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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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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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.

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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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Music box tunes in at 20-times guide

28 October 2019

Selling at some 20 times the estimate, a 19th century mahogany-cased music box was the surprise success at Batemans’ (20% buyer’s premium) sale at Stamford on October 5.

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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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Tight fit for a time in London

21 October 2019

Renovations at hotel venue mean Etc Fairs will have a smaller space but only for a short while.

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Graham Bowers: Why I’m under Napoleon’s spell

14 October 2019

In the latest of our occasional series of collector interviews, we talk to Graham Bowers, who buys items associated with Napoleon Bonaparte and describes himself as being “under the Corsican wizard’s spell”.

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Conan Doyle-designed portable desk for sale from furniture maker Timothy Oulton

30 September 2019

Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was so keen to be able to work while he travelled that in 1925 he commissioned a case maker to create the bespoke trunk that could turn into a writing desk.

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Buyer has no fear of the unknown as pocket globe leads Exeter auction

16 September 2019

A pocket globe with some areas still a mystery leads a maritime auction at Exeter saleroom Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.

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Plea to antiques trade to help find stolen paperweight collection

11 September 2019

The owner of a collection of paperweights is calling on the antiques trade to look out for items that have been stolen from a car in south London.

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Glasses ‘used by Mary Lincoln’ on fateful night come to auction in Essex

09 September 2019

Could these be the opera glasses used by Mary Lincoln on the night her husband was assassinated? Colchester auction house Reeman Dansie will offer them for sale on September 24-25 with a guide price of £10,000-20,000.

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Hammer to go down on 40 years of collecting hole punches at Lichfield auction

19 August 2019

Antique stationery fans have plenty of purchasing choices: from writing slopes and desks, to ink stands and stationery boxes. But for the true connoisseur have they thought of collecting hole punches?

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Fashionable but fragile box just sew good

19 August 2019

From the height of almost impractical luxury to a simple piece of homespun craftsmanship, the full creative range of sewing accessories was on offer at the summer sale of specialist auction house Bleasdales (20% buyer’s premium).

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Heinz fan Ed Sheeran helps auction ketchup bottles at Christie’s

16 August 2019

Heinz is celebrating 150 years of the brand with a series of events including a charity auction with singer Ed Sheeran at Christie’s.

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‘Thank heavens for the internet’

12 August 2019

Catalogued together with an incomplete silver propelling pencil with a bloodstone terminal, a silver Art Deco pocket lighter with a timepiece sold at £5200 (estimate £100-200) at Amersham Auction Rooms (17.5% buyer’s premium) on July 11.

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The perfect gift for Boris Johnson? A Downing Street enamel sign up for auction in Wiltshire

06 August 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson sacked more than half of Theresa May’s cabinet and brought in his own top-level team last month. Those MPs trying to stay in his good books may want to win him over with a thoughtful gift.

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Apollo 11 footage tops Sotheby’s space auction on 50th anniversary of moon landing

24 July 2019

NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 mission topped Sotheby’s Space Exploration Sale held on the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing.

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Spider-Man's debut and other Silver Age rarities among massive Newcastle comics auction

23 July 2019

Newcastle-upon-Tyne auction house Anderson & Garland will begin the sale of a vast number of vintage comics this week.

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