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.

British and Irish book auctions: December 18-January 17, 2018

17 December 2018

ATG’s calendar of book auctions taking place in the UK and Ireland from December 18-January 17, 2018.

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Lawyer’s love of Russian works shines through

17 December 2018

Russian literary firsts and related manuscripts were the focus of one of the many major sales held in the UK, Europe and the US at the year’s end.

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Scottish pistol prize in Pennsylvania

17 December 2018

The highlight of the specialist sale of firearms and militaria held by Pook & Pook (22% buyer’s premium) in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, on November 17 was this matched pair of 18th century flintlock pistols.

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Cumbrian book sales on the starting blocks

17 December 2018

Packed with job lots in many categories, the book section of a three-day antiques auction held at Mitchells (20% buyer’s premium) in the Cumbrian market town of Cockermouth heralded an intent to make such sales a regular feature.

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Auction lot reveals the marketing genius of early garden design entrepreneur Humphry Repton

14 December 2018

Long before the world became obsessed by marketing, branding and PR, garden designer Humphry Repton was way ahead of the game.

German skittles set

Four vintage toys sold in US auction including rare German skittles set

13 December 2018

Around 1400 lots were offered in Bertoia’s mammoth auction of vintage toys in Vineland, New Jersey, including seasonal playthings for Halloween and Christmas.

John Mollo’s personal sketchbook for Star Wars

Star Wars costume designer’s personal sketchbook makes £100,000 at Bonhams

13 December 2018

The archive of John Mollo, the concept artist behind the Star Wars franchise, came up at Bonhams this week. Leading the sale was a personal sketchbook showing some of the first hand-drawn costume designs for Darth Vader, Chewbacca and the stormtroopers.

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Armorial parchment given to Columbus on his return to Spain offered in Madrid auction

12 December 2018

On March 15, 1493, Christopher Columbus disembarked from his ship in Palos and headed straight to Barcelona where he recounted tales of his discovery of America to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.

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‘New high’ for Hornby Dublo

10 December 2018

A toy engine offered at North Yorkshire saleroom Tennants (20% buyer’s premium) sold for what is thought to be a new world record for a Hornby Dublo locomotive.

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Einstein and his word on God at Christie’s New York

10 December 2018

Written just a year before his death in 1955, a famous two-page letter in which Albert Einstein put down his thoughts on religion, his Jewish identity and his own search for the meaning of life sold for $2.4m (£1.89m) in a New York auction on December 4.

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Steiff teddy bear all dressed up for a wedding

10 December 2018

This very rare bear shown below made a very high price for such a small fellow – just 14cm (5½in) high.

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First edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice makes £38,000 at Bonhams

10 December 2018

Literary high spots of a Bonhams (25/10/12% buyer’s premium) sale of November 27 included a three-volume, 1813 first of Jane Austen’s 'Pride and Prejudice'.

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Russian botanical work blooms in Germany

10 December 2018

Along with Pallas’ 'Flora Russica', the 'Icones Plantarum novarum… floram Rossicam' of the German-Estonian botanist Carl Friedrich von Ledebour is recognised as one of the great works on Russian flora.

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Musical duet offering from Bowie and Sheeran

10 December 2018

Musicians from different generations provided sound results at Suffolk saleroom Bishop & Miller (19% buyer’s premium).

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Auctioneers offer golden oldies

10 December 2018

Illustrated here are some of the oldest lots ever auctioned – three in the Evolution Sale at on November 20 at Summers Place Auctions (25/20% buyer’s premium) of Billingshurst, West Sussex, and the other from Fonsie Mealy (23% buyer’s premium inc VAT) of Castlecomer, Ireland, in a sale held on the same day.

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Caterpillar tracked

10 December 2018

Bram van der Stok MBE was not only the most decorated aviator in Dutch history and one of just three men to successfully flee POW Camp Stalag Luft III in the ‘Great Escape’, but also a proud member of the Caterpillar Club.

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Buyer of chess rarity on board at £7000

10 December 2018

Arthur Saul’s Famous Game of Chesse-Play…, the first published book on the game written by an Englishman, came out in 1614.

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Tyndale Bible is eye-opener at Chiswick Auctions

10 December 2018

Dated 1536 and printed in Antwerp, a defective copy of what is known as the ‘mole’ edition of Tyndale’s Newe Testament – so called from the mole (or perhaps hedgehog) depicted on a stone on which St Paul’s foot is resting in one of the many woodcut illustrations – made £30,000 in a recent London sale.

British and Irish book auctions: December 11-20, 2018

10 December 2018

ATG’s calendar of book auctions taking place in the UK and Ireland from December 11-20, 2018.

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Child’s play also for grown-ups: a look at the toys and games market

10 December 2018

Originally given as presents to infants, early dolls, rocking horses and even board games can now inspire passions among collectors far surpassing the delight of children on Christmas morning and far exceeding most doting parents’ budgets.

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