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.

Wodehouse collection

02 April 2001

The Bonhams Knightsbridge sale (see above, Henty – the great adventure begins with A Secret for Success) also included a P.G. Wodehouse collection (from a different source) and among the more successful of those lots were these two shown here.

Testone of François I

02 April 2001

Slightly worn, as they usually come, but with a good portrait, this testone of François I (1515-47 – 28mm diam) sold for E170 (£105).

Henty – the great adventure begins with A Secret for Success

02 April 2001

UK: G.A. HENTY fans, trade and private, gathered at Bonhams (Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent) on March 13 for the disposal of a superb collection of his many books.

Pointing towards electric kitsch

02 April 2001

The wind has always been blowing strongly in one direction in the market for American weather vanes, and this 1930s example, left, offered at the Harrogate rooms of Morphet’s (10 per cent buyer’s premium) on March 15 was always expected to sell for a high price.

Kipling makes an exceedingly good showing

02 April 2001

UK: THE FINAL LOT in this Sussex sale of books from a Scottish estate, ‘Hallrule’, was a 35-volume ‘Sussex’ edition of the works of Rudyard Kipling. One of the 525 sets issued in 1937-39, it was signed and, according to the catalogue, “full bound”. It reached £10,500.

From puppet show to porcelain

02 April 2001

AUSTRIA: THERE were three prices of over ASch1m (£50,000) at the Wiener Kunst (20 per cent buyer’s premium) modern art sale on March 6, starting with Rudolf Wacker’s 1924 Puppentheater, 25 x 19in (64 x 47cm), a puppet theatre with rag doll, at ASch2.2m (£100,000). The back of the canvas featured another painting, of boats moored in a small marina.

Leonhard Fuch’s De Historia Stirpium...

02 April 2001

UK: LEONHARD Fuch’s De Historia Stirpium..., first issued in Basel in 1542, contains over 500 full-page botanical woodcuts, one shown bottom right, but while it is not unusual to find a portrait of the author in any book, this work also contains portraits of the artists, Heinrich Füllmaurer and Albert Meyer, and the man who made the woodblocks from their originals, Veit Rudolphe Speckle.

Euclid’s Elementa

26 March 2001

In a beautifully preserved contemporary, and possibly Austrian binding of blind-stamped calf with brass fittings, this copy of Erhard Ratdolt’s 1482, first printing of Euclid’s Elementa, shows some slight waterstaining to the lower margins, but it remains one of the largest and freshest copies in existence – taller than even the Doheny, Honeyman-Garden and Haskell F. Norman copies.

Thucydides and a King James Bible

26 March 2001

A superb example of “the quintessential Italian Renaissance book”, a 1545 first of the first Italian translation of Thucydides in a fine Apollo & Pegasus binding made for the famous library of G.B. Grimaldi – a collection of some 200 key works formed under the supervision of the Roman humanist Tolomei. It sold for $140,000 (£96,550).

Probier Buchlein... and Bergwerk...

26 March 2001

The former Honeyman copy of the Probier Buchlein... and Bergwerk..., two rare booklets on assaying dated 1524 and ’33 (the latter with two leaves in photocopy) produced one of the shock results of Haskell F. Norman sale in 1998 when it made $80,000 – 20 times the estimate.

Hortus sanitatis and the Atlas minéralogique de la France...

26 March 2001

A spread from a 1491 first edition of the most comprehensive and richly illustrated medical or natural history publication of the 15th century, the Hortus sanitatis.

Systême des animaux... and Campi Phlegraei...

26 March 2001

Interleaved throughout with blank leaves, 19 of which bear the author’s annotations, this is Jean Baptiste Lamarck’s own copy of his landmark work on the evolution of species, an 1801 first of Systême des animaux sans vertèbres, ou tableau général des classes, des ordres et des genre de ces animaux in a contemporary binding.

Why a IR£650 le Brocquy work was a snip at IR£66,000

26 March 2001

EIRE: BACK in May last year works by Dublin-born Louis le Brocquy (b.1916) entered the same price bracket as that of his compatriots like Yeats and Lavery when Sotheby’s took a record £1,050,000 (plus buyer’s premium) in London for his work entitled Travelling woman with newspaper.

English-Speaking Peoples on the African Game Trails

26 March 2001

US: JUST as it was with the Morris bird books featured in last week’s Antiquarian Books pages (see issue no. 1481), we are looking here at a very familiar set of books in an unfamiliar context.

£650 gains entrance to exclusive gun club

26 March 2001

UK: BOXLOCK shotguns are the most common of British fowling firearms and those with bolt-actions are certainly not unusual, but this particular model, left, aroused great interest at Weller and Dufty’s (15 per cent premium) arms and armour auction in Birmingham on March 14.

A twist of a corkscrew opens two vintage sale days of astonishing bidding

26 March 2001

Lowly-rated architect’s table sells at £24,000 UK: OCCASIONALLY a dream sale comes along for the auctioneer that needs no selling and takes off for no apparent reason. It happened at Nottingham where Neales’ specialist Bruce Fearne enjoyed taking some startling bids from privates and trade alike, for no obvious reason.

Booming burgundy!

26 March 2001

BACK IN the mid-1990s, when Far Eastern buyers were sending prices through the roof and people were (supposedly) stocking up for their Millennium parties, fine wine was one of the most excitingly volatile of all auction markets.

Locke’s Essay Concerning Humane Understanding

26 March 2001

A 1690 first of Locke’s Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, bound in contemporary English mottled calf gilt and formerly in Sir Isaac Newton’s library, that reached $190,000 (£131,035) was acquired by Freilich at the Haskell F. Norman sales of 1998, when the price was $200,000.

Carolus Linnaeus’ Systema naturae...

26 March 2001

Pictured here is the title page of one of the more important publications in the history of science – Carolus Linnaeus’ Systema naturae... of 1735, which laid the groundwork for the systematic classification of plants and animals.

Hevelius’ Selenographia...

26 March 2001

Sold at $75,000 (£51,725), at the Freilich sale which took place at Sotheby’s New York on January 10 and 11, was a superb copy of the first complete lunar atlas, Hevelius’ Selenographia... of 1647.

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