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.

Enigma theft dealer faces prison term

02 October 2001

UK: THE dealer charged in connection with the theft of the German Enigma cypher machine from Bletchley Park has been told he could go to jail after admitting receiving stolen goods.

Uncle Fred, Scoop and Pooh do well in Oxford

26 September 2001

Pictured are two modern firsts, both in rather chipped jackets, from the book section of a September 7 sale held by Mallams of Oxford. P.G. Wodehouse’s Uncle Fred in Springtime of 1939 was sold for £100, while Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop of the previous year reached £210.

Architectural Adornment

26 September 2001

ISAAC WARE’S Complete Body of Architecture, a calf bound 1768 edition illustrated, or rather “adorned” with engraved plates of “...plans and elevations from original designs... in which are interspersed some designs of Inigo Jones”, was one of a small group of architectural books that brought most of the higher bids in this Bearne's sale on 21 August.

All guns blazing on summer day

17 September 2001

SPECIALIST collectors and dealers don’t seem to have a closed season, certainly not in the arms and armour world and they turned up in strength at Weller & Dufty in Birmingham on 25 July.

Rule the universe for £150

12 September 2001

With their sinister gliding gait and shrill cries of Exterminate! Exterminate! the Daleks sent small children cowering behind the sofa when they first appeared on TV in the 1960s in their bid to rule the Universe. At approximately 8in (20cm) high, however, this particular example of spin-off merchandising from the BBC series Dr Who is more likely to invoke fond nostalgia than fear.

Anything but child’s play

05 September 2001

USA: WHEN Henry Koerner’s (1915-1991) oil on board Playing Pretend (21 x 2ft 1in) was offered on home soil at Dargate’s July 10-14 sale in Pittsburgh it made a substantial price, especially as the subject matter, impish children stuck in contorted poses, was commonly visited by the artist and is his most highly rated work.

Aeronautica, or Voyages in the Air

31 August 2001

Depicting the balloons of the Montgolfier and Charles brothers, as well as Blanchard, Lunardi and Garnerin, this folding colour frontispiece plate comes from an anonymously published little volume entitled

Turning Japanese in Hong Kong

31 August 2001

The annual Hong-Kong coin sale presided over by Baldwin-Ma-Gillio-Monetarium is always a big draw. This one, number 33, including the semi-annual sales at Singapore, is scheduled for August 30.

Secondhand copy of first hand first

20 August 2001

AMONG the earlier travel books in the June 14 sale held by Pacific Book Auctions was a 1632 first edition of Bernal Diaz del Castillo’s famous first-hand account of the conquest of Mexico, Historia Verdadera de la Conquesta de la Nueva-España. An ex-Nottingham Free Library copy in a 20th century quarter morocco binding, it had stamps to the title and other pages and a few other shortcomings of condition, but it is an important work and sold at $5000 (£3625).

English fire power – Lucknow style

20 August 2001

UK: One of the highlights of Christie’s South Kensington’s antique arms and armour sale on July 19 was this interesting Indian-made group, comprising pistols and a sporting gun from the Lucknow Arsenal.

Rashi’s commentaries – the pristine version?

14 August 2001

Written in northern France around 1200, apparently by a scribe called Jacob, this vellum manuscript of Solomon ben Isaac Rashi’s Commentary on the Prophets (II Samuel 22:1 to Zechariah 6:13) is incomplete, but Rashi (1040-1105) was responsible for the most important and influential Hebrew biblical commentary of the Middle Ages and this is one of the two or three oldest extant manuscripts of Rashi’s commentaries on the Prophets.

It was cheaper in the 1930s...

14 August 2001

Probably written within a generation of the death (in 1279) of the author, Conrad of Saxony, a charming and almost perfectly preserved manuscript containing his Speculum Mariae Virginis and other sermons or texts in praise of the Virgin was another of the highlights of the manuscripts from the Ritman collection sold at Sotheby’s – and one with a distinguished provenance.

£700,000 for Simon Bening’s miniature Hours

14 August 2001

Shown right is a previously unknown miniature Book of Hours illuminated by Simon Bening, whose contemporary reputation as “the best master in the art of illumination in all Europe” has remained unchallenged over five centuries.

Valderrama’s big hitter ensures well-timed golf sales still have some swing

14 August 2001

On the eve of the Open Golf Championship every old swinger in the global village pitches up to the series of golfing memorabilia sales held in Chester and London on July 15 & 16.

Buttonless bear still sells

14 August 2001

The well-documented English love of teddy bears was the main feature of the June 27 sale of the toys, dolls, bears and juvenilia sale at the Knowle rooms of Phillips (15% buyer’s premium).

Early tilt-headed lawn tennis racket

13 August 2001

A sporting treble of Cricket, Boxing and Tennis made up the 311-lot sale held at Christie’s South Kensington back on June 22. This early tilt- headed lawn tennis racket which made one of the highest prices in the tennis section had the double distinction of being an early piece of equipment with a provenance to a pioneer champion of the sport.

A rivetting tale…

13 August 2001

ANY aspirant outlaw should know that in order to ensure a special place in folk tradition it is no good just killing and robbing, you have to acquire an idiosyncrasy or two that will add gloss to the flyposters and newspaper reports, and keep storytellers exciting children for generations to come.

Sporting sale at Sotheby's

13 August 2001

Sotheby’s (20/15/10% buyer’s premium) offered buyers two sporting sales last month, on July 18 and 19, with the first day devoted to a large golfing section plus a mix of other sports, while the subsequent session comprised 200 lots of pictures, objects and ephemera devoted to equestrian sports.

Sale of cricketing memorabilia

13 August 2001

Today’s national cricket teams jet around the world to their Test series by plane, but back in the early 20th century the cruise liner was the chosen mode of transport.

Art Deco delights in dolls’ housing market

06 August 2001

ARMS and toys are specialities of Lewes auctioneers Wallis & Wallis (15% buyer’s premium) and on June 11 their 285 lots of toys included die-cast tinplate toys, toy soldiers and the Mirylees Collection of Dolls’ Houses and dolls.

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