browse and buy art and antiques at auctions

Recent Posts

Pinterest

  • A Platinum and Diamo
  • An important bronze
  • Crowder, Henry und R
  • GIOVANNI BATTISTA GA
  • A boxed Moorcroft Po
  • Duponchel, Paris “Pi
  • Zivy Frères Grande C
  • Lot 530 – An unusual
  • Lot 83 – Roy Lichten
Follow Me on Pinterest

Treasure trove of toys turns up in two sales

SALES of fascinating stock from old toy shops are like buses. None for ages then two at once.

This Action man German armoured car is estimated at  £150-200 in the Vectis April 30 sale.

This Action man German armoured car is estimated at £150-200 in the Vectis April 30 sale.

First up, at Vectis auctioneers in Thornaby, Teeside, on April 30, comes the contents of the Frank Beech Toy shop in Holywell, north Wales, which closed its doors in 2009.

Then we hear that the Lawrences saleroom of Crewkerne in Somerset has another treasure trove of children’s delights on offer in their May 22 sale, featuring goods which were formerly part of the stock of Webber’s Bike and Toy Shop in Taunton.

What both auctions share is a time capsule line-up of tempting toys for sale, many still in their original boxes – the thing that collectors covet, and one of the main factors driving up prices in this market.

more »

Top Gear duo Hammond and May to sell 12 motorbikes at Bonhams

IT is hardly as if Richard Hammond and James May need the cash, despite facing the loss of their lucrative and highly popular Top Gear jobs. After so many years of being part of one of the BBC’s biggest hits they are probably not short of a bob or two.BLOG top gear bikes 2

However, co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson’s well-publicised moment of madness and subsequent suspension, followed by his contract not being renewed, left two-thirds of the Top Gear trio also in limbo.

With all three likely to be hot TV property nonetheless, the reason for Hammond and May consigning 12 lots to auction at Bonhams’ Spring Stafford Sale on April 26 is not likely to be financial.

And it’s not as if they’re trimming sizeable car collections: these particular lots are in fact motorbikes…

more »

Hansons saleroom offer Florence Nightingale desk lamp

SHE is known as The Lady with the Lamp: one of the most famous figures of Victorian times.

Desk lamp owned by Florence Nightingale on offer at Hansons of Derbyshire in June.

Desk lamp owned by Florence Nightingale on offer at Hansons of Derbyshire in June.

Although that nickname referred to the Grecian lamp Florence Nightingale carried while tending to the wounded and dying during the horrors of the Crimean War, you can bid for another of her lamps at auction on June 26.

It won’t be one used in the hospital at Scutari, however. This 150-year-old brass lamp offered at Derbyshire saleroom Hansons is a desk light from Lea Hurst, Florence’s family home set in the Derwent Valley near Matlock in the same county.

This was her childhood home and was later used as a summer residence away from London. After the Crimean War, it was Lea Hurst where she returned to in 1856 and wrote about her experiences.

more »

Original Yellow Submarine cartoon drawing for sale

THE Beatles and Rock & Pop Memorabilia go together like fish and chips.

Original Yellow Submarine film cel on sale in an online auction in Dallas.

Original Yellow Submarine film cel on sale in an online auction in Dallas.

The Fab Four are always the most sought-after band among collectors across the world and are so popular that they form virtually a separate market.

Honourable mentions go to artists such as the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley, with the Grateful Dead taking a big slice in the US, but the Beatles bubble shows no signs of bursting.

All kinds of Beatles memorabilia come up at auction and if the provenance is strong, so too will be the prices.

On March 24 two pictures of John Lennon driving his Mini taken from the back passenger seat by the vendor sold for £4400 against an estimate of £800-1200 at Omega Auctions of Cheshire in a dedicated Beatles collection sale. John is seen looking into the camera via the rear view mirror. These were taken while driving round to George Harrison’s place to rehearse The White Album and were sold by the original photographer with copyright.

Heritage Auctions of Dallas are offering another unusual but desirable Fab Four item in an online sale ending on April 9: one of the first hand-painted cels of the Yellow Submarine made for the 1968 animated film.

This 10 x 5 1/2in (25.5 x 14cm) cel (United Artists/King Features, 1968) was used for reference during the creation of all the production cels and shows colour instructions.

more »

Frankenstein film poster in a monster size up for sale

“IT’S alive! It’s alive!”

Frankenstein film poster on offer at Heritage Auctions of Dallas on March 28-29.

Frankenstein film poster on offer at Heritage Auctions of Dallas on March 28-29.

The words of actor Colin Clive as Dr Henry Frankenstein when his monstrous creation lumbered into activity in the 1931 film. Also monstrous in size is the only known copy of a poster for Frankenstein in the three-sheet format, which goes under the hammer in Dallas, Texas, on March 28-29.

It is on offer in Heritage Auctions’ movie poster sale. The C- format poster, measuring a giant 3ft 5in x 6ft 6in (1 x 1.98m), features the ’monster’ Boris Karloff’s dramatically-lit head looming above the recumbent figure of Mae Clarke.

“Only a small handful of one-sheets including one teaser, one six-sheet, one insert, and a restored half-sheet are all that have appeared of the Frankenstein posters,” said Grey Smith, Heritage’s director of movie posters, “and this poster is the only known copy of either of the two style three- sheets created for the debut of the film.”

The poster was found in the early 1970s in a closed and boarded-over projection booth in a theatre and had apparently been used as a display for a number of reissues of the film with its counterpart for Dracula. It has since been professionally restored and mounted on linen and is expected to fetch between $100,000-200,000.

more »

Railway nameplate reveals the story of Ralph Brocklebank

The Ralph Brocklebank railway locomotive nameplate on offer at Adam Partridge on April 1.

The Ralph Brocklebank railway locomotive nameplate on offer at Adam Partridge on April 1.

WHO was Ralph Brocklebank? Why is a dock on the Mersey in Bootle named after his family and why is there a painting of him in the National Railway Museum’s collection?

Part of the considerable appeal of antiques lies in the story behind the object, especially if it involves not just local history but industrial history, family history, railways and shipping.

An item such as a railway nameplate on offer at Adam Partridge auction house in Liverpool on April 1 ticks all the above boxes, providing hours of joy for any buyer keen to research its background.

more »

Tape recorder that launched the Tubular Bells phenomenon

TUBULAR Bells was massive. It is still massive.

The original tape recorder used to play thedemo tape for Tubular Bells.

The original tape recorder used to play the demo tape for Tubular Bells.

Composer Mike Oldfield was just 19 when his masterpiece came out in 1973 and it remains an influential album – a rearranged segment featured at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.

The ground-breaking instrumental work sold gazillions of copies, established Virgin records, and also sowed the seed for what is now the Virgin empire.

Now, the original tape recorder which launched this musical phenomenon has been rediscovered in a garden shed. Tom Newman, who set up the Manor Recording Studios with Virgin boss Richard Branson, recently found the Akai 40000 Reel to Reel on which he played the original demo tape from Oldfield.

This rare piece of rock memorabilia will go on exhibition at The Garden Rooms at North Yorkshire auctioneers Tennants on April 1 before being offered at auction on June 20. more »

Dolls’ house furniture on offer in Derbyshire

YOUR eyes are not deceiving you. Edward Rycroft, pictured here, really is a giant and the furniture he is handling is normal size. The general valuer and furniture cataloguer, who works at Hansons auctioneers in Derbyshire, holds the record as the tallest auction house employee in the world.

Edward Rycroft from Hansons towers over a set of furniture from their March 27 sale.

Edward Rycroft from Hansons towers over a set of furniture from their March 27 sale.

Oh, all right, we’re just joking. Had you fooled. Edward is of course of regular human being size (we assume) and that wonderful collection of furniture on offer in Hansons’ spring fine art sale on March 27 is intended for a dolls’ house.

This fine collection, estimated at £1200-1800, has never appeared on the open market since it was made in the first half of the 20th century. It comprises bureau bookcases, wing chairs, a set of side chairs, dining tables, tilt-top tables and much more.

more »

Titanic lump of coal up for sale

FATE dealt many passengers a cruel blow when the Titanic sailed from Southampton in April 1912. For the Dean family, the only reason they were on the ship was that a coal strike meant they were transferred to the doomed liner.

Lump of coal from the Titanic on offer at JP Humbert on March 18.

Lump of coal from the Titanic on offer at JP Humbert on March 18.

In a particularly strange twist, 103 years later a piece of coal being offered at auction by Northamptonshire saleroom JP Humbert comes with a signed provenance including the signature of Millvina Dean, who became the youngest survivor of the tragedy.

The lump was salvaged from the wreck during the 1994 Titanic Research & recovery Expedition and was Object Number 94/0036, authenticated by the president of the RMS Titanic Inc and the expedition ship’s captain.

Also up for sale is an actual piece of the hull of the Titanic- a fragment of the 20 ton ‘big piece’ salvaged on August 10, 1998, by the French research vessel Nadir. The ‘rusticle’ is a heavily corroded remnant of the original steel hull and is one of only a few such pieces ever to have been offered for sale.

The two lots are being offered ‘without reserve’ in Towcester this Wednesday (March 18)  alongside a number of other items signed by Millvina. She died in 2009 aged 97 – in Southampton.

more »

Model railway fans chuffed at chance to buy Pete Waterman collection

I SHOULD Be So Lucky to have a Gauge 1 model of a Great Western Railway 0-4-4T broad gauge tank locomotive. Especially For You, I can get a London North Western Railway Class F 2-8-0 tender locomotive.

Gauge 1 model of a Great Western Railway Saint Class 4-4-2 tender locomotive No.179 ‘Magnet’, scratch-built by George MacKinnon-Ure. Estimate £30,000-40,000.

Gauge 1 model of a Great Western Railway Saint Class 4-4-2 tender locomotive No.179 ‘Magnet’, scratch-built by George MacKinnon-Ure. Estimate £30,000-40,000.

Music supremo Pete Waterman probably thought it was a case of Never Gonna Give You Up when it came to his fantastic collection of model railways.

He is renowned for his production line of eighties pop hits by artists such as Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Rick Astley, as part of the astonishingly successful Stock Aitken Waterman trio. But the largely teenage fans who revered Waterman’s work never realised he was also a train geek.

Waterman is selling his 56-lot collection of scratch-built historic locomotives in Gauge 1 and above in a sale through H&H Classics in conjunction with Dreweatts & Bloomsbury on April 16 at the Mallett Antiques premises in Dover Street, London.

more »