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.


A fine and Dandy state of affairs in comic circles

29 September 2004

NATIONAL media coverage has ensured that most people will have heard about the copy of Dandy No.1, complete with Express Whistler that set a British comic auction record of £18,500 in the Comic Book Postal Auctions sale that ended on September 7.

Dragoons leads the field among silks

16 September 2004

TEMPTING though it is to say that word from the Specialised Postcard Auctions (10% buyer's premium) was lost in the post, this midsummer auction on July 5 has slipped through the Antiques Trade Gazette net until now. But the £23,000 sale should be recorded as one of the series which have, for years, been catering for this specialist market.

August still the selling season by the sea

16 September 2004

SOME provincial auctioneers and London’s major houses batten down their hatches during the traditionally dead month of August, but for Scarborough Perry (15% buyer's premium) it was business as usual for their August 12-13 sale.

No-gun slogans and other mottos

08 September 2004

Badges by Philip Atwood, published by the British Museum Press. ISBN 0714150142 £7.99sb AMONG the British Museum’s priceless antiquities is the museum’s collection of some 12,000 badges. A small, hard-to-find exhibition, showing at the museum until January 16, presents just a tiny fraction of this archive.

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Vital non-essentials

08 September 2004

OUR hugely busy lives are made more bearable by labour-saving inventions. For every one that made it from drawing board to retailer there were hundreds more that didn’t catch on. With a subtitle of “and amazing gadgets, gizmos and thingamabobs”, this is a pictorial illustration of some 100 extremely wacky and ingenious inventions which Maurice Collins has built up over 30 years, alongside his collection of posters and printed ephemera.

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Why whistler may help Dandy outstrip The Beano

24 August 2004

LONDON-based Comic Book Postal Auctions hold several auction highs for British comics including, earlier this year, a world record £12,100 for The Beano No. 1. However, that remarkable price could well be threatened by this copy of The Dandy No. 1.

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Nelson takes his leave on shore

18 August 2004

OCTOBER 21, 2005 will see the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar and many celebrations marking the most decisive naval victory in modern history are planned. However, it will not be until January 9, 2006 that we mark 200 years since the funeral of its most famous protagonist.

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£5200 box traces the roots of royal legend

18 August 2004

THE story of the Boscobel Oak that gave numerous pubs a name also, after 1660, became an object of Royalist pilgrimage. By 1680 a protective wall was built round the trunk but, such was the souvenir hunting, by the early 18th century the tree had almost been destroyed. The oak at Boscobel today is almost certainly a descendant and not the one where Charles Stuart spent a sleepless night as he fled Cromwell’s heavies.

Art Nouveau enthusiasts buckle down to bid on Liberty piece

20 July 2004

SELECTIVE bidding at Hobbs Parker's (10% buyer's premium) 704-lot June 10 outing focused on the better-quality entries such as an Art Nouveau belt buckle by Liberty & Co., which fetched £400, and two Mappin & Webb silver photograph frames dating to 1917 and 1916 which took a respectable £400.

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Where reliable trains just get better…

07 July 2004

THE railways themselves may not be as dependable as they were, but you can absolutely count on Sheffield Railwayana Auctions coming up with the goods. June 12 saw the specialists, who still don’t charge buyer’s premium, steaming along to a £438,000 total from 530 lots.

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Ronson Bartender serves up £1350

07 July 2004

PROBABLY the best-known and the most coveted of the novelty table lighters made by the Ronson Lighter Co. is the 1936 patent Touch-Tip Bartender.

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Lottery fund waved at rare Sickert fan

06 July 2004

THE Fan Museum in Greenwich, the world’s only museum entirely dedicated to the history of fans and the craft of fan-making, have acquired an important fan painted around 1889 by Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942).

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Dandy has a No.1 outing

29 June 2004

EARLIER this year, when Comic Book Postal Auctions sold a copy of Beano No.1 for a record £11,000, I briefly looked into the reasons why Dandy, which preceded Beano by several months, is not quite so avidly pursued and looked forward to seeing just how much the next Dandy No. 1 to come to auction might make.

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Melon-form caddy is a £3600 fruit

22 June 2004

ALTHOUGH catalogued as a late 18th century fruitwood apple form tea caddy, this finely turned and carved 5 1/2in (13cm) high vessel sold by Biddle & Webb (15% buyer’s premium) on April 1 was more accurately a melon.

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Mutineer’s prop

22 June 2004

THIS walking stick, thought to have once belonged to John Adams, the longest surviving of the Bounty mutineers, will be on offer at Sworders' (15% buyer’s premium) Summer Country House sale on July 20-21. It is made from a vine found on Pitcairn Island, where Adams and eight of the other mutineers famously settled after landing there on January 23, 1790.

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Moon rock and an historic toothbrush

17 June 2004

IN the 18th century, it was widely believed that meteorites found on Earth were pieces of the moon that had been blasted into space by volcanic eruption. We now know that almost all meteorites come from the asteroid belt and that it was the pummelling that the moon received in the early years of the formation of our solar system that allowed some chunks of moon rock to escape the moon’s gravitational influence and, periodically, find their way to Earth.

Fords, Furness and Ffrendes

16 June 2004

TWO BOX files of Ford manufacturers’ catalogues, advertising material and other ephemera of 1920s and ’30s motoring interest brought a bid of £1550 in a May 19 sale held by Thomson Roddick & Medcalf and the only other lot to reach four figures was a collection of some 370 postcards relating almost entirely to Ulverston and Furness.

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Pleasures of the dining room – notforgetting the corkscrew

15 June 2004

GOOD-quality mahogany and oak furniture took most of the better prices in Mitchells' (15% buyer's premium) 1566-lot May 13-14 auction which totalled £325,000.

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Postcard offers brief new note on Chamber Music

10 June 2004

A POSTCARD sent by Joyce to the publisher Elkin Mathews sold for €12,000 (£8170) in a May 18 sale held by Mealy’s in Dublin.

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Specialties of the house pull in the offbeat enthusiasts

09 June 2004

THE way Bonhams’ (17.5% buyer's premium) empire has adapted to the received wisdom that specialisation is a key to today’s macro auction environment is to have niche markets catered for at different outposts. Among the areas catered for at the Midlands branch at Knowle are such widely known ones as mechanical music and railwayana and, in ascending degree of arcane nature, wireless sets, optical instruments, firemarks, truncheons and tipstaffs.

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