products

27 November 2023

The Matchbox Superfast 74a Daimler Fleetline Bus estimated at £60-80 as Lot 214 in the Vectis (27% buyer’s premium inc VAT) sale on October 31 made £35, while the version guided at £50-70 two lots later made £120.

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T Kimball Brooker delights span eight sales

27 November 2023

Dispersal of renowned collection launches with the first auctions including Aldine ‘crown jewels’

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Marx goes to war in a big way with a huge toy soldier playset

27 November 2023

The first American Civil War playset produced by Marx came in 1958 but in 1961 a real blockbuster version appeared: the Giant Blue and Gray Battle Set.

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Bild-Lilli: the sexy and sassy character that inspired Barbie

27 November 2023

The Barbie movie might not have been such a hit if it was called Bild-Lilli instead.

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Japanese post-war toys – the novelty that has not worn off

27 November 2023

The highly imaginative post-war toys made in Japan for the US market are sought-after lots at auction

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