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No 1, Vol 1, Arsenal match day programme

BLOG HighburyIf you are an Arsenal fan, September 6, 1913, should be a highly significant date. It was the day that Woolwich Arsenal beat Leicester Fosse 2-1… and the first time the club played at their new ground of Highbury.

Now known simply as Arsenal, the club have been based at the nearby Emirates since 2006 but Highbury remains a hallowed memory and the No 1, Vol 1 programme for that landmark second division game is a sought-after item, marking their move from Plumstead, south-east London.

The copy seen at Lockdales (17.25% buyer’s premium) of Ipswich on September 13-14 belted past an estimate of £800-850 to sell for £2900. Woolwich Arsenal FC is described on the inside front cover as ‘London’s oldest league club’ and Highbury as ‘the most accessible ground in London’. more »

Lovejoy memorabilia in auction action

BLOG LovejoyWhen most people over a certain age hear the term ‘antiques dealer’ we would like to think they associate it with such terms as ‘exciting’, ‘interesting’ and ‘quality’.

But, let’s be honest, they are in fact thinking ‘Lovejoy’.

The TV series ran from 1986-1994 and immortalised Ian McShane as the ‘irresistable rogue’ who would always be on the lookout for a bargain. Other characters to recall include Dudley Sutton (Tinker), Chris Jury (Eric Catchpole) and Phyllis Logan (Lady Jane Felsham). more »

WW1 Armistice document estimated at £20k-30k

BLOG armistice

This scruffy piece of paper may not look like much but it was used at one of the most significant events of the 20th century. 

It is in fact blotting paper from the signing of the Armistice to signal the end of the First World War, at 5am on November 11, 1918, in a railway carriage in the Forest of Compiègne by Marshal Foch and Admiral Sir Rosslyn Wemyss, First Sea Lord, on behalf of the Allies, and by Matthias Erzberger, Chef de Mission, General Detlof von Winterfeldt, Count Alfred von Oberndorff of the Foreign Ministry and Captain Vanselow of the Imperial Navy, for Germany.

The relic was kept with other mementos and a typed account by Captain John Peter Ralph Marriott (‘Jack’) Marriott, Royal Navy, Naval Assistant to Admiral Wemyss. Marriott was present throughout the negotiations held at Compiègne from November 7-11 and at the actual signing. more »

Limited run of the £1000 banknote

BLOG £1000 noteThis £1000 banknote was the highest denomination note that was ever issued by the Bank of England. The note had a limited run and was cut short due to the Nazis’ extensive plan to destabilise the British economy using fraudulent currency.

The note, which is dated October 15, 1935, is expected to fetch £18,000-22,000 at Dix Noonan Webb’s sale of British and World Paper Money on September 29. more »

Gift from The Duke of Windsor to his lover on offer at Bonhams

BLOG frogKing Edward VIII may have been strongly suspected of sympathising with the Nazis but as the only British monarch to abdicate voluntarily in the name of love he could also be a soppy so-and-so. The cheeky chappie pictured here is a diamond frog which was a gift from The Duke of Windsor to his lover Wallis Simpson. It is being offered in Bonhams’ fine jewellery sale in New Bond Street on September 17 together with a diamond brooch designed as the Prince of Wales’ feathers. The two items are estimated to sell for £5000-10,000.

The diamond and green peridot frog dates from 1937, when he married Simpson after stepping down several months earlier so his brother became George VI. more »

The Egyptian coffin cover and the monocled crocodile wrestler

BLOG coffin coverWhen Stephen Drake of Willingham Auctions discovered a 3000-year-old Egyptian coffin cover in a house clearance on the Essex coast, he was amazed. But perhaps even more astonishing was what he uncovered next. Mr Drake, who found the cobweb-covered coffin cover propped up against a longcase clock after climbing through a hole in the wall of the house on August 15 – the only way in during refurbishment – also helped bring to light the long-forgotten tale of one of the most extraordinary British adventurers of the 20th century.

He discovered an LP recording of the legendary Tiger Sarll’s (1882-1977) appearance as the subject of This Is Your Life with Eamonn Andrews. “I felt like Indiana Jones uncovering the treasures of the lost temple,” Mr Drake told ATG. But, as he soon discovered, Sarll’s story made Indiana Jones look quite pedestrian. The family clearing the house were Sarll’s descendants, who still had the Big Red Book from his appearance on This Is Your Life – although they were unaware of the recording – and it told an amazing tale, which was also recounted in Adventurer Extraordinary: The Tiger Sarll Story (1961), by Godfrey Lias. more »

‘Abominable Snowman’ Pictures on offer at Christie’s online sale.

BLOG yetiWhy is the Yeti an ‘Abominable Snowman’? Who has met him/her to judge? Maybe the creature is just misunderstood. Then again, the ‘Amiable Snowman’ is not exactly headline-grabbing. Many mountaineers believe in its existence, however, and photos showing footprints supposedly left by the beast in the Himalayas are on offer during Christie’s online-only section of its Out of the Ordinary sale, ending on September 10.

The pictures, estimated at £3000-5000, were taken in the Memluk Basin by Eric Earle Shipton (1907-77) during the 1951 Everest expedition. Shipton’s photographs ignited speculation about the existence of a Yeti which had been growing since N.A. Tombazi made the first European sighting during an expedition to the Sikkim Himalaya in 1925. With no means of measuring the footprints, Shipton took four photographs: two showing the indistinct prints seen with human footprints and rucksack beside them for comparison; the other two looking at one of the most detailed and distinct group of prints, with an ice axe for scale and a second one with a booted foot. The footprints measure 12-13in long. more »

Spacesuit used by canine cosmonauts Belka and Strelka up for sale

BLOG space dog

Before Yuri Gagarin blasted off in 1961 to become the first man in space, Soviet missions such as Mutt-nik 5 – sorry, Sputnik 5 – had sent man’s best friend into orbit.

If you would like to pay tribute to that particular mission from 1960, Auctionata are offering a pressurised canine spacesuit in their online-only Soviet space memorabilia sale on September 13, guided at around $8000.

This was one of the first spacesuits for dogs to test the effects of low-gravity and high-speed launches on living organisms and was produced in the USSR in the 1950s by RSC Energia, the largest Russian manufacturer of spacecraft and space station components. more »

The First Book printed in English makes £900,000 at Auction

BLOG CaxtonIf ‘multi-tasking’ had been around as a phrase in the 15th century, it would have been apt to describe William Caxton.

Not content with being a successful member of the Bruges merchant community involved in the wool trade and representing his colleagues as governor of the English Nation of Merchant Adventurers, and quite possibly being a financial adviser to Margaret of Burgundy, he produced not just the first book printed in English, but the first ever printed or published by an Englishman. more »

Cats favourite sitting bowl, turns out to be 1425 £90k Ming Bowl

BLOG cat bowlThis 12in (30cm) blue and white bowl provided the most spectacular of a clutch of multi-estimate prices at an Essex saleroom on August 5-6. Good job that the family cat was obviously such a graceful creature, then – it was apparently one of its favourite resting places.

If the moggy had destroyed that said vase it could not have made a £90,000 hammer price after it sailed past an estimate of just £200-300, in the process creating a house record for the Reeman Dansie saleroom in Colchester. more »

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