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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Graves and the man who kept him from one...

19 August 2004

LIKE other ex-Peralta-Ramos lots that have cropped up in recent weeks, this pair of 1934 firsts of Robert Graves’ I, Claudius and Claudius the God bore a red inked Chinese ownership stamp, but both were inscribed by the author in 1958, at a time when he was giving a lecture in Detroit, and they sold for $5500 (£2990) in a Sotheby’s New York sale of June 17.

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Nelson takes his leave on shore

18 August 2004

OCTOBER 21, 2005 will see the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar and many celebrations marking the most decisive naval victory in modern history are planned. However, it will not be until January 9, 2006 that we mark 200 years since the funeral of its most famous protagonist.

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A case in point

18 August 2004

ART case pianos, as their name implies, are instruments with very decorative cases painted or elaborately inlaid, and usually one-off commissions.

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Sindy helps her owner walk to happiness

18 August 2004

IN 1963, following market research to discover the most popular girl’s name at the time, Lines Bros. (Pedigree) of Merton, London, launched England’s answer to Mattel’s Barbie and Ideal Toy Corporation’s Tammy. Sindy, with her rosebud mouth, large blue eyes and bouncy curls, was The doll you'll love to dress.

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£5200 box traces the roots of royal legend

18 August 2004

THE story of the Boscobel Oak that gave numerous pubs a name also, after 1660, became an object of Royalist pilgrimage. By 1680 a protective wall was built round the trunk but, such was the souvenir hunting, by the early 18th century the tree had almost been destroyed. The oak at Boscobel today is almost certainly a descendant and not the one where Charles Stuart spent a sleepless night as he fled Cromwell’s heavies.

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Griffiths sale sends out the pagans and nobles

10 August 2004

THE energy with which Spink pursue their business was made manifest on July 15 when they crammed in another sale which has not been part of their auction schedule in recent years. The total take was £250,850 and, although it was a 519-lot general sale, it offered several homogeneous sections. In all, it taught us really quite a lot about the state of the London coin market.

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Nicholas Jarry

10 August 2004

SEEN right is the illuminated title which, together with a full-page miniature of The Annunciation and numerous coloured and gold initials, make up the principal decoration of vellum manuscript collection of Prières et Oraisons Dévotés produced by the great calligrapher Nicholas Jarry (c.1615-7).

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Chipping out of the rough

10 August 2004

COINCIDING with the run up to the British Open at Royal Troon, Christie’s South Kensington (19.5/12% buyer’s premium) held their summer sale of golf memorabilia on July 8. According to the specialist in charge, David Convery, the auction was “well attended by British based and American buyers,” but, nevertheless, there was still something of a polite hush around the saleroom with most lots barely scraping past their reserves.

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Football and presidential clubs fare well in Budd’s first

10 August 2004

THE first outing for Sotheby’s associate Graham Budd Auctions (15% buyer’s premium) offered a large range of sporting memorabilia in a 885-lot sale held at Sotheby’s Olympia on June 9. Football was the most represented sport, contributing to well over half the total number of lots.

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The finest strokes at South Ken

10 August 2004

THE Cricket, Tennis and Traditional Sports sale at Christie’s South Kensington on June 22 saw a hammer total of £87,355 from the 163-lot offering. Yet nearly three quarters of this figure came from the two top lots alone, hence the sold by value figure of 63 per cent was noticeably higher than the sold by lot figure of 51 per cent.

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Return to the podium

10 August 2004

WHEN Mount Vesuvius erupted in 1906, the problems that beset the 1908 Olympic Games had begun. Rome, the intended host city for the games, was forced to withdraw and London stepped in with an offer to take over. A 68,000-seat stadium in White City, completed Athens-style at the eleventh hour, became the location for the fourth modern games.

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Provenance and craftsmanship overcome risk of overexposure

10 August 2004

AS its title suggests, the June 30 sale of scientific, medical and engineering works of art held by Christie’s South Kensington (19.5/12% buyer's premium) was something of a mixed bag. The 216-lot auction incorporated anything from 18th century microscopes and preserved amphibians to delft barbers’ bowls and scale models of locomotives.

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The Princess of the Orient

10 August 2004

THE 523-lot collection of theatrical souvenirs amassed by French actor and director Jean Darnel was 89 per cent sold by value at Piasa (20.33% buyer’s premium) on June 28, en route to a premium-inclusive €247,000 (£164,665). Thirteen lots were pre-empted by the Comédie Française and nine by the Bibliothèque Nationale.

Victorian games go to museum

10 August 2004

AS one of Keys of Aylsham's (10% buyer's premium) huge, six-a-year, sales aimed squarely at collectors, the strengths of this 1423-lot outing on June 17-18 lay in toys and militaria.

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Catalogued For Sale

10 August 2004

REINFORCED at the spine with linen some time ago, the sale catalogue seen right was issued in 1836 by a Mr Pigott for a sale of farming stock, garden and other seeds, plus household furniture, held at Normandy Farm, near Ash in Surrey – the home of “the late William Cobbett, Esq. MP”, and of course author of Rural Rides. In a Bloomsbury Auctions sale of June 17, it was sold for £400 (C.R. Johnson).

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Holmes past and future...

10 August 2004

THE sale at $350,000 (£190,215) of Conan Doyle’s autograph manuscript of the Sherlock Holmes story, The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire, has already been noted in the Antiques Trade Gazette (No.1646) but the Christie’s New York sale of June 9 that brought that very high bid also included the pair of first edition copies of The Adventures... and Memorials of Sherlock Holmes (1892 and ’94) seen right.

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Stalkers £6000 Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing ...

10 August 2004

THE earliest book in English on the subject, John Stalker’s Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing... of 1688 has been described by H.D. Molesworth as “a work of art in its own right... as readily accepted for its literary content as for its technical information”.

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The quest for consignments

10 August 2004

ON July 14 there was a sale at Bonhams (incorporating Glendinings). The return of this appellation to their catalogues will please the sentimental because there is still world-wide affection for the Glendining name.

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Harris and Dugdale counties

10 August 2004

SOLD for £3800 as part of the June 21 Christie’s sale at Chirk Castle was a copy of the first and only published part of John Harris’ The History of Kent, bound in contemporary speckled calf, now rubbed and splits at the joints.

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Tame Cats & Wild Things

21 July 2004

A LARGE scale oil by Kathleen Hale of Orlando Reclining Amongst Flowers failed to sell against a £10,000-15,000 estimate at Sotheby’s on July 8, but the autograph draft manuscript of Orlando (The Marmalade Cat) becomes a Doctor of 1944, right, each page with pencil and coloured crayon drawings (some with added wash or gouache, a few unfinished) did sell at £5000 to a London gallery.

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