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.

Kings of the Castle class hit a new highpoint

23 April 2001

“IT’S a British phenomenon,” said Sheffield Railwayana’s specialist Ian Wright of the wealthy private collectors who regularly pay thousands of pounds for locomotive nameplates, cabsides, posters and railway ephemera in Sheffield Railwayana's quarterly sales.

Shuttlewood collection ‘finest since the 1950s’

17 April 2001

UK: MARCH was a busy month in London and successful with it. On the 15th, Spink (15 per cent buyer’s premium) sold the definitive collection of Tudor silver coins formed over several decades by Roger Shuttlewood.

Some Account of Channel Islands…

17 April 2001

UK: A CHANNEL Islands collection formed by Sir Martin Le Quesne occupied the first 108 lots of the catalogue issued by Bloomsbury Book Auctions for their March 15 sale.

£22,000 for John Gielgud’s Hamlet – the Olivier bequest

17 April 2001

In a Bloomsbury Book Auctions sale reported earlier (Antiques Trade Gazette No. 1485, April 21, 2001) I mentioned a bid of £2800 on a 1930 (German text) Cranach Press edition of Hamlet, but at Sotheby’s on April 5, as part of the John Gielgud Collection, a copy of the English text version made very much more than that.

This wood proves it’s a tiger

17 April 2001

Golf in the USA PICTURED here is a remarkable wooden golf club that was the highlight of a specialist sporting and golf sale held in Miami last month.

Christmas 1666: the Plague Toll

17 April 2001

UK: One of the least prepossessing lots, but obviously rare and among the more sought after of the day’s offerings, was a small handbill recording the plague tally and burial record for the Cambridge colleges from Christmas Day 1666 to New Year’s Day 1667.

Military coup despite civilian strengths

09 April 2001

Toy soldiers and figures There was a larger than usual civilian element to the latest sale of toy soldiers and figures, held by Christie’s South Kensington on March 30.

The Sign of Four

09 April 2001

The contents and joints are loose and the upper hinge is nearly detached, but the maroon cloth gilt binding of this 1890 first issue of what was only Conan Doyle’s second Sherlock Holmes story, The Sign of Four, are pretty good and this copy sold at Dominic Winter for £3000 to Bromlea & Jonkers.

Before you buy – know your geography and politics

09 April 2001

UK: ANYONE thinking of doing a deal on a Turkish picture in the next few weeks would have been well advised to have kept an eye on Bonhams & Brooks (10/15 per cent buyer’s premium) March 28 Topographical & American Pictures Sale.

Eugène Gayot’s Atlas statistique ... of 1850

09 April 2001

Eugène Gayot’s Atlas statistique de la production des chevaux en France. Documents pour servir a l’histoire naturelle-agricolle des race de chevalliers du pays of 1850 contains 27 coloured maps and 31 litho plates of horses, mostly with two views.

The Countesse of Pembroke’s Arcadia – the first public reading

09 April 2001

UK: OFFERED at Phillips on March 30 was the former Houghton copy of the 1590 first edition of The Countesse of Pembroke’s Arcadia.

Koster's Travels in Brazil

09 April 2001

UK: ONE of eight coloured aquatints, plus map and plan, from an 1816 first edition of Travels in Brazil by Henry Koster, who first went to Brazil in 1809, hoping that a change of climate might alleviate his TB, and eventually settled to the life of a sugar planter at Jaguaribe, near Recife in Pernambuco, where he died in 1820.

Sheldrake’s ... Herbal of Medicinal Plants

09 April 2001

Timothy Sheldrake’s ... Herbal of Medicinal Plants is often found without a title and with fewer than the 118 plates by C.H. Emmerich after Sheldrake called for, but they have great appeal and the Phillips copy, a first issue of c.1759 with 111 coloured plates, made £5500 at Bonhams.

Vintage model puts trade in the driving seat

09 April 2001

UK: THE first fortnight of March at Sotheby’s Sussex saw specialist sales in the ‘Arcade’ format of lower-priced pieces across the spectrum, where the trade achieved something like their old dominance when it came to higher value items – and were prepared to pay well over estimates to do so.

Uncensored views from the trenches

09 April 2001

The Tin Trunk: Letters and Drawings by Cosmo Clark

Dennis, Jonah and Oor Wullie…

09 April 2001

THE 300-LOT postal and online comic auction which ended on March 13 was a complete sell-out and saw a top bid of £2540 for a copy of the first Beano Book (or annual) of 1940, which had a rather worn spine but was otherwise designated vg.

1925 Golden Cockerel edition of Songs... by Robert Burns

09 April 2001

UK: INSET with a portrait miniature, this 1925 Golden Cockerel edition of Songs... by Robert Burns, illustrated with wood engravings by Mabel Annesley and bound in Cosway style in red morocco gilt by Bayntun Rivière, was sold at Bonhams (Buyer’s premium:15/10 per cent) at £1400 (Pirouages).

First edition of Greenville Collins’ Great-Britain’s Coasting Pilot...

09 April 2001

The Scillies in one of 49 engraved charts from a 1753 first edition of Greenville Collins’ Great-Britain’s Coasting Pilot... which made £4000 at Bonhams.

1858 first issue of Coral Island

09 April 2001

UK: AS well as a quantity of letters, journals and sketch albums written or compiled by R.M. Ballantyne – among them an album containing sketches made on excursions to Scotland and fishing trips to Norway in the 1850s, which sold at £1000 to David Miles – the Bonhams (Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent) sale contained an 1858 first issue of Coral Island, the publisher’s decorative blue cloth binding slightly worn but generally good, which made £4000 (Heritage).

Elegy on Captain Cook

02 April 2001

US: IT MAY be 25 years since a copy of the Elegy on Captain Cook, as “composed and and publickly recited before the Royal Academy of Florence” by Michelangelo Gianetti, was last seen at auction, and this 1785 Florentine first edition, engraved throughout and bound in contemporary calf, would also appear to be the dedication copy.