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.

Mouton-Rothschild, the gift for a ‘friend’

30 May 2003

Clearly Tony Blair would be best advised to take round a bottle of Wooldings ’94, rather than Mouton ’89 the next time he pops over to the Palace for dinner. As has been widely reported in the media, the Prime Minister recently received half a case of Château Mouton-Rothschild’s 1989 vintage as a 50th birthday present from President Jacques Chirac.

Wooldings is best of British

30 May 2003

It was a poignant irony that the contents of the North Hampshire vineyard that had so impressed Her Majesty should come up for auction in the same month that another offering of Château Mouton-Rothschild was making a less than favourable impression with the British establishment.

War museum plans three-year online poster campaign…

30 May 2003

The Imperial War Museum and Manchester Metropolitan University are to carry out a three-year project to catalogue, digitally photograph and publish online 10,000 posters from the museum’s collection.

A strong sense of place helps lots top their high estimates

21 May 2003

ONE of the highlights of Bonhams & Langlois' (15% buyer's premium) March 26 Channel Islands theme sale was a collection of uniforms and associated ephemera and family history relating to three senior members of the Jersey Militia.

Hunting the big provincial game... Loyal following for field sports at bi-annual themed sale in Somerset

21 May 2003

THE bi-annual West Country Sporting Sales have acquired a character of their own since their inception six sales ago, finding a niche in what has become a crowded field by focusing upon hunting antiques in addition to the traditional summer sports.

Magic mushrooms bring bidding madness and a £480,000 bill…

21 May 2003

Illustrated with 117 detailed watercolours, an account of the different species of Agaric mushrooms growing in the Vienna region, complete with notes on their suitability for eating, was one of two mycological manuscripts in the natural history section of the Sotheby’s sale of May 7 (19.5/10% buyer's premium).

‘Woman as good as Man’ and other Departmental Ditties…

21 May 2003

SOLD AT £600 (Temple) in the April 25 sale held by Y Gelli (15% buyer's premium) in Hay-on-Wye was a “much nicer than average” copy of the 1886, privately printed, Lahore first edition of Rudyard Kipling’s Departmental Ditties and other Verses. One of 350 copies of this tall, narrow production, printed on one side only, it was in the original wrappers but with the flap removed, leaving an uneven fore-edge to the upper wrapper.

A man who shot to the top

21 May 2003

FEW images conjure up the nail-biting adventures of John Buchan more than Richard Hannay’s flight across the grouse moors of Scotland in the author’s best-known story, The Thirty Nine Steps.

Marlene on the wall - for £75,000

20 May 2003

IT IS a well-known feature of rock and pop memorabilia auctions, that material relating to the Beatles is easier to sell than that relating to other stars. On this basis, the key to assembling a sale of this genre is presumably to fill it with as much Fab Four memorabilia as possible.

Charles II silver Crown sets new auction record at £120,000

20 May 2003

A CHARLES II pattern crown from 1663, the Petition Crown(*), has set a new world record for English silver coins at auction.

Where it all started

14 May 2003

The first, the finest, the rarest – and with an unbeatable provenance. It is not often that an auctioneer can boast this dream recipe for a lot, but Spink offer this heady mix of ingredients when they open their two-part sale of the Slaney collection on Thursday (May 15).

£90,000 goes up in collectors’ smoke

14 May 2003

AFTER the successful sale of items consigned by the Austrian State Tobacco Museum to Wiener Kunst in Vienna last October, European pipemen had another chance to add to their collections when nearly 500 pipes and pipe bowls came under the hammer at Tajan (14.35% - 20.33 % buyer’s premium) on April 26.

$200,000 for first (lunar module data) book on the moon

14 May 2003

It hardly qualifies as a book, but the data card book in which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin recorded critical values for input into the lunar module computer during the Apollo XI mission of 1969, autograph data that enabled them to make the first moon landing, certainly qualifies as an historical technical document.

Just Literature

14 May 2003

BEARING the simple, one-word title ‘Literature’, an April 8 sale held by Christie’s New York (19.5/10% buyer's premium) was mostly concerned with books of the 19th and 20th centuries. Earlier works were rather thin on the ground and the principle lot in this category, a 1632 second folio Shakespeare, with the ‘To the Reader’ leaf in facsimile and with some outer leaves washed and pressed before it was bound in crimson morocco gilt by Rivière, was left unsold on an estimate of $90,000-120,000.

Novelty cigarette box lights up the day

13 May 2003

SPECIALIST collector markets provided the highlights at Locke & England's Warwickshire salerooms where the 524-lot mixed sale on April 3 (12.5% buyer's premium) included sections catering to special interests in textiles, 20th century pottery and porcelain, toys and games and novelty silver.

Claret lives up to dealer’s high hopes

08 May 2003

THE move towards better prices for silver took Cumbrian auctioneers Penrith Farmers' & Kidd's rather by surprise at their 1125-lot quarterly catalogue sale on March 26 (15% buyer's premium inc. VAT) – although it was a wine-related item which did the honours and these do have their own buoyant market.

Wine and candleglow begin to stir bidders in long subdued market

08 May 2003

LOOKING back on spring to see what green shoots of recovery might be discernible, a rather unexpected contender for the category turns out to be silver. Obviously, silver starts any recovery from a pretty low and long-standing trough but some of the results round the country certainly indicated that there was more than just auctioneers’ wishful thinking behind the optimistic comments.

Designs with a far broader appeal

08 May 2003

PARIS expert Alain Weil must be a busy man as he was also the expert for Pierre Bergé & Associés general sale on April 3 that included a 76-lot section devoted to médailles artistique, to use the French expression.

Beetles on the ball at £42,000, and shirt proves its Vava voom at £12,000

24 April 2003

Pictured right is the highlight of Christie’s South Kensington’s (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) first football memorabilia sale of 2003 on March 26. A Cup Tie at Crystal Palace, Corinthians v. Manchester City, by Charles Ernest Cundall, in oil on panel 231/4in x 2ft 51/2in (60 x 75cm), signed C. Cundall lower right, set a new auction record for the artist when it was knocked down to London dealer Chris Beetles for £42,000, double the upper estimate.

A winning hand…

17 April 2003

Among the miniatures and novelties at Dreweatt Neate’s 2 April sale, there was especial interest in a 37-lot private collection of card-cases amassed over 50 years by an Oxfordshire vendor.