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.

Art Deco delights in dolls’ housing market

06 August 2001

ARMS and toys are specialities of Lewes auctioneers Wallis & Wallis (15% buyer’s premium) and on June 11 their 285 lots of toys included die-cast tinplate toys, toy soldiers and the Mirylees Collection of Dolls’ Houses and dolls.

The Prince of Winchesters

03 August 2001

One would expect to see a Winchester 1873 ‘repeater’ holding up a bank in Santa Fe, not aimed at a tiger in the Indian Raj, but strangely enough it appears that Edward, Prince of Wales had more in common with outlaws like Angelo and Jesse James than previously realised.

P is for the Potters – Beatrix and Harry

27 July 2001

THERE WAS no competing with Harry Potter in the Sotheby’s sale of July 10, and bidding rose to £75,000 for Thomas Taylor’s original illustration for the the book that launched those wizard tales in 1997, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but Beatrix Potter did her bit too, as did Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen, W. Heath Robinson, E.H. Shepard, Lawson Wood, Ronald Searle, Dr Seuss and others.

The Eumaeus episode, an early draft from Joyce’s Ulysses manuscript

27 July 2001

A previously unknown and early draft of one of the key closing chapters of James Joyce’s Ulysses, the Eumaeus episode, was offered at Sotheby’s on July 10, and it was one of two committed private buyers who took the lot to £780,000, just short of the low estimate.

Cupro-nickel coins and crowns…

26 July 2001

FRIDAY 13th proved a long day at Glendining’s (15 per cent buyer’s premium) with 735 lots – not that this was unlucky. It was, as usual, a general sale but there is plenty of general interest to write about.

£1250 marks rise of robot power

26 July 2001

IT is rare for childhood toys to emerge from years of love and affection unscathed by the ravages of time but a Kidderminster vendor was rewarded for the care taken with the 1960s battery operated robot, pictured, which came under the hammer at the Chester rooms of Halls (15 per cent buyer’s premium) on June 27.

Where railways run at happy profit

26 July 2001

THE wheels may be coming off RailTrack and rail shares plunging generally, but in the older parallel world of steam things could hardly be better. Looking at sales figures of 544 lots getting away out of 550 offered and a total of £383,000 on June 16 at Sheffield Railwayana Auctions, other auctioneers can only envy Ian Wright’s decision some years ago to specialise in railwayana.

Replica models prove to be FAB for collectors

23 July 2001

UK: Children’s past playthings, toys for bigger boys and nostalgic mementos of cult TV programmes. All these could be found this month in the London rooms.

Wooden gutty cutter

23 July 2001

Golf fans will acknowledge the significance of this contraption, only the third wooden gutty cutter to ever have appeared at auction.

Not feet, but hands of Clay

23 July 2001

A well-wrapped and padded pair of boxing gloves are essential, one would think, for victory in the ring. But arguably it was the defective nature of the left hand glove, pictured here, which gave Cassius Clay his win over Henry Cooper in 1963, after letting him off the hook.

The Hours of Albrecht of Brandenburg number £2.7million

19 July 2001

UK: This article looks at a magnificent Book of Hours illustrated for one of the wealthiest prelates and patrons of the arts in 16th century Europe, Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg.

Trench and his Embankment – a panoramic first proposal

19 July 2001

A BIBLE was one of several lots that moved into the four-figure range in this summer sale at Y Gelli in Hay on June 8.

Sewing table makes £6400 in Tunbridgeware surprise

19 July 2001

While Lyon & Turnbull enjoyed the lion’s share of the audience for the two sales in Edinburgh at the end of June, Phillips (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) at least had the most surprising result in the form of this Tunbridgeware sewing/writing table by Fenner and Co., estimated at £300-500.

Hard shell bidding takes puppet to £1k

19 July 2001

UK: In the days before Lara Croft burst onto the digitalised scene, playtimes revolved around the handmade charms of Mitzi, Chloe, Witch, Dutch Girl and other pine wood beauties from the puppet stable of Bob Pelham.

£8000 offer settles duel by Birmingham bidders

11 July 2001

THE 1140 lots of arms and armour held offered by Birmingham specialists Weller & Dufty (15% buyer’s premium) on June 13 encompassed most forms of dealing out death and sparked enthusiasm from a range of collectors and dealers. But the pick of the day was this fine cased pair of 18-bore flintlock duelling/officers’ pistols.

A recently rediscovered manuscript of William Gilpin’s book on Forest Scenery...

09 July 2001

UK: Sold for £48,000 to Quaritch at Christie’s on June 4& 6 was a recently rediscovered manuscript of William Gilpin’s book on Forest Scenery... (first published in 1791) that fills four volumes and contains 25 full and 20 half-page watercolour drawings by Gilpin, plus three pencil and wash drawings of animals by his brother Sawrey.

Selection of Hexandrian Plants

09 July 2001

An incomplete copy of one of the masterpieces of English botanical illustration of the 19th century, Mrs Edward Berry’s Selection of Hexandrian Plants (1831-34), offered at Christie’s on June 4 & 6 contained only 45 (of 51) of the younger Robert Havell’s partially colour-printed and hand-finished engraved and aquatinted plates, but it brought a bid of £60,000 from the Oppenheimer Gallery.

Royal exchange relic blazes away

04 July 2001

Now that we cannot take what is left of our public services for granted, it is worth remembering that municipal fire brigades have only existed nationwide since 1938. When private brigades were the norm, the residents of towns and cities had to rely on firemen employed by private insurance companies, resulting in the bizarre sight of Commercial Union/Sun Life/Phoenix firemen idling in front of a blazing building insured by a rival company.

A leaf from the Gutenberg Bible and other treasures

28 June 2001

A single leaf from a 1455 Gutenberg Bible, in a copy of Alfred E. Newton’s A Noble Fragment of 1921 sold at Bloomsbury Book Auctions on June 8 for £15,000 (+ 15 per cent buyer's premium).

A medieval lawyer’s pocketbook and Quevedo’s Seneca

28 June 2001

UK: WRITTEN shortly after 1290, perhaps for a practising lawyer and presumably by professional scribes – it exhibits a variety of neat English cursive and charter hands – the manuscript copy of Magna Carta and the Statutes of England illustrated right is a remarkable example of an English medieval secular book.

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