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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Poetic blooms by Stevenson

21 July 2004

ILLUSTRATED right is a very good copy of the 1885 first edition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s splendid A Child’s Garden of Verses that made £1200 (Bauman Rare Books) as part of the Alan Fortunoff library at Bloomsbury Auctions on June 4.

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Rabbit fortunes...

21 July 2004

ONE yellow-covered rabbit book in the Dominic Winter sale of June 24, a scarce 1922 first of Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit, or How Toys Become Real, with its William Nicholson illustrations, was left unsold on an estimate of £4000-5000 (the original pictorial boards had been “rebacked in facsimile”) but the 1972 first of Richard Adams’ Watership Down, seen right – a copy used in the V&A’s 1977 ‘After Alice’ exhibition – made £610 in Swindon.

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Winnie the Pooh & Tigger too

21 July 2004

THERE is never any shortage of news from the Hundred Acre Wood and this summer’s helpings included, at the very basic level, the straightforward 1926 first of Winnie the Pooh seen top right, a little rubbed and darkened to the spine, which brought a bid of £1350 (Sotherans) at a Dominic Winter sale of June 24.

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20,000 Leagues in English equals £12,000

21 July 2004

FIRST English editions of the works of Jules Verne have been selling for high prices of late. In a July 6 sale held by Strides of Chichester, the fine copy of Sampson Low’s 10/6d edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, seen right, dated 1873 but possibly issued as early as October of the previous year, sold for £12,000.

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Harry Pottering

21 July 2004

HARRY Potter prices are not quite as strong as they once were, but the fine “unread” copy of the 1997 first of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone seen right was sold on June 17 for £11,000 at Bloomsbury Auctions, who had it hopefully estimated it at £15,000-20,000.

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Beatrix Pottering

21 July 2004

PICK of the recent Beatrix Potters were seen in the Dominic Winter sale of June 24, where the 1903 first of The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin, seen right, complete with printed glassine jacket (showing some spine and edge loss) and inscribed as a Christmas gift at the time by the author to a Mrs Lord, was sold at £7600 to Hawthorn Books, who gave a further £7600 for a jacketed, 1904 first of The Tale of Benjamin Bunny that Beatrix Potter inscribed to Mrs Lord.

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The Cat, the Grinch & Horton

21 July 2004

A Christie’s New York sale of June 9 included a collection of Dr Seuss books, illustrated letters and other ephemera formed by Jed Mattes, who in 1977, following the death of Theodor Geisel’s long-term agent Phyllis Jackson, took over as his representative.

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Tolkien and his US copyright

21 July 2004

THERE was a 1954-55 first edition set of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books in a Sotheby’s sale of July 8 that sold at £6500 to a collector – all three volumes impressions in slightly frayed jackets, one of them with a tape repair, showing a little browning and spotting.

Art Nouveau enthusiasts buckle down to bid on Liberty piece

20 July 2004

SELECTIVE bidding at Hobbs Parker's (10% buyer's premium) 704-lot June 10 outing focused on the better-quality entries such as an Art Nouveau belt buckle by Liberty & Co., which fetched £400, and two Mappin & Webb silver photograph frames dating to 1917 and 1916 which took a respectable £400.

Ephelia revealed

20 July 2004

IN reporting the sale of the John R.B. Brett-Smith library at Sotheby’s on May 27 (Antiques Trade Gazette No 1646, July 3), I mentioned and illustrated the sale at £2800 of a work of 1679 called Female Poems on Several Occasions written by Ephelia.

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Cleaning up after servants’ life of grime

20 July 2004

THE servants’ quarters, very much a part of the history of any great house, are always hugely popular with visitors and the National Trust was keen to buy items at Christie’s (19.5/12% buyer's premium) Chirk Castle sale on June 21 which represented life below stairs.

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Old favourites still solid sellers in selective market

20 July 2004

THE ups and, more depressingly, the downs of the market this year make the results of a steady day’s selling of material put together by Nigel Papworth at Diamond Mills’ (11.75% buyer's premium) Felixstowe rooms at the end of June look positively encouraging.

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That’s another fine sale you’ve gotten me into!

20 July 2004

“WHEN Mr Woods came into our saleroom and invited us to see his collection,” said Anderson & Garland’s collectables specialist John Anderson, “we just couldn’t believe that such a unique selection of memorabilia could have been sitting in a house only a dozen miles from our premises.”

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Holding time in the palm of your hand

20 July 2004

A Dial in your Poke by Mike Cowham, published privately. £29.50, plus p&p: UK £4.50, Europe £5.50, rest of the world including USA £10.00.

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PREVIEW

13 July 2004

LEOMINSTER auctioneer Brightwells will offer the lifetime collection of recorded sound enthusiast Don Watson, in a single vendor sale on July 29.

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Brightwells throw doll-lovers a googly

13 July 2004

REGULAR sales of toys, dolls and bears are among the specialist categories pinpointed for expansion by Brightwells (15% buyer’s premium) of Leominster.

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The first book bindings fit for a Roman consul

13 July 2004

ROUNDING off a sale of Western Manuscripts and Miniatures at Sotheby’s on June 22 was what, at first glance, must have seemed an unusual inclusion in a manuscript sale – a 13 1/2in (35cm) high carved ivory plaque featuring a figure of a Roman Consul.

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Hevelius and Selenographia - all his own work

13 July 2004

SCIENCE books in a June 24 sale held by Bloomsbury Auctions included a 1647, Danzig first of Hevelius’ Selenographia, the first lunar atlas, illustrated with a portrait and 111 plates (one with volvelle), mostly engraved by the author from drawings that he made in the observatory that he had equipped with instruments he had built himself.

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PREVIEW

13 July 2004

LEOMINSTER auctioneer Brightwells will offer the lifetime collection of recorded sound enthusiast Don Watson, in a single vendor sale on July 29.

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First of Keynes' General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money sold by Bloomsbury Auctions

13 July 2004

ON June 4, as part of the Fortunoff library, Bloomsbury Auctions sold a 1936 first of John Maynard Keynes’ enormously infleunetial General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money for £1700 (Bauman).

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