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‘Probably the most important medieval seal to come to market’

BLOG Bruce sealIn the year of the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn you have the chance to buy the seal of probably the greatest figure in Scottish history (even greater than Alex Salmond).

Deep pockets may be needed, though – Robert the Bruce’s seal is estimated at £80,000-120,000 at Timeline Auctions on December 4 at a sale in central London. The auction house describe it as ‘probably the most important medieval seal to come to market’.

The ‘medieval King Robert the Bruce of Scotland and Dunfermline Abbey cokete seal matrix pair’ was commissioned to be cut on July 10, 1322. It is contained in a hinged wooden box with velvet-lined recesses and labels; the seal matrix is in two parts with locating posts (these inserted and soldered in place) and sockets. more »

Keith Moon’s Drum Kit up for Auction

BLOG keith moon drumkitKeith Moon of The Who was indisputably one of the greatest rock drummers of all time – and rated by many as actually the very best.

He was also famed for destroying his drumkit on stage, but one survivor was the 1964 Ludwig Super Classic set which is a highlight of the December 10 Entertainment Memorabilia Sale to be held in Bonhams’ Knightsbridge salerooms, estimated at £15,000-20,000. more »

Bonhams to sell 3 watercolours by Egyptologist Howard Carter

BLOG TutankhamunThree watercolours of Egypt by Howard Carter, the English archaeologist who discovered the tomb of the Boy Pharaoh Tutankhamun in 1922, are to be sold at Bonhams on December 3.

While the Earl of Carnarvon, the amateur Egyptologist who appointed Carter to oversee his Theban excavations, supposedly died from the curse of King Tut, Carter was able to retire from archaeology soon after his discovery and became and agent for museums and private collectors, dying – of entirely natural causes – in 1937 aged 64. more »

Where are the 1966 England World Cup Medals Now?

BLOG Matthews 1953 medalWhen it comes to British football memorabilia it doesn’t get much bigger than Sir Stanley Matthews’ 1953 FA Cup winner’s medal. And now when it comes to the world record for a football medal sold at auction it certainly doesn’t get any bigger…

The medal set a new high when it was sold at £220,000 at Graham Budd auctions – in the process also making a TV personality very happy. Nick Hancock, former presenter of the BBC’s They Think It’s All Over, was the vendor and made a tidy profit after buying the medal for £20,000 in 2001.

Sir Stanley played a key part in Stoke City’s stirring comeback in that 1953 clash, recovering from 3-1 down to win 4-3. more »

Forget HS2 & Crossrail. Build 1950s Central London Helidrome instead.

BLOG helidromeHigh-speed trains to the Midlands, north and beyond are being hailed as one answer to improving UK transport links, while arguments also rage over the building of new runways in the south-east. In London, hopes are high that Crossrail and an expanded Thameslink will ease the pressure through the railway.

Back in the 1950s, however, for one MP the answer lay not in trains or planes, but in helicopters landing right in the heart of the capital, as an item sold at Christie’s South Kensington recently shows. more »

What do you get the person who has everything? How about a wooly mammoth skeleton?

BLOG mammothIf you want to impress your friends you could try installing a jacuzzi, having a Ferrari on the driveway or buying a Premier League football club. Or, if you have the space, why not show off an Ice Age woolly mammoth skeleton?

Summers Place Auctions of West Sussex are offering the skeleton, a mere 30,000-50,000 years old, with an estimate of £150,000-250,000 at their Evolution sale on November 26. more »

6 ways to design a prize-winning fair stand

With around 120 stands at the Winter Olympia Art and Antiques Fair in London, there is considerable competition to win the prize for Best Stand.

Presentation, colour scheme, lighting, quality of stock, labelling and other factors, such as just how inviting the display is to new buyers, are all taken into consideration when looking for the three awards made by the two leading dealer associations, the British Antique Dealers Association (BADA) and the Association of Art and Antique Dealers (LAPADA).

As well as Best Stand overall, the BADA and LAPADA each present an award for Best Stand displaying Pictures or Textiles and Best Stand using Display Cabinets.

An invited team of expert judges tour the stands as the event prepares to open to find th eir favourites and, interestingly, despite the judges being different each year, often the same names come up time and again.

Four of this year’s winners have won an award in the past two years. They must be getting something right!

Here are the six winning stands for 2014. more »

Highest ever estimate ($400,000-600,000) for an Apple-1 at Christie’s

BLOG appleThe great American historical landmarks? Mount Rushmore, Golden Gate Bridge, Statue of Liberty, The White House, Alcatraz, Bunker Hill… and 2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos.

You may not recognise the last address, but it is now designated by the City of Los Altos, California, as a Historic Resource, eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, and it is all thanks to a previous occupant: Steve Jobs (1955-2011). more »

And the silver medal for 1st place goes to…

BLOG 1896 olympic medalOlympic competitors dream of winning a gold medal – for most, the pinnacle of their career. At the 1896 event, however, they dreamed of silver.

The top prize for victors at the first modern Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896, was actually struck in silver while second-place medals were bronze. Third place brought… nothing.

Graham Budd Auctions are offering one of these winners’ medals with an estimate of £45,000-55,000 in their sporting memorabilia sale on November 10-11. more »

Vladimir Putin Automaton for auction

BLOG Putin automatonVladimir Putin likes to see himself portrayed in photo opportunities with top off, gun in hand, huntin’ shootin’ fishin’, climbing, swimming, wrestling bears and generally being very manly.

The sale at Auction Team Breker in Cologne on November 14-15 has a slightly different take on the Russian president. Among the top lots is a highly topical musical automaton, made this year by the Swiss puppet-maker and author Christian Bailly. more »

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