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.

Delineation devalued by Smith’s quick returns

05 March 2001

US: THE Isle of Wight is seen at lower right in the map illustrated here, which is part of the first large-scale geological map of any country ever issued, Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with Part of Scotland... by William Smith.

Bond bargains and that bikini

26 February 2001

Bond Movie Memorabilia UK: IT WAS hardly surprising that Ursula Andress’s bikini, as worn in the memorable scene when she emerges from the sea in Dr No, should capture so much of the pre- and post-sale publicity for Christie’s South Kensington’s (17.5/10 per cent buyer’s premium) second auction devoted entirely to James Bond memorabilia.

Alexandre Iacovleff’s Dessins et Peintures d’Afrique

26 February 2001

UK: ONE of 50 coloured illustrations from Alexandre Iacovleff’s Dessins et Peintures d’Afrique of 1927, which sold for £800. One of 100 copies, it comprised a text volume in leather-backed satin covers painted with an African design and a pigskin portfolio containing the loose plates.

Dracula’s issue and more Hobbits found in New Bond Street

26 February 2001

UK: THE FIRST Phillips sale of the year gets a largely pictorial treatment here, but not everything that I selected for report was illustrated in the catalogue and a number of other highlights are described elsewhere (see "Job lots with a difference", above).

Henri II makes his bookmark

26 February 2001

FRANCE: A SET of 56 folio engraved plates by the Renaissance draughtsman and engraver Jacques Androuet du Cerceau (Paris c.1560), showing various Renaissance furniture designs ranging from buffets and tables to wardrobes and beds, below right, tripled hopes on Fr70,000 (£6800) in Chartres on January 21.

Job lots with a difference

26 February 2001

UK: GETTING on for 100 lots in the Phillips sale of February 16 comprised books from one private English collection that were characterised by smart and expensive bindings. Job lots were common but I have illustrated one lot that contained just two books, on a related theme and in matching bindings, and have picked out a few others that presented only one or two of the more valuable books each, but which were unfortunately not to be found among the composite illustrations used in the catalogue.

Broadcast bid for Seven Pillars…

26 February 2001

UK: THE copy of T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom offered by Lyon & Turnbull of Edinburgh on February 17 was one of the 170 or so signed, “complete” copies of the privately printed, subscribers’ edition of 1926 and in the original brown morocco binding, illustrated here.

Via Crucis

26 February 2001

UK: ONE of the scarcer plate collections in the Phillips sale was Via Crucis, novellamente eretta nell’ Atrio del Santissimo Crocifisso della chiesa parochiale, e collegiata di S.Polo. Engraved throughout, this small quarto Venetian volume of c.1780 comprises 16 full-page illustrations of the Stations of the Cross by Leonardis after Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, plus 29 pages of text.

French museums face Nazi looted art challenge

20 February 2001

FRANCE: Three French museums have become embroiled in legal controversy after harbouring works of art looted from their original owners during the Nazi occupation of France during the Second World War.

New material? Please, sir, we want some Mohur…

19 February 2001

UK: THE lack of new and interesting material reported elsewhere in the ‘Cumberland’ fair report was reflected in Glendining’s first sale of this year on February 1. There was nothing there which is not relatively easy to find. It is perhaps because of this that it is worth reporting on the latest auction prices of some of the more usual coins.

Recession proof?

19 February 2001

US: RECENT jitters about the health of the US economy have had a noticeably negative effect on several sectors of the international auction market. The US wine market, however, seems to be relatively untouched as yet.

Collection heralds top prices

19 February 2001

UK: A 44-lot collection of books and manuscripts on heraldry was a feature of the January 31 sale held by Dominic Winter.

Poems monthly, or fanciful and nautical

19 February 2001

UK: POETRY was in the air for this first Hay sale of the new year.

Plucky bidders in a £10,500 battle

19 February 2001

UK: CONSIGNED by a private vendor who had played it regularly, this late 18th century harpsichord, right, by the prolific makers, Jacobus & Abraham Kirkham was the centre of attention at the Loughton, Essex rooms of Ambrose Auctioneers (15 per cent buyer's premium) on January 26.

Blacksmith’s ironwork leads the field of golfing fans

19 February 2001

UK: GOLFING enthusiasts flocked to the six-monthly sale of items relating to the game – a field pioneered at Chester – where 500 lots from clubs to balls, programmes to ceramics and miscellaneous emphemera such as advertising merchandise, were offered.

Revolutionary freesheets and a note from the King of Siam

19 February 2001

UK: ONE of a group of seven newspapers, plus a printed edict, issued in March 1917, at the outbreak of the Russian revolution, which sold for £400 (Hanson). They were apparently distributed free in the streets of Petrograd and these copies were acquired by Gertrude Hitchcock, who was there working for a British engineering company at the time.

The first Hobbits of the Year?

19 February 2001

UK: THE first serious outbreak of Hobbits of 2001 occurred in Hamptons’ Godalming salerooms on February 15, when a first edition set of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the three volumes of 1955-56 in first issue dust wrappers with some slight discolouration and chipping, sold at £11,000.

Izannah Walker’s Painted Ladies

19 February 2001

US: AN IZANNAH WALKER doll from Rhode Island was the star turn in a Toys & Collectables sale held on December 9 in the Bolton (Massachusetts) rooms of Skinners and brought a bid of $21,000 (£14,480). Made around 1870, the 18in (46cm) tall doll illustrated right, wearing a grey-green plaid dress of silk taffeta, and with a pair of period ice skates with red leather straps strung over her shoulder, has an oil painted cloth body – even the hands and face are made of painted cloth.

Wodehouse's The Pothunters

19 February 2001

UK: SERIALISED in Public School magazine before appearing in book form in 1902, The Pothunters was P.G. Wodehouse’s first book, and this first issue copy in royal blue cloth with silver gilt decoration made £720 (Marchpane) in Swindon.

Dick Francis' Dead Cert

19 February 2001

UK: THE title page had a semi-circular portion excised from the outer margin, but this copy of the 1962 first of Dick Francis’ annual racing thrillers, Dead Cert, had a jacket and it sold for £2050 to Bromlea & Jonkers at Dominic Winter's sale held on January 31.

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