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.

Eric Clapton guitar

Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight guitar set to rock auction

16 May 2024

The guitar on which Clapton wrote 'Wonderful Tonight' carries an estimate of £300,000-400,000

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Model aircraft used to instruct earliest aviators goes to auction

15 May 2024

The model of a Blériot XI could be the earliest surviving aeronautical training model in existence

Napoleon wreath

Wreath believed to have been sent to Napoleon on Saint Helena takes five-figure sum in Spanish auction

14 May 2024

Bidders battled for a floral wreath sent by supporters of the exiled and imprisoned emperor.

Matt Easton

Antique arms and armour trade defends itself in wake of mail sword ban

13 May 2024

Antique arms and armour dealers and auctioneers have come together to lobby against couriers restricting delivery of antique examples.

The Whole Book of Psalmes. Collected into English Meeter

The words of God with a silver lining: miniature silver psalter comes to London book fair

13 May 2024

This miniature 17th century psalter in a contemporary pierced and engraved openwork silver binding is priced at £15,000 by Bernard Quaritch at Firsts: London’s Rare Book Fair.

London und Paris

Pick of the week: Gillray in his own time and place

13 May 2024

Remarkably, although a very successful and popular artist, no accounts of the work of the Georgian caricaturist James Gillray (1756-1815) were published in England during his lifetime.

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Matterhorn pioneer’s book documenting tragedy peaks at £4000

13 May 2024

Mountaineer’s annotated book of tragic expedition to the Alps fetches 20 times estimate in Buckinghamshire auction

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Sponsor’s message: It’s a wonderful world

13 May 2024

Rupert Powell of Forum Auctions reflects on a busy year in the ‘stage-play’ of rare books

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Posters that steal the show

13 May 2024

Designs promoting exhibitions can be a great way to collect on a tight budget

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Second editions: Worth having second thoughts

13 May 2024

First editions are not always the be-all and end-all for collecting

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Shackleton’s farewell from South Georgia

13 May 2024

A letter from Ernest Shackleton to a supporter, written from South Georgia on the eve of his final departure on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, was offered at Charles Miller’s (24% buyer’s premium) latest Maritime and Scientific Models, Instruments & Art sale.

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For poetical and practical purpose

13 May 2024

Ladies and gentlemen of the Georgian period carried not only prayer books and bibles, but also books of poems and the annual miniature almanacs containing practical information on everything from the phases of the moon to the currency exchange rates of Europe.

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Picture postcards from Polar explorers delight at Lays

13 May 2024

Letters and postcard written by Antarctic expedition members were sent to New Zealand host family

British and Irish book auctions, May 14-June 7, 2024

13 May 2024

Our regular listing of books and works on paper sales

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Lobby card for The Mummy discovered at auction

13 May 2024

A rare lobby card for The Mummy was brought to life at an auction in Los Angeles

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Handy little bibles to thumb through

13 May 2024

The first ‘Thumb Bibles’, paraphrased or abridged versions of the good book, were published in the early 17th century – the London printer John Weever offering his 128- page An Agnus Dei, measuring just over 1in, in 1601.

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Miniature books: Small is indeed beautiful

13 May 2024

Small books have long been objects of wonder. The history of tiny type can be traced back to the smallest cuneiform clay tablets of ancient Mesopotamia or the diminutive papyrus codices treasured by Christians in Roman Egypt.

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Intourist: a journey of 30 years

13 May 2024

London dealership AntikBar brings a major collection of pieces relating to Intourist, the 20th century USSR travel company, to 'Firsts London' book fair.

Lessons in a collecting life

13 May 2024

Based on his own experiences and those of his clients, a seasoned rare books buyer offers advice on getting the most from the collecting journey

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Auction previews: Eye-catching lots to look out for

13 May 2024

A selection of stand-out lots coming up at a variety of auctions

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