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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For Bassett-Lowke collectors, the Royal Scot steams ahead

22 June 2004

PICTURED here are four very finely-preserved 1950s Bassett-Lowke 0 Gauge clockwork locomotives that were offered by toys and arms and armour specialists Wallis & Wallis (15% buyer’s premium) of Lewes on May 4.

Fire at warehouse damages Coys’ lots

21 June 2004

A FIRE that struck three storage warehouses in Vauxhall has damaged lots consigned to the classic car and automobilia auctioneers Coys for their July 3 ‘Jaguar Legend’ sale at Chiswick House.

Prototype pistols lead $5.3m firearms sale

17 June 2004

SPECIALIST firearms saleroom, Rock Island Auctions of Moline, Illinois, sold over 2800 lots for a total of $5.3m (£3m) in their April 17-19 event. Among the higher priced weapons were three prototype or experimental pistols by Mauser and Walther.

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Moon rock and an historic toothbrush

17 June 2004

IN the 18th century, it was widely believed that meteorites found on Earth were pieces of the moon that had been blasted into space by volcanic eruption. We now know that almost all meteorites come from the asteroid belt and that it was the pummelling that the moon received in the early years of the formation of our solar system that allowed some chunks of moon rock to escape the moon’s gravitational influence and, periodically, find their way to Earth.

Fords, Furness and Ffrendes

16 June 2004

TWO BOX files of Ford manufacturers’ catalogues, advertising material and other ephemera of 1920s and ’30s motoring interest brought a bid of £1550 in a May 19 sale held by Thomson Roddick & Medcalf and the only other lot to reach four figures was a collection of some 370 postcards relating almost entirely to Ulverston and Furness.

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Heath Robinson’s asbestos fun

16 June 2004

IN a May 18 sale held by Tennants of Leyburn, a copy of the 1902, first trade edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, bearing a neat inscription that was added 90 years later, was lotted with a copy of Jack and the Beanstalk in English hexameters by Hallam Tennyson and illustrated by Randolph Caldecott [1886?] and sold for £1000.

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Fraktur record well and truly broken by $330,000 nightingale

16 June 2004

DECORATED manuscripts known as fraktur, made in various parts of America but primarily associated with Pennsylvania’s German communities, are something very little known in Britain, but on the home auction scene they are big money spinners indeed, as the example from an April 24 Americana sale held by Freemans of Philadelphia shows.

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Bailly lots in $3m Las Vegas sale

16 June 2004

OVER the weekend of May 15-16, the Annapolis (Maryland) doll specialists, Theriault’s, sold $3m worth of dolls and automata in a Las Vegas sale that for the first time introduced live Internet bidding.

The Wright stuff – pamphlet soars to £2500

16 June 2004

FOUND in a box of aviation books that was brought into the salerooms of Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchet following a North London house clearance was a little pamphlet entitled Experiments and Observations in Soaring Flight.

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The Beggarstaffs couldn’t be bothered, but poster lovers see it differently.

16 June 2004

AT a sale of modernist posters held by Swanns on May 10, the New York cataloguers drew attention to the influence on Ludwig Hohlwein of the work of the Beggarstaffs.

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Swedish history bound for a French king

16 June 2004

A VERITABLE feast awaits lovers of early bindings at Christie’s on July 7, when they present the first part of the Michel Wittock collection, a 118-lot sale of Renaissance bindings, but seen right is something rather special from their sale of June 2.

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Repeating pattern for chess sale

15 June 2004

DR Kaspar J Stock’s interest in chess sets was kindled when he received a traditional red and white chess set as a wedding present in 1960. He spent the next 40 years building up his collection, first hunting around the flea markets and antique shops of Northern Europe and Italy then extending his catchment area further afield to St Petersburg, New York and the Far East.

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Pleasures of the dining room – notforgetting the corkscrew

15 June 2004

GOOD-quality mahogany and oak furniture took most of the better prices in Mitchells' (15% buyer's premium) 1566-lot May 13-14 auction which totalled £325,000.

It’s more fun and games at Bloomsbury

15 June 2004

THE expansion of Bloomsbury Auctions continues apace with the announcement that they are moving into the chess and games market.

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At £4000, the genuine Beatles for sale

15 June 2004

THE large sums of money rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia collectors are prepared to part with for a complete set of Beatles autographs inevitably means the market is peppered with fakes. The watertight provenance of an early Beatles extended play record, Twist and Shout, Parlophone, 1963, signed to the sleeve by the Fab Four, was key to its success at Biddle & Webb’s (15% buyer’s premium) 511-lot sale of toys and juvenilia in Birmingham on May 21.

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8 Savoys

10 June 2004

SOLD for $1300 (£730) in a May 20 sale held by Freemans of Philadelphia was a set in original wrappers of all eight issues of The Savoy (1896) with its cover designs and other illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley.

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Emma the leading lady and still a bestseller...

10 June 2004

EMMA was the leading lady in a May 19 sale held by Dreweatt Neate of Newbury, an 1816 first of Jane Austen’s novel selling at £6000. Catalogued as bound in both contemporary half red morocco and later boards, it retained the half title to Vol. III only and showed a little spotting and staining. It also bore the booklabels of Gilbert Bethune of Balfour.

An unfinished Chaucer

10 June 2004

IN an unfinished craft binding of crushed red morocco with full doublures, the lower cover with borders of inlaid blue and gilt pointillé cornerpiece, a paper copy of the Kelmscott Chaucer of 1896 was sold for £17,000 to an American dealer in a May 6 sale held by Bonhams.

On the origin of a couple of Austens

10 June 2004

BOUND in half calf gilt and marbled boards, the three-vol., 1813 second edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that sold for £4600 in a May 21 sale held by John Bellman of Billingshurst bore the pencil initials H.D. for Horace Darwin (Charles Darwin’s son) and his bookplates were to be found in a copy of the 1818, four-vol. first edition of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion in a similar but less well-preserved binding that sold at £2500.

Concerning Biggles and the witches, cookery, Egypt and corkscrews

10 June 2004

THE estimates were rather modest, but prices paid for some of the Biggles books offered as part of a May 21 sale held by Keys of Aylsham bode well for the Biggles collection that Dominic Winter are to sell on June 24. In Aylsham, Hamilton copies of The Black Peril of c.1936, in soiled blue cloth, and The Cruise of the Condor, an undated Ace series title with adverts for Spring 1937, were valued at around £40 apiece but sold for £1050 and £480 respectively.

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