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.

Ack Ack in an early form

01 January 2001

UK: IN THE days when thousands of game birds would be shot in a morning on the moors by the likes of Walsingham and Ripon, it might have come as a shock to learn that no records of this gun ever making a successful kill existed, even more so when the target was many thousand times the size of your average pheasant.

Nazi shadow falls over three French museums

01 January 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 World War II.

Empty but still a treasure

22 December 2000

NEW YORK: PIRACY on the High Seas may be among the most dastardly of criminal activities, but when you look back at the Spanish Main with all its swashbuckling and early Hollywood Fairbanks and Flynn connotations, it remains among the most stirring and romantic.

A little too fiddly?

04 December 2000

Imagine being serenaded at your dinner table, preferably by one of the Python team, with the world’s smallest playable violin.

Rare example of printed letter

14 November 2000

Sold at Sotheby’s, London sale (October 12-13) for £6500 was a rare example of a printed version of one of the letters exchanged by Napoleon and the Sherif of Mekkah, Ghalib ibn Musa’id, at the time of the French invasion of Egypt in 1798-99.

The Voyage of H.M.S Beagle edited by Charles Darwin

13 November 2000

UK: The Voyage of H.M.S Beagle is a summary of fauna discovered by Charles Darwin on his travels through the Southern Hemisphere from 1831-6, and became crucial to the formulation of his brutal creed: “survival of the fittest”.

The cutting edge of 18th century style…

17 October 2000

UK: Scholars probably know less about the makers of 18th century caddies and knife boxes than the little they have gleaned thus far regarding the makers of Georgian furniture.

Scaphe dial and astrolabe

09 October 2000

LONDON: Renaissance period combined scaphe dial and astrolabe made by Arsenius of Louvain, dated 1563.

Chairman points the way ahead for Bloomsbury

02 October 2000

UK: TOMMASO Zanzotto, chairman of Stocklight, which owns the Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books recently acquired Bloomsbury Book Auctions, has vowed to keep the two companies totally separate.

1920s set of chess pieces from the Allen Hofrichter collection

25 September 2000

UK: WHATEVER the privations of life in the Soviet Union, one could still enjoy a simple game of chess. But because official art is turned to the use of propaganda in every dictatorship, so the more opulent chess sets in post-revolutionary Russia became a metaphor for the struggle between communists and capitalists.

Monster prices

18 September 2000

The combined hammer prices for pre-war B-movie advertising posters at auction houses these days can easily exceed the budgets allocated by the old Hollywood studios to such downmarket films.

The Mirabilia Romae... makes a rare appearance

11 September 2000

The William Foyle Library Pt. II sale at Christie’s, London last week revealed a copy of one of the rarest of all blockbooks.

50-year-old Macallan malt whiskey

04 September 2000

While Thai and Chinese businessmen splashed out on bottles of Pomerol 61 and Romanee-Conti 85 in the years leading up to the crash of the Tiger economies in the late 1990s, Japanese captains of industry were impressing their corporate friends with equally expensive bottles of Scotch, which they would crack open after work and down in one sitting.

Royal presentation set of painted buttons

04 September 2000

Included among a fine selection of Scottish silver and vertu at the sale conducted by Sotheby’s at the Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland on August 29 was this remarkable royal presentation set of buttons painted with shooting, fishing and hunting scenes.

French delay Yahoo Nazi case

21 August 2000

THE French courts have suspended Yahoo’s appeal against a ban on its Web auctions of Nazi memorabilia while technical experts see if there is a way to prevent French Web-users gaining access to them.

1870 Eugène Meyer de Paris Vélocipède

14 August 2000

AS THE Tour de France came to an end, this 1870 Eugène Meyer de Paris Vélocipède sold on its top estimate for £26,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer’s premium) at Brooks’ Summer Vintage sale at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu on July 27.

A small group of scientific apparatus

14 August 2000

UK: A SMALL group of scientific apparatus featured in Phillips’ July 18 horological auction in Bond Street, London and comprised a silver pocket chronometer by Webster and Son of London, hallmarked for 1834, and a 19th century five-inch theodolite signed for Reiss Leibenwerda, each with their custom-made cases.

How to help Tiger's rivals feather their own nests...

17 July 2000

THE golfers who tee-off at St Andrew’s on Thursday might stand a better chance of winning the Open if they forced Tiger Woods to play with this locally made ball, rather than the standard ultra-scientific balata.

Declaration of Independence sets $8.14m Web record

10 July 2000

SOTHEBY’S are celebrating setting the top price achieved for an object at auction on the Internet with the $7.4m paid on June 29 for a first printing copy of the American Declaration of Independence.

French courts ban Nazi Web sales

05 June 2000

FRANCE: A Paris court has told one of the world’s leading Websites to prevent French Web-users from gaining access to auctions featuring Nazi memorabilia.

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