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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Medieval chess figure believed to be a ‘missing’ piece from the Lewis chessmen set sells at £600,000 at Sotheby’s

02 July 2019

A chess figure bought in 1964 in Edinburgh for £5 by an antiques dealer and stored in a drawer for decades has sold at a hammer price of £600,000 at Sotheby’s in London.

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Five militaria auction highlights including snuff mull given by 1745 Jacobite rising leader to the guard at his execution

01 July 2019

A snuff mull owned by an executed 1745 Jacobite rising leader and a First World War British tank splatter mask are among five hammer highlights in June auctions.

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Getting a grip on a £20,000 Fairbairn-Sykes dagger

01 July 2019

A rare variant of the classic Second World War commando knife has sold for 200 times its lower estimate at a North Yorkshire auction.

Men charged over 2017 Feltham book theft

01 July 2019

Two men will appear in court in connection with the 2017 theft of rare books from a west London warehouse.

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Christie's auction off extraordinary group of Indian courtly weapons with the Al Thani edge

01 July 2019

Christie’s marathon 12-hour auction of Indian jewellery and works of art from the Al Thani family held in New York included the finest collection of courtly weapons to come to auction in well over a generation.

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15th century maths book merits own catalogue and sells for $1m in New York auction

01 July 2019

Published in Venice in November 1494, a copy of Luca Pacioli’s 'Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proporzioni et proporzionalità…' offered in a recent US sale was granted the rare privilege in the book auction world of having a catalogue all of its own.

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Metellus maps out a sale success

01 July 2019

Beyond the Horizon was the title given to the remarkable Mopelia collection of atlases and travel books offered in a June 5 sale in London.

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Hamburg sale is a books best

01 July 2019

Running up a total of over €2m on 600 lots, a smaller number than usual, the May 27 sale held by Ketterer Kunst (23/21% buyer’s premium) in Hamburg produced the book department’s best-ever results.

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That’s the spirit at £5900

01 July 2019

Top-seller at Richard Edmonds’ (20% buyer’s premium) latest specialist motoring accessories sale was a hanging lightbox proclaiming the virtues of Pratt’s Perfection Spirit.

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Tintin meets Egyptian queen

01 July 2019

A rare signed ink and gouache image in which Tintin carves a makeshift propellor to replace that damaged by a forced landing of his aeroplane in the Soviet Union sold for $900,000 (£708,660) in a June 8-9 sale of European comic artworks held in the US.

British and Irish book auctions: July 2-13, 2019

01 July 2019

Our listing of British and Irish book auctions taking place from July 2-13.

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Lady's pistols made in Birmingham offered in Freiburg

01 July 2019

From the 18th century onwards, the city of Birmingham was a major centre of the British gun-making industry.

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Previews: £30,000 plus

01 July 2019

Our weekly selection from salerooms and dealerships.

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Sister among brothers in arms

01 July 2019

The story of a woman who bound her chest with sacking and cotton, cut her hair and dyed her skin using furniture polish to get to the Western Front is one of the highlights at Norwich Book Fair.

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International organised crime group arrested in €2m rare books heist

27 June 2019

Members of a crime gang believed to be behind the 2017 theft of 260 rare books in west London have been arrested in a joint operation with authorities across Romania, the UK and Italy.

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Complete set of classic Art Deco-style vintage travel posters by Tom Purvis for sale at auction for the first time

27 June 2019

A rare opportunity to buy a whole set of one of the most popular Art Deco-style travel posters ever produced is coming up at auction on July 12.

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Star Wars Tie Bomber toy found untouched in Leicestershire attic makes 10 times estimate at Hansons auction

24 June 2019

The force was strong with a sale of Star Wars toys at Hansons of Derbyshire last week as 90 lots fetched a hammer total of £24,000.

Qing dynasty musical automaton clock

Chinese Qing dynasty musical automaton clock – an amalgam of ingenuity and technical prowess – fetches over £1m at auction

24 June 2019

A Chinese musical automaton clock sailed over the £1m mark when it came up for sale at the Drouot auction centre in Paris.

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Pistol fires arms fair interest

24 June 2019

This c.1800 flintlock pistol below by James Wilkinson, London, was used on packet ships to protect the General Post Office mail.

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Origin of Species takes record result in US sale

24 June 2019

Uncut and partially unopened, a truly exceptional presentation copy of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species… sold for a record $400,000 (£316,353) in a recent US sale.

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