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.

Mickey Mouse money box banks £15,000

29 August 1999

UK: CONSIGNED to the Taunton rooms of Lawrence’s from a local source was this German tinplate money bank depicting Mickey Mouse with a concertina.

Titanic badge surfaces at £11,000

23 August 1999

UK: LURKING in the depths of a maritime sale at Henry Aldridge & Son (10 per cent buyer’s premium) in Devizes, Wiltshire, on July 21, was this badge, the most expensive Edwardian badge ever sold at auction.

Which Tommy’s gun?

02 August 1999

UK: THIS early 18th century flintlock pistol possesses a combination of characteristic features which should leave the curious in no doubt as to its country of origin.

Rise of poor man’s tennis

21 June 1999

UK: ONE OF THE curious features of the English class system was the availability of similar sporting pastimes to all men by their birthright. Royalty played real tennis, for instance, while impecunious prisoners, it seems, made do with rackets.

A unique piece of history

21 June 1999

UK: ONE of the bargains of the year must be the British Library’s purchase of the Letters of the Earl of Essex to Elizabeth I, which sold at Phillips on June 11 for a low-estimate £150,000 plus premium.

A dictionary of cygnetures

14 June 1999

UK: LOCKED bill to bill on the five vellum rolls or membranes shown above, the longest of them stretching to 34in (86cm), are no fewer than 99 swan heads showing the different mandible marks used by ‘gamesters’ on the East Anglian Broadlands.

Collector lured to cast net wider

24 May 1999

UK: BY the mid-19th century Redditch in Warwickshire had become the centre of the world for the production of fishing hooks and needles, supposedly skills handed down by the monks of Bordesley Abbey, who learnt their metalworking talents from links with Spain.

Going shell, going well

17 May 1999

UK: THOSE decorative pieces worked by amateurs using seashells have always come low down in the art world pecking order but of late their attractions have become more and more appreciated as seen when an Irish pair of shellwork botanical studies took £26,000 at Mallams, Oxford, on February 3.

Some confusion over The People’s Rights but no second chance at a bargain

26 April 1999

UK: Illustrated here is The People’s Rights, a copy of Winston Churchill’s 1910 book which has made two appearances at the Aylsham salerooms of G.A. Key in recent months – with very different results.

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....

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