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.

Trouble and tribulations in the Colonies...

28 February 2003

Captain John Smith’s A True Relation of such occurrences and accidents of noate as hath hapned in Virginia since the first planting of that Collony... , the first printed account of the settlement at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607 – or, “the first permanent English colony in the New World, and hence the direct progenitor of the United States”, to quote Boies Penrose – is one of the legendary rarities of early Americana.

This was their finest year…

28 February 2003

If, as a recent opinion poll has suggested, Sir Winston Churchill was voted the greatest-ever Briton, and Mouton-Rothschild’s 1945 vintage is, as Michael Broadbent described it in his Great Vintage Wine Book, “a Churchill of a wine”, is Mouton-Rothschild ’45, ergo, the Greatest Ever Wine?

Staying on target with screen prints

25 February 2003

When it comes to wall power there is nothing like a poster to add presence and focus to an interior, and for iconic or cult status, a film poster is hard to beat.

Gangsters of New York – in French

13 February 2003

NEW YORK specialist dealers in movie posters Posteritati hold some beguiling selling shows, but they look like being onto an international winner with their current one – French Gangsters & The New Wave – which runs at their gallery at 239 Centre Street until March 4.

Memo on the Med

13 February 2003

Coming up in Lincoln: “ENGLAND expects every man to do his duty.” Nelson’s famous command was to be his last and effectively signalled the end of the Battle of Trafalgar. Details surrounding the start of the campaign are much more sketchy, but on February 20 Lincoln auctioneers Thomas Mawer & Son will be offering a memorandum written by Nelson to launch the famous battle.

End of an era for Guildford

03 February 2003

UK: Hamptons’ sale of Antiquarian & Modern Books and Maps at 11am on Thursday, February 13 will be a sad occasion both for the auctioneers and local book buyers. For years Thorpe’s of Guildford, under the late Charles Traylen, have been a familiar face at Hamptons auctions, and for much longer local bibliophiles have spent many a happy hour in the first floor barn of a room at the shop.

Is this the luckiest blow of all?

28 January 2003

A £5600 National Art Collections Fund grant has enabled the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments at Oxford University to keep a handsome Baroque trumpet with a legend attached.

Call to arms in Mayfair

28 January 2003

FOR one day only on Sunday, February 16 the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square will be a magnet for serious collectors of antique arms and armour when The London Park Lane Arms Fair celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Did D’Amboise ever get to see Jean Froissart’s costly Chronicles

21 January 2003

FILLED with nearly 200 dazzling images of battles, knights, damsels in distress, tournaments, and castles that represent the finest work of the Rouen illuminators of the early Renaissance and captures all the pageantry and drama of the Hundred Years’ War, the extraordinarily fresh illuminated manuscript of Froissart’s Chronicles that sold for £2.75m at Sotheby’s on December 3 must have been the finest and most profusely illustrated manuscript of that famous work ever made.

Perryville revisited for bargains

21 January 2003

A 1467 second edition of the second part of Thomas Aquinas’ Summa theologiae, a massive treatise on moral rather than dogmatic theology that stands as an independent work, was one of the earlier printed highlights of a $4.69m (£2.97m) sale held by Sotheby’s New York on December 13, and once again it was one of a number of lots making a rapid return to the rooms.

Beano, Beezer and a futuristic comic that is now recent history

16 January 2003

THE VERY rare copy of the first Beano comic of 1938 that sold for an auction record sum of £6875 in the December 3 Comic Book Postal Auctions sale was featured on the front page of Antiques Trade Gazette No. 1568 and can also be seen in the selection of lots illustrated right.

Squadron leads rail day at £45,800

14 January 2003

“Stunning” was how auctioneer Ian Wright of Sheffield Railwayana Auctions (no buyer’s premium) described his December 7 sale. Taking £555,703 over the 550-lots, of which only six were left unsold, the sale showed how this buoyant market just keeps getting stronger and stronger.

‘Instructions to Mothers on the... Cutting of Teeth in Children’

10 January 2003

Seen here are two lots from the Ronald A. Cohen collection of Books, Prints and Objects illustrative of the History of Dentistry and Teeth, a 674-lot sale held by Bonhams on December 10.

Gertrude Lawrence and her $12,000 cigarette boxes

08 January 2003

A cased pair of gold and lucite cigarette boxes was given a full-page colour illustration in a catalogue produced by Doyle for an October 8 sale of jewellery, but I was a little surprised that no other attempt was made to bolster its association value.

Sale of Jim Barron’s collection of British Cameras

08 January 2003

Cameras: A 100 per cent sell-out is something to crow about these days and Christie’s South Kensington were certainly pleased to chalk up a complete success for their sale of Jim Barron’s collection of British Cameras on December 11.

Trains and planes and Guinness

08 January 2003

Patrick Bogue has been holding successful poster sales at specialist collectables auctioneers Onslows since 1984 and his latest was a reminder that Christie’s South Kensington do not have a monopoly on this active market.

Small arms of the law

18 December 2002

Those Entrusted with Arms by Frederick Wilkinson, published by Greenhill Books/Royal Armouries ISBN 1853675237 £19.95 hb

Coin trade baffled by sale conundrum

17 December 2002

HOW can coins being sold on the rostrum in New York be sitting safely locked up in London and elsewhere at the same time? That is the conundrum facing the coins and medals world following the publication of a catalogue and results from a sale organised in New York by Riccardo Paolucci, a Yorkshire-based Italian dealer.

Do not lose your marbles…

13 December 2002

ONE of the most bizarre and unexpected results at Tennants’ sale in North Yorkshire on 21-22 December involved a collection of more than 200 19th century marbles, a selection of which are shown right.

Thumb’s up for grabs

13 December 2002

Pint-sized dealers might be interested in getting hold of this immaculate little suit in black wool and cream cotton, measuring just 2ft 1in (63cm) from collar to trouser bottom, which is being offered by Bonhams in Knowle on December 11.