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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Have your say: London dealership offers two antique ballot boxes

11 December 2019

With the election looming, Armoury of St James’s offers the chance to look back at polling history with two ballot boxes.

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Vintage comics that make the cut

09 December 2019

Cutting up examples for new artworks can be controversial – but here is a case for the defence

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Cartoons showing Harold Wilson as pleased as punch emerge at Amersham sale

25 November 2019

The leading contenders in the December 12 General Election are struggling to land any meaningful blows on each other, despite being more than happy to be photographed in boxing rings.

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Not just cigarette cards but the packs too

25 November 2019

The huge and ongoing task of cataloguing thousands of cigarette cards and other ephemera from a deceased collector’s home – he had walls pasted with beer mats instead of wallpaper – paid off for Bristol auctioneer Gavin Aplin.

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Marvel’s first ever comic book - granddaddy of all Marvel Comics - makes auction record at $1m

22 November 2019

A 1939 copy of Marvel Comics No 1 sold at Heritage Auctions this week setting a world auction record for the most expensive Marvel comic ever sold.

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Real rail and the model variety

18 November 2019

Hornby Dublo collectors fought spirited battles for clockwork rarities at Duggleby Stephenson’s (18.75% buyer’s premium) York sale.

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Huge polar exploration exhibition opens at Spink in London

13 November 2019

Auction house Spink is to host a comprehensive polar exhibition at its saleroom in Southampton Row, London.

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Archive from the queen’s dress designer excels

11 November 2019

A Cecil Beaton sketch of Christian Dior working in his studio in Paris sold for £5200 (estimate £500-700) as part of the estate of society dress designer Ian Thomas (1929-93).

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Fans coveted in Yorkshire and Guernsey

11 November 2019

The impact of institutions on the collector-dominated market in fans was witnessed when the best-seller at a dedicated Tennants (20% buyer’s premium) auction went to a museum.

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Mystery lamp could be a Clanny

11 November 2019

Well placed in Tyne & Wear to receive a number of miners’ safety lamps from the old Durham and Northumberland coalfields, Boldon Auction Galleries (17.5% buyer’s premium) was presented with something of a mystery in the form of the lamp pictured here.

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Political picks: a 1975 EU election poster and a jug celebrating Gladstone's victory

07 November 2019

Fans of politics may be tempted to snap up historical election mementoes in the run up to polling day next month.

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Music box tunes in at 20-times guide

28 October 2019

Selling at some 20 times the estimate, a 19th century mahogany-cased music box was the surprise success at Batemans’ (20% buyer’s premium) sale at Stamford on October 5.

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Fan adulation for naval hero Nelson

28 October 2019

Nelson’s naval heroics earned him many fans – and among the many souvenirs they bought to mark his greatness were fans of the cooling variety.

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Tight fit for a time in London

21 October 2019

Renovations at hotel venue mean Etc Fairs will have a smaller space but only for a short while.

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Graham Bowers: Why I’m under Napoleon’s spell

14 October 2019

In the latest of our occasional series of collector interviews, we talk to Graham Bowers, who buys items associated with Napoleon Bonaparte and describes himself as being “under the Corsican wizard’s spell”.

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Conan Doyle-designed portable desk for sale from furniture maker Timothy Oulton

30 September 2019

Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was so keen to be able to work while he travelled that in 1925 he commissioned a case maker to create the bespoke trunk that could turn into a writing desk.

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Buyer has no fear of the unknown as pocket globe leads Exeter auction

16 September 2019

A pocket globe with some areas still a mystery leads a maritime auction at Exeter saleroom Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.

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Plea to antiques trade to help find stolen paperweight collection

11 September 2019

The owner of a collection of paperweights is calling on the antiques trade to look out for items that have been stolen from a car in south London.

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Glasses ‘used by Mary Lincoln’ on fateful night come to auction in Essex

09 September 2019

Could these be the opera glasses used by Mary Lincoln on the night her husband was assassinated? Colchester auction house Reeman Dansie will offer them for sale on September 24-25 with a guide price of £10,000-20,000.

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Hammer to go down on 40 years of collecting hole punches at Lichfield auction

19 August 2019

Antique stationery fans have plenty of purchasing choices: from writing slopes and desks, to ink stands and stationery boxes. But for the true connoisseur have they thought of collecting hole punches?

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