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.

Koster's Travels in Brazil

09 April 2001

UK: ONE of eight coloured aquatints, plus map and plan, from an 1816 first edition of Travels in Brazil by Henry Koster, who first went to Brazil in 1809, hoping that a change of climate might alleviate his TB, and eventually settled to the life of a sugar planter at Jaguaribe, near Recife in Pernambuco, where he died in 1820.

Vintage model puts trade in the driving seat

09 April 2001

UK: THE first fortnight of March at Sotheby’s Sussex saw specialist sales in the ‘Arcade’ format of lower-priced pieces across the spectrum, where the trade achieved something like their old dominance when it came to higher value items – and were prepared to pay well over estimates to do so.

Sheldrake’s ... Herbal of Medicinal Plants

09 April 2001

Timothy Sheldrake’s ... Herbal of Medicinal Plants is often found without a title and with fewer than the 118 plates by C.H. Emmerich after Sheldrake called for, but they have great appeal and the Phillips copy, a first issue of c.1759 with 111 coloured plates, made £5500 at Bonhams.

Uncensored views from the trenches

09 April 2001

The Tin Trunk: Letters and Drawings by Cosmo Clark

Dennis, Jonah and Oor Wullie…

09 April 2001

THE 300-LOT postal and online comic auction which ended on March 13 was a complete sell-out and saw a top bid of £2540 for a copy of the first Beano Book (or annual) of 1940, which had a rather worn spine but was otherwise designated vg.

1925 Golden Cockerel edition of Songs... by Robert Burns

09 April 2001

UK: INSET with a portrait miniature, this 1925 Golden Cockerel edition of Songs... by Robert Burns, illustrated with wood engravings by Mabel Annesley and bound in Cosway style in red morocco gilt by Bayntun Rivière, was sold at Bonhams (Buyer’s premium:15/10 per cent) at £1400 (Pirouages).

First edition of Greenville Collins’ Great-Britain’s Coasting Pilot...

09 April 2001

The Scillies in one of 49 engraved charts from a 1753 first edition of Greenville Collins’ Great-Britain’s Coasting Pilot... which made £4000 at Bonhams.

1858 first issue of Coral Island

09 April 2001

UK: AS well as a quantity of letters, journals and sketch albums written or compiled by R.M. Ballantyne – among them an album containing sketches made on excursions to Scotland and fishing trips to Norway in the 1850s, which sold at £1000 to David Miles – the Bonhams (Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent) sale contained an 1858 first issue of Coral Island, the publisher’s decorative blue cloth binding slightly worn but generally good, which made £4000 (Heritage).

Elegy on Captain Cook

02 April 2001

US: IT MAY be 25 years since a copy of the Elegy on Captain Cook, as “composed and and publickly recited before the Royal Academy of Florence” by Michelangelo Gianetti, was last seen at auction, and this 1785 Florentine first edition, engraved throughout and bound in contemporary calf, would also appear to be the dedication copy.

Night Thoughts and a word or two on Grog

02 April 2001

UK: THE PRINTED word and picture, rather than the familiar manuscript and ephemeral material, were to the fore in this smaller than usual Chichester sale, and just edging to the front of the price lists was a copy of the famous 1797 edition of Young’s ...Night Thoughts, as illustrated by William Blake.

E is for Eboracum … and V is Victorious

02 April 2001

The catalogue for the Dix Noonan Webb sale of March 21 makes known a recent discovery before it gets into the learned journals. It is an incidental use of sale catalogues that these things can be given prompt announcement. This is the nice example of a Charles I half-crown struck at York.

Thomas Hardy and A Pair of Blue Eyes

02 April 2001

UK: JUST TO prove that “one can get a better... deal from the smaller boys”, John Cranwell, who trades in Oswestry as Bookworld and puts together two auctions a year for the local auctioneers, rang every Thomas Hardy specialist he could find in Sheppard's directory prior to this sale – determined that no-one with a declared interest should be unaware of the fact that a copy of Hardy’s third novel, A Pair of Blue Eyes, was to be offered in this 400-lot sale at the town’s Wynnstay Hotel.

Unfancied racehorses?

02 April 2001

THE BOOK section of this Worcester sale contained a good many equestrian titles, and while several seemed to be fairly modern and were job-lotted, what appears to have been the most important of these horse books was tacked onto a lot that led with an 1830 History of the Hundred of Carhampton in the County of Somerset by James Savage, and “three other books”.

Testone of François I

02 April 2001

Slightly worn, as they usually come, but with a good portrait, this testone of François I (1515-47 – 28mm diam) sold for E170 (£105).

Wodehouse collection

02 April 2001

The Bonhams Knightsbridge sale (see above, Henty – the great adventure begins with A Secret for Success) also included a P.G. Wodehouse collection (from a different source) and among the more successful of those lots were these two shown here.

Henty – the great adventure begins with A Secret for Success

02 April 2001

UK: G.A. HENTY fans, trade and private, gathered at Bonhams (Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent) on March 13 for the disposal of a superb collection of his many books.

Pointing towards electric kitsch

02 April 2001

The wind has always been blowing strongly in one direction in the market for American weather vanes, and this 1930s example, left, offered at the Harrogate rooms of Morphet’s (10 per cent buyer’s premium) on March 15 was always expected to sell for a high price.

Kipling makes an exceedingly good showing

02 April 2001

UK: THE FINAL LOT in this Sussex sale of books from a Scottish estate, ‘Hallrule’, was a 35-volume ‘Sussex’ edition of the works of Rudyard Kipling. One of the 525 sets issued in 1937-39, it was signed and, according to the catalogue, “full bound”. It reached £10,500.

From puppet show to porcelain

02 April 2001

AUSTRIA: THERE were three prices of over ASch1m (£50,000) at the Wiener Kunst (20 per cent buyer’s premium) modern art sale on March 6, starting with Rudolf Wacker’s 1924 Puppentheater, 25 x 19in (64 x 47cm), a puppet theatre with rag doll, at ASch2.2m (£100,000). The back of the canvas featured another painting, of boats moored in a small marina.

Leonhard Fuch’s De Historia Stirpium...

02 April 2001

UK: LEONHARD Fuch’s De Historia Stirpium..., first issued in Basel in 1542, contains over 500 full-page botanical woodcuts, one shown bottom right, but while it is not unusual to find a portrait of the author in any book, this work also contains portraits of the artists, Heinrich Füllmaurer and Albert Meyer, and the man who made the woodblocks from their originals, Veit Rudolphe Speckle.

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