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.

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Golf guide chips in for a sport surprise

04 November 2019

Golf books do not bring as many really high prices as was once the case, but the most recent of the regular sales in this category held by a Californian saleroom did contain a couple of surprises.

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Melville library in demand at Swann

04 November 2019

Two books from Herman Melville’s library, both volumes of classical poetry that were annotated throughout and in one instance signed, topped a recent New York sale.

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Arabic printing pioneer at Bloomsbury Auctions

04 November 2019

A 1547 translation into Arabic of Euclid’s Elementa Geometrica sold for £17,000 as part of an October 23 sale of Islamic and Near Eastern works on paper at Bloomsbury Auctions (25/12% buyer’s premium) on October 22,

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Maps make their mark with prices far beyond estimates

04 November 2019

Focusing on south-east Asia, a 90-lot map section in an Essex sale comprised the extraordinarily successful first portion of a collection of maps and charts assembled by Christopher Beresford-Jones.

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Christie’s offers Stephen Hawking letter at online auction

01 November 2019

A letter written by the late Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) to an old school friend is being offered at a Christie’s online sale.

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New Jane Austen auction record for signed letter in New York

31 October 2019

A rare handwritten letter by Jane Austen (1775-1817) detailing a visit to the dentist has set a new auction record for a signed autograph letter by her.

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Rare prototype Star Wars figures could make auction record

30 October 2019

A new record for any Star Wars toy is anticipated next month with the appearance at auction of a rare prototype action figure.

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Stroud Auctions gets to the point with a huge collection of bayonets for sale

29 October 2019

Tom Mason’s collecting bug began when his father used to send him postcards and gifts from places he had been posted to in the Second World War, and on his return brought home a number of items of military memorabilia.

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Tudor manor houses artistic gems from across the centuries

28 October 2019

The old-fashioned country house sale hardly ever fails to cause excitement. The on-the-premises sale of contents from Athelhampton House, a Tudor manor house in Puddletown, Dorset, was no exception.

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Missing in action but spotted shooting at a bottle of schnapps

28 October 2019

‘Highly unusual’ is how the Duke’s (25% buyer’s premium) cataloguer described a Second World War medal group ahead of its sale in Dorchester on August 22 for £420, just over top estimate.

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Dealer interview: Quaritch’s specialists on a moving market

28 October 2019

Venerable London rare book dealership Bernard Quaritch, established in 1847, has recently moved from Mayfair to Holborn. Here ATG talks to two members of the firm, Andrea Mazzocchi and Donovan Rees, about its new location and some wider trends in the book trade

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Nineteenth century views of Constantinople at Chiswick Auctions

28 October 2019

Pictured below is one of the 26 views, after Coke Smyth, that form a first edition copy of John Frederick Lewis’ 'Illustrations of Constantinople, Made During a Residence in that City &c., in the Years 1835-6'.

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Charlotte Brontë’s teenage miniature manuscript returns to auction

28 October 2019

Parsonage Museum ‘determined to make the most of second opportunity’ to own miniature manuscript

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Vroom shows a sense of perspective

28 October 2019

It was a visit to the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino with his parents that first whetted the 15-year-old Thomas Vroom’s appetite for perspective.

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Wheelbarrow fells Waterloo hero

28 October 2019

Just imagine: you have been through the horrors of the Battle of Waterloo in a regiment which suffered 217 casualties out of 396, and were wounded yourself, and then your career is ended by… a wheelbarrow.

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Austin pedal car trundles into Cheshire saleroom

28 October 2019

As one of the most meticulously made pedal cars ever produced, the Austin J40 is always a target when it comes to auction.

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Silver tureen salutes captain’s fighting spirit

28 October 2019

American naval expertise and gallantry came as a big shock to the British, who had become used to the Royal Navy ruling the waves.

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Regimental badge is a cut above

28 October 2019

A white-metal regimental badge estimated at £50-100 sold for £4800 at Lindsay Burns (20% buyer’s premium) in Perth, Scotland, on September 3. Why? It probably hailed from the time and place of the American War of Independence (1775-83).

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Hands of history for Nelson memorabilia collectors

28 October 2019

The great appeal of an otherwise typical early 19th century longcase offered for sale on September 12 by Malvern auctioneer Philip Serrell was its painted dial.

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Bastille lot with English connection

28 October 2019

Estimated at £10,000-15,000 in a Forum Auctions sale of November 21 is a French indenture agreement of 1421 with a certain added English appeal.

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