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.

Wellington’s other heroic duke who gave his life in battle…

23 September 2002

THE heroic exploits of the first Duke of Wellington in defeating Napoleon at Waterloo must be among the best recorded events in British military history.

An Aylsham Selection

18 September 2002

The Norfolk auctioneers Keys got a lot of media exposure in March when they took a bid of £22,000 for a collection of letters, cards, etc, written by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, to a Mrs Pendrey, a long-term employee and friend from her Althorp days, but in this sale another small selection of letters, apparently from the same source, failed to sell against an estimate of £7500-10,000.

1925 colour lithograph sells for £18,000

17 September 2002

From the beaches of Newquay to the Kyle of Lochalsh, there was barely a corner of the British Isles not represented at Christie’s South Kensington’s sale of travel posters on September 12, but the appeal of the top ranked poster had more to do with sport than travel.

The ultimate toys for boys of all ages

17 September 2002

Two D-type Jaguars, one shown here being used as a child’s plaything, the other an actual boy’s toy, both featured in Bonhams’ September 6 sale of sports cars and automobilia at Goodwood.

Livingstone Rousers, I presume…

12 September 2002

Sub-Saharan Africa has a panoply of diseases to strike down the most seasoned, inoculated travellers with a bout of hypochondria, so imagine what it was like when Henry Morton Stanley entered the bush 100 years ago, armed only with this case of patent Victorian medicine.

“Lose not therefore a Moment in preparing the Means of achieving so much Glory for your Country”

12 September 2002

Sold for £180 as part of a Hamptons sale on August 1 was the handbill exhorting Englishmen! to take up arms against Napoleon, right.

Mark Twain rents a kitten or three as company for the summer vacation in New Hampshire…

04 September 2002

A presentation set of The Writings of Mark Twain offered as part of the Sotheby’s New York sale of June 18, a 1903 ‘Hillcrest’ edition, lacked one of the 23 volumes and some of the spines and labels were darkened.

Coming up in London

04 September 2002

From the lakes of Killarney to the golf links of St Andrews via the Norfolk Broads, there is hardly any corner of Ireland and the British Isles that is not covered by Christie’s South Kensington’s sale of Travel Posters, which takes place next week on September 12.

Cameras at Work…

04 September 2002

USA: The 200-lot literature section of a photograph sale held by Swanns on June 6 included a good run of the famous American publication, Camera Work, comprising Nos. 1 and 3-10 of the years 1903-05, plus the Steichen supplement of 1906.

Why brown is ten times better than blue

03 September 2002

THE highlight of the wide-ranging 1400-lot collectors’ sale held by Greenslade Taylor Hunt (15% buyer’s premium) at Taunton on July 20, was a Morris Minor 1000, from the Matchbox series, crucially painted in pale brown.

Barbies in aspic…

03 September 2002

Setting new standards of perfection in a condition-conscious toy marketplace at Skinner’s of Boston Massachusetts on July 20 was an unopened 1962 Mattel shipping carton containing 12 New Fashion Queen Barbies.

Train robber gets away with less

03 September 2002

NEARLY 40 years after 15 men stole 120 mail bags containing £2.6m from the Royal Mail train as it passed through the Buckinghamshire countryside, the Great Train Robbery can still arouse controversy. In 1969 the police held an auction of items found in the robbers’ hideout on behalf of the banks who lost money.

Flanders lion to set the arms trade roaring

03 September 2002

GERMANY: The sales of the firm of Kricheldorf (15% buyer’s premium) of Freiburg are relatively rare occasions but when they do hold them there are a large number of lots. There were two sales in July at Berlin. That on July 29-30 was a general affair (4205 lots).

Harry whaur’s yer sporran?

03 September 2002

Many sporrans are military or feral in character, but this leather wallet had graced the groin of Sir Harry Lauder, legendary laird of the music hall. Winston Churchill sounded dangerously like Samuel Johnson when he described the folk singer and comedian as “Scotland’s greatest ever ambassador”, but there is no doubt that Lauder, though dead since 1950, remains popular with tourists who swallow his sentimental vision of the old country.

Coming up in Swindon

29 August 2002

Inherently rare – in occupied France you wouldn’t want to be caught with a copy – this flimsy sheet of propaganda issued by the maquis at the height of WWII comes up for sale at Dominic Winter Book Auctions in Swindon on August 28.

Coming up in London.....

29 August 2002

THE pocket Derringer was a popular weapon for Western movie card-sharps, proving discretion could get the better of valour, but these palm-sized precursors look more lethal to the user than the intended victim.

Patchy results for summer’s sports

28 August 2002

The extraordinary prices realised for football memorabilia such as the £140,000 bid at Christie’s South Kensington for Pele’s Brazilian 1970 World Cup Final shirt reflect sporting collectors’ current obsession with the beautiful game.

Hendrix still top of the pops

28 August 2002

Unfortunate timing, rather than the quality of entries or the state of the collectors’ market, was to blame for patchy interest and selective bidding in Bonham’s (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) 582-lot Entertainment sale on July 24, according to specialist Toby Wilson.

Mixing grape and grain

28 August 2002

With tarriffs and subsidies yet again a hot political topic, it was appropriate that this wine label caused such a stir at Woolley and Wallis’ Salisbury salerooms on July 17.

Plane dealing lures US bids

27 August 2002

Americans being a major force in the arcane world of tool collecting,Tony Murland and Mike Hancock feared the US recession would hit their July 27 specialist Tool Shop Auctions, 10% buyer’s premium) at Needham Market.

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