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.

Ex-Butterfields chiefs launch new arms and armour auction house

12 February 2002

USA: A NEW auction house specialising in what it dubs ‘Landmark’ sales of arms and armour has risen in San Francisco from the ashes of the former top management team of Butterfield’s.

A horrid Hobbit and a glimpse of London shadows and swamps

07 February 2002

The estimate of £25-35 placed on a second impression copy of Tolkien’s The Hobbit was a reflection of its condition – “deplorable” being the cataloguer’s chosen epithet. There was no jacket and 20-30 leaves had been torn loose, one of which had been further torn into four (now three) pieces.

Lawrence and Burton triumph

07 February 2002

THE LAST 450 or so lots of a two-day general antiques sale on 6 December at Cheffins, Cambridge comprised books, many of them multiples.

Commandos trade in guns for schoolbooks

07 February 2002

ONE of the more successful entries in this end of year sale at Comic Book Postal Auctions brought Christmas cheer to the Friends of St. Matthews School in Yiewsley, whose fund raising activities had brought in a large quantity of books, comics and annuals.

Painted Ark floats to triple estimate

06 February 2002

This was a busy sale at the Hagley community hall for Fieldings on 12 January with a good crosssection of material on offer attracting a good mixture of trade and private buyers.

Collectable clout of Nelson and Titanic

05 February 2002

The Maritime sale held by Bonhams (15/10% buyer’s premium) in their New Bond Street rooms on January 16 was a sizeable 400-lot affair divided roughly 50/50 into paintings and maritime artefacts – the latter featuring anything from ship models to scrimshaw, divers’ helmets to sextants.

Danish prototype hits £48k

30 January 2002

GERMANY: TYPEWRITERS may not be renowned for their beauty but there was undeniable aesthetic charm, as well as historic significance, to the 1867 Malling Hansen Writing Ball that set a new world record price for an historical typewriter with a double-estimate DM150,000 (£48,000) for Auction Team Köln in Cologne on December 1.

For Attwood on Edward II – read Hubert

30 January 2002

THOUGH not a first class copy, a 1632 edition offered as part of this first Bath sale of the year at Bonhams was still a highly desirable and scarce item and brought the day’s top bid of £17,000 from Maggs.

Pair of saddle pistols fetched $1.8m

29 January 2002

USA : It was no surprise that the star lot in a star-studded Americana sale at Christie’s New York on January 18 and 19 was the Lafayette-Washington pair of saddle pistols which fetched $1.8m (£1,285,715) and established a new world auction record for a firearm.

A little stick of Blackpool pietra…

29 January 2002

If 1930s Blackpool looks like a British version of the Italian Riviera it is because this poster advertisement, right, was designed by a Neapolitan watercolourist, Fortunino Matania, for the LMS railway company whose trains serviced the Lancashire resort.

Masked faces of the Venice carnival bring smiles in Kent

23 January 2002

A large collection of theatrical, character costumes and accessories provided the Canterbury rooms with an out-of-the-ordinary offering which attracted surprisingly wide interest.

Helmet combines academic and monetary values

23 January 2002

ARMS & ARMOUR: Academic importance doesn’t always equate with financial interest, but in the case of the item pictured here, a 16th century close helmet, which went under the hammer at Sotheby’s Olympia (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) on December 7, there was a happy concurrence between the two.

Music scores with the museums, but Dreyfus and Zola hit the high notes

23 January 2002

PARIS: The Piasa letters and manuscripts sale on December 17 brought Fr7.25m (£690,000) hammer with just 1 per cent bought in, and no fewer than 18 pre-emptions for the Bibliothèque Nationale, Comédie Française, Assemblée Nationale, Musée Victor-Hugo, and the towns of Avignon, Grenoble and Besançon.

King James Bible in a restoration binding sells for $380,000 in the ‘Perryville’ Doheny auction

16 January 2002

In October 1987, Christie’s embarked on a series of six sales to dispose of the Doheny library, a spectacular series of auctions that ended in May 1989 and raised a grand total of $38m – a sum that remains to this day a record for any library sold at auction.

Court martial that led on to treason

16 January 2002

ONE of only 50 copies of Proceedings of a General Court Martial.... for the Trial of Major General Arnold that came up for sale in a Swanns Americana sale of November 29 was ex-library, bound in later half morocco with assorted stamps and various defects, but this Philadelphia imprint of 1780 is an extremely rare and historically significant item and attracted a lot of interest.

Johnson medals set new world record

16 January 2002

A new world record was set at Spink’s sale of Medals, Orders and Decorations (ODM) on December 10. The group of medals won by Air Vice-Marshal (as he became) “Johnnie” Johnson were sold for £241,500 (including premium).

Steiff competition as solid as ever

16 January 2002

The third sale in Christie's South Kensington’s December toy triumvirate was their teddy bear and soft toy sale held on the 3rd of the month. The second of their biannual sales in this category, this was a sizeable offering at 319 lots and was well attended by a mix of collectors and dealers.

Tarzan’s outhouse and Synthetic Men from Mars – an ERB special

16 January 2002

ED GILBERT, a Californian book dealer, became a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs when he read The Gods of Mars in 1925, aged just 12 years. Shortly thereafter he was introduced to ERB by his elder sister, Florence, who in 1935 became the writer’s wife.

Half of the earliest English nursery rhyme book rates £40,000 in Knightsbridge

14 January 2002

Blackamoor, Taunymoor, Suck a Bubby; Your Father’s a Cuckold, Your Mother told me ....not the most familiar of nursery rhymes, nor indeed one likely to find much favour in the present century, but that rhyme, illustrated right, is only one of 37 found in the second volume of Tom Thumb’s Pretty Song Book, many of which are much more familiar, if not always in quite the same form as we know them now.

The People’s Commissariat and the Imperial family jewels

14 January 2002

A jewellery sale held by Sotheby’s on November 27 included a few exhibition and sale catalogues, plus a very rare and important work published in Moscow in 1925 by the People’s Commissariat of Finances.

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