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.

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.

Quartet’s £2.3m concert

30 March 1999

Musical Instruments UK: NO fewer than four sales of musical instruments took place in London between March 15 and 17: at Phillips, Sotheby’s, Bonhams and Christie’s South Kensington (all 15/10 per cent buyer’s premium). Over 1000 lots went under the hammer in all with over £2.3m netted between the four rooms.

Redouté means money in the language of flowers

30 March 1999

US: A ‘FINE & RARE’ sale held by Pacific Book Auctions on February 25 saw strong bidding for botanical plate collections, with a very rare first edition of Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivés dans le jardin de J.M.Cels selling at $22,500 (£13,390).

Double whiskey in the jar

30 March 1999

UK: “THE saving grace of the whisky bottle market,” said Alan Blakeman who runs bottle specialists BBR (buyer’s premium 10 per cent) , “is that as soon as the Australians, with their currency problems, started to disappear from the scene, the Americans started to show an interest.”

Romeyn was more than a chip off the old block

30 March 1999

UK: A contemporary reviewer described a multi-volume study of The American Woods by Romeyn Beck Hough as “one of the most marvellous and instructive books ever made”, but this accolade seems something of an understatement when one considers that this work and a spin-off (or should that be sawn-off) companion work on ...Commercial Woods were illustrated with actual specimens of over 300 species!

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