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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Letters reveal a time of turmoil

28 October 2019

English Civil War material is of particular note in a broad-ranging Somerset auction

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Tribute to a local hero

28 October 2019

It’s a simple message but a powerful one. The words Welcome Home are stamped on the front of a rare first World War tribute medal to J Day (believed to be John Day) issued by the Working Men’s Club for the Yorkshire village of Heckmondwike.

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Celtic medal to club legend sells in Glasgow

28 October 2019

A reminder of football’s early days, when huge crowds watched teams from the Scottish league playing counterparts from England, this 15ct gold medal with enamelled Scottish lion rampant was a hit when offered in its spiritual home of Glasgow by McTear’s (24% buyer’s premium).

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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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RAF helmet soars above estimate

28 October 2019

An RAF Second World War brown leather Type C flying helmet with goggles estimated at £400-500 in the Halls (23% buyer’s premium) Books, Medals & Militaria Auction on August 21 soared to £3400.

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Modern First Editions sale goes Greene

28 October 2019

A sale of Modern First Editions at Bloomsbury Auctions on November 14 includes this ‘near mint’ 1950 copy of Graham Greene’s 'The Third Man and The Fallen Idol'.

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Gauntlet thrown down for last time but not accepted

28 October 2019

One curiosity from a book and manuscript sale held by Christie’s (25/20/13.5% buyer’s premium) on July 10, this kid glove or gauntlet represents the final challenge to trial by battle in English legal history.

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Extra award marks ‘Forlorn Hope’ bravery

28 October 2019

The ‘Forlorn Hope’ was well named: a band of soldiers, often volunteers, chosen to take the lead part in a military operation, such as an assault on a defended position, where the risk of casualties is high. Its usage was especially common in accounts of the Peninsular War (1808-14).

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Setting out the laws of cricket at Knights Sporting Auctions

28 October 2019

The sale at Knights Sporting Auctions in Leicester on November 2-3 includes a number of items previously sold by Christie’s as duplicates from the library of the Marylebone Cricket Club in 2010.

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Post rarity delivers a £24,000 result

28 October 2019

Having stood at Guernsey airport from 1946-81, the island post box shown below came out of storage in 1988 for presentation to the late politician and lawyer Roger Perrot who died earlier this year.

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Shako of sadness emerges at Tunbridge Wells sale

28 October 2019

This shako worn by an officer of the 26th Regiment of Bengal Native (Light) Infantry is a reminder of tragic times in India.

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The Bentley story at Transport Collector Auctions

28 October 2019

Estimated at £250-350 in a November 12 motoring and cycling sale being held by Transport Collector Auctions in conjunction with Lawrences, at the latter’s Crewkerne rooms, is a 1956 first of Darell Berthon’s Racing History of the Bentley.

British and Irish book auctions: October 29-November 8, 2019

28 October 2019

Our regular listing of British and Irish book auctions.

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Dickens first survives as an auction rarity

28 October 2019

As expected, the copy of Great Expectations shown below proved the star turn when Sotheby’s (25/20/13.9%) offered the splendid Charles Dickens collection formed by London accountant Lawrence Drizen.

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Broadened horizons in medal collecting

28 October 2019

While some medal collectors stick rigidly to a narrow period or theme, others take a wider view. A broad taste is evident from a large group on offer in Salisbury.

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Bayonets sale that gets to the point

28 October 2019

Tom Mason’s collecting bug began when his father sent him postcards and gifts from places where he was posted during the Second World War. By his early teens he had started his own collection of military memorabilia and began what would become a lifetime obsession with the American Civil War. Pen pals in the US and Canada helped him search for relics.

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Using your head to avoid incoming fire

28 October 2019

Red jackets and white helmets looked lovely on the parade ground but in the modern world of warfare developing at the end of the 19th century they also made fine targets for accurate long-range rifles.

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18th century floral frills at Sotheby’s

28 October 2019

Billed as a ‘luminescent’ copy of one of the finer of all published florilegia, a copy of Jakob Christoph Trew’s 'Hortus nitidissimus… floribus' is estimated at £70,000-90,000 at Sotheby’s on November 12.

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Auction record for a £1.2m bottle of Scotch whisky

25 October 2019

The £7.6m sale of ‘The Ultimate Whisky Collection’ at Sotheby’s in London on October 24 included a single bottle sold for £1.2m (plus 21% premium).

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Actress Judi Dench and the Brontë Museum call on public to help fund bid for miniature manuscript by a 14-year-old Charlotte Brontë

24 October 2019

The Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth in West Yorkshire has begun a public campaign to raise the final funds needed to bid for a rare manuscript from the Brontës' childhood.

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