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.

Zeppelins’ guide on stairway to Heaven

26 April 1999

UK: JUST as rocket fuel was essential to the stratospheric aims of the V1 and V2 missiles towards the end of WW2, so the altigraph was mandatory to the success of Germany’s highest flying secret of WW1.

Short’s Stygian Poison

19 April 1999

Bearnes, Exeter, March 23 Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent UK: HIGHLIGHTS of this sale included Thomas Short’s Comparative History of the Increase and Decrease of Mankind in England... and also a Meteorological Discourse, 1767, which, in the process of assembling historical and medical information, advocates early marriage and denounces alcohol as ‘a Stygian poison’. It sold at £100.

Amos French collection beats hopes

19 April 1999

FRANCE: THE dispersal of the Paul Amos collection of French medals, under the auspices of expert Sabine Bourgey at Piasa (10.854 per cent buyer’s premium) in Paris on March 8 represents an event for which we have to go back some years to find anything comparable.

Military museum to sell off its collection

19 April 1999

GERMANY: SOME of the most unusual and fascinating military vehicles ever built are to be auctioned on May 15 when the contents of the Historical and Technical Museum of Nümbrecht are sold off.

Ted is torn twixt pulpit and easel

19 April 1999

Ewbank, Send, March 25 Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent UK: An amusing, illustrated letter sent by the 16-year-old Edward Coley Burne Jones to his aunt Amelia on May 7, 1849, topped this sale with a London bid of £880.

A provenance of no distinction

12 April 1999

US Round-Up (February-March Pt.II) THE FIRST 350 lots of the February 15-16 sale held by Pacific Auction Galleries comprised books from the library of the Zamorano Club, a society of book lovers, founded in 1928, which takes its name from the first known printer in California, Augustin Vicente Zamorano, who set up a press in Monterey in 1834.

Blast from the past...

12 April 1999

UK: “PLACE the flattened end of the flagstaff in the socket made for it, then raise the hammer until it catches the base of the flag socket and remains upright: place a cap in the capholder and mount the soldiers along the trench.

Provenance of high order...

12 April 1999

US: THE BOOKS and manuscripts sold as part of a March 16 ‘Judaica’ sale held by Sotheby’s included material from the library of the late Alfred Rubens (1903-98), a distinguished historian and collector whose Jewish Iconography of 1954 became the ‘bible’ for scholars of Jewish prints.

Illuminated manuscript of religious meditations

05 April 1999

UK: “THE richness of the language in which this manuscript is written speaks redolently of the period, and of the writer himself,” said the Phillips cataloguer of an illuminated manuscript of religious meditations which sold at £4400 to Quaritch.

A madness for King George...

05 April 1999

Georgian grandeur helps break the £1m barrier UK: THE reign of George III is a popular collecting theme and so it is worthwhile reporting on Spink’s (10 per cent buyer’s premium) specialist sale of the Herman Selig collection on March 2.

Byron auction catalogue raises the bidding high

05 April 1999

UK: ONE OF THE principal successes in the printed portion of this sale was a copy of the 1827 Evans auction catalogue of the Library of the Late Lord Byron....

It's official: wine is good for you...

05 April 1999

...but it's still bad for you US: HOT news from health-conscious America. After years of campaigning from pro-winers, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has agreed to allow the words DO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT THE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF DRINKING WINE to be added to the back label, as well as the statutory health warning. So now it’s official. Not only is wine bad for you, but it’s good for you as well.

Love is not quite enough for private press books

05 April 1999

UK: PRINCIPAL FOCUS of attention at this auction was the range of private press, limited edition and other modern illustrated books on offer.

Ovid, Euclid and the Kôs

05 April 1999

Sales in Switzerland A SCARCE first edition, in a ‘curious’ binding, of the Marquis de Sade’s Justine which proved a surprise star turn of a Galerie Koller auction held in Zurich on February 8, selling for a premium inclusive SFr51,168 (£22,745), was illustrated and described in an earlier issue of the Antiques Trade Gazette, but illustrated and described here are a few more of the highlights.

340 years old and drinkable

05 April 1999

UK: FOR the moment at least the great international wine auctioneering machine grinds on serenely enough with lottage selling rates routinely at levels of 90 per cent or better.

Kaempfer and Titsingh offer posthumously published revelations of Japan through Western eyes

05 April 1999

UK: THE Christie’s South Kensington sale of March 19 fielded no fewer than three copies of the book that was the main source of western knowledge of Japan in the 18th century, the two-volume History of Japan... written by Englebert Kaempfer.

Newton the third (and second)

30 March 1999

UK: DESPITE the irritation of losing contact with a US telephone bidder on the way, the auctioneers managed to secure a bid of £3500 from Arden on the principal colour plate lot in the sale – a six volume, second series set of J-J.Linden’s Iconographie des Orchidées of 1895-1900, presenting 273 chromolitho plates.

Reprints are a Way to Wealth

30 March 1999

UK: TOP LOT in this sale was a 1668 edition of Gervase Markham’s A Way to get Wealth, a ‘nonce’ collection, first issued in 1623, which incorporates half a dozen works by this important but prolific and commercially inventive writer on agriculture, who was not averse to putting different titles to what were essentially the same works or to re-issuing unsold copies of new books under new titles.

A volume that really does live up to its title

30 March 1999

The Ultimate Corkscrew Book by Donald A Bull

“An old and wise and well-balanced people”

30 March 1999

- Raymond Chandler on the English US: IN MY LAST American round-up, I reported on the sale at Swanns of an early printing of the Treaty of Paris that had been owned by the Reverend Samuel Cooper of Boston, a now largely forgotten but once key political and spiritual figure in the War of Independence.

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