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.

1870 Eugène Meyer de Paris Vélocipède

14 August 2000

AS THE Tour de France came to an end, this 1870 Eugène Meyer de Paris Vélocipède sold on its top estimate for £26,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer’s premium) at Brooks’ Summer Vintage sale at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu on July 27.

A small group of scientific apparatus

14 August 2000

UK: A SMALL group of scientific apparatus featured in Phillips’ July 18 horological auction in Bond Street, London and comprised a silver pocket chronometer by Webster and Son of London, hallmarked for 1834, and a 19th century five-inch theodolite signed for Reiss Leibenwerda, each with their custom-made cases.

How to help Tiger's rivals feather their own nests...

17 July 2000

THE golfers who tee-off at St Andrew’s on Thursday might stand a better chance of winning the Open if they forced Tiger Woods to play with this locally made ball, rather than the standard ultra-scientific balata.

Declaration of Independence sets $8.14m Web record

10 July 2000

SOTHEBY’S are celebrating setting the top price achieved for an object at auction on the Internet with the $7.4m paid on June 29 for a first printing copy of the American Declaration of Independence.

French courts ban Nazi Web sales

05 June 2000

FRANCE: A Paris court has told one of the world’s leading Websites to prevent French Web-users from gaining access to auctions featuring Nazi memorabilia.

Fit for a frontiersman - but which frontier?

05 June 2000

UK: GIANT knives of the frontier period hold a special place in the heart of American collectors, and the late 19th century example by one of the leading Sheffield makers of Bowie-style knives for the American market – Brookes and Crookes – was eagerly contested by US bidders at Martyn Rowe’s Truro salerooms on May 26.

The phenomenal success of Harry Potter

29 May 2000

UK: THE PHENOMENAL success enjoyed in the English speaking world by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter... books has been expensively reflected in the antiquarian, or rather secondhand book world, where (even in the high priced modern firsts market) the prices being asked for Harry the First are almost unbelievable.

Bonhams to close their coin department

15 May 2000

UK: BONHAMS have announced that they will close their coin and medal department following their July 18 sale, whose main feature is a collection of minor Roman and Byzantine coins.

A price that makes auction radio waves

07 May 2000

UK: “ONE of only two known examples of Marconi’s first commercial wireless set in complete condition”, was how this inconsequentially appearing box was described by the English trade underbidder at G.A. Key’s sale in Aylsham, Norfolk on May 4.

Neville Chamberlain's fishing flies

01 May 2000

UK: POOR old Neville Chamberlain. He always takes the blame for all but delivering up the British people to Adolf Hitler, when perhaps he should really be seen merely as one of those Edwardian throwbacks like Eden who believed, quite rightly, that there was no aspect of a fascist dictatorship which could threaten the lifestyle of the English upper classes.

Two determined collectors fight for the rare 1954 AJS E90 ‘Porcupine’

24 April 2000

UK: At the International Classic Motorcycle Show in Stafford on April 16, two determined collectors fought this rare 1954 AJS E90 ‘Porcupine’ to £142,000 (plus 15/10% buyer’s premium).

Rare Märklin first series handpainted tinplate battleship, HMS Resolution

17 April 2000

UK: This rare Märklin first series handpainted tinplate battleship, HMS Resolution, sold for $40,600 (£26,365) on April 12, having been offered online on sothebys.amazon.com (10 per cent buyer’s premium).

Rare football programme stirs memories of Munich air crash

17 April 2000

UK: MANCHESTER United may be the most successful football team in the world at present, but it was a reminder of the most tragic event in the history of the club which stirred bidders at Phillips sale of the Leslie Millman collection of team programmes and memorabilia at Old Trafford on April 10-11.

Victorian scale model of the Temple of Solomon

10 April 2000

UK: THE prophet Ezekiel may not have recognised this Victorian model from the original which he was told to build by a shining man “upon a very high mountain” 3000 years ago, but no matter – this scale version of Solomon’s Temple stands alone as a unique creation in the public spirit.

Victorian scale model of the Parthenon

10 April 2000

UK: Two Victorian scale models of ancient temples turned up in the salerooms at the start of Spring, the Temple of Solomon at Bonhams on March 29 (see "Victorian scale model of the Temple of Solomon", above) and this erudite copy of the Parthenon at the Chester salerooms of Halls on April 5.

The case of the disappearing fish

13 March 2000

UK: The factors which make for a desirable cased fish are four-fold: the case (bowfronts are most popular), the label of a good taxidermist such as Cooper, condition and (as the joker in the pack) the beast itself.

New world auction record for a decoy

07 February 2000

US: SETTING a new world auction record for a decoy, this sleeping Canada Goose c.1917, by renowned carver Elmer Crowell of East Harwich, Massachusetts, was estimated at $400,000-500,000 by Sotheby's, New York in a joint sale with Guyette and Schmidt of Maine, but sold to Boston dealer Stephen B. O'Brien Jr in the room on behalf of a client at $620,000 (£375,760) plus premium on January 23.

Early Edison tinfoil phonograph

31 January 2000

UK: THE Early Edison tinfoil phonograph which topped Christie's South Kensington's December 16 mechanical music and technical sale at £28,000.

Rare Schönner 75mm spirit fired train set

24 January 2000

UK: THE rare Schönner 75mm spirit fired train set of c.1902 which topped Christie's South Kensington's Trains Galore sale on December 21 at £10,000.

French Revolutionary button

10 January 2000

UK: SHOWN here is a solitary ivory button, which found itself highlighting Sotheby's closing event of 1999.

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