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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Create a scandalous collection

18 November 2019

The intriguing name for Benjamin Smith’s Norfolk business came from an ink sgraffito painting he bought at Spitalfields antiques market.

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Insurance fire marks sell in a blaze of glory

18 November 2019

The practice of placing a metal mark on a building to indicate insurance against a fire started in earnest after the Great Fire of London (1666). Each insurance company had its own fire service and distinctive logo.

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First Olympic medal to be won by a black British athlete comes to auction

14 November 2019

Jack London (1905-66) became the first black British athlete to win an Olympic medal when he was awarded bronze in the 4x4 100 metres relay and a silver in the 100 metres sprint in the 1928 Games in Amsterdam.

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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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Sounding the Thunderer for the first penalty kick in a World Cup Final

11 November 2019

The whistle that blew after just a minute of play to signal the first penalty kick ever awarded in a World Cup Final has sold for £4200 at a London auction.

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Previews: £20,000 plus

11 November 2019

Our weekly selection from salerooms.

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Bunker Hill blast from the past

11 November 2019

Musket that fired the first shot in 1775 American revolution battle appears in US saleroom.

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Boz kicks off a splendid Dickens collection

11 November 2019

Drizen Dickens lots notch up notable results despite some higher-value unsolds.

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Piranesi takes to the field

11 November 2019

Bid to a record £20,000 at a Forum Auctions (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on September 26 was a beautifully bound example of Piranesi’s Campus Martius Antiquae Urbis.

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The worldwise works of HG Wells

11 November 2019

Sold for a record $2750 (£2220) at PBA Galleries (20/15% buyer’s premium) in California on October 10 was an inscribed copy of The World Set Free, a prophetic novel by HG Wells.

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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.

British and Irish book auctions, November 12-21, 2019

11 November 2019

Our regular listing of British and Irish book auctions.

Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ first edition

Hindman sets auction record for copy of Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’

08 November 2019

A record for a copy of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species came at Hindman’s sale of the library of a Midwestern collector in Chicago earlier this week.

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ABA’s Chelsea fair hosts book buyers and browsers: photo special

07 November 2019

The ABA’s Chelsea fair is pitched at all levels of buying expertise and budgets. On the event's second day, Saturday November 2, ATG went to Chelsea Old Town Hall to record the action

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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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Family reunited with medals after ATG appeal

04 November 2019

Rare medals stolen from a car and found discarded in a park 10 months later have been reunited with their owner thanks to an ATG news story.

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Polish poster for 'The Untouchables' at Midcentury Modern’s Dulwich fair

04 November 2019

This distinctive poster with its saw-edged image was created by the Polish designer Mieczyslaw Wasilewski for Brian De Palma’s classic 1987 crime thriller 'The Untouchables'.

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Photographer Thomson travels up north

04 November 2019

First work in photographer’s classic coverage of China and its people makes £48,000.

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