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  • 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
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Porsche and Ferrari cars are the stars

IT’S so easy to buy online these days. At the click of a button you can order a book, food, concert tickets perhaps, or a cheap flight.

This Porsche is the most expensive item ever sold to an online bidder in a Bonhams' sale.

This Porsche is the most expensive item ever sold to an online bidder in a Bonhams’ sale.

What about the ‘Ex-Jürgen Oppermann/Otto Altenbach/Loris Kessel Obermaier Racing 1990-93 Porsche Type 962 C Endurance Racing Competition Coupe’?

Along with being a bit of a mouthful, this Porsche sold in Bonhams’ Spa Classic Sale on May 24 at Le circuit de Spa Francorchamps, Brussels, also now stands as the most valuable lot ever sold to an online bidder at the auction house.

The hammer price was a hefty €1.3m (£926,120) but with the buyer’s premium included that internet buyer will have paid €1,495,000 (£1,065,038).

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The original parka coat makes a comeback

ANYONE who grew up in the 1980s UK (that’ll be me) will have fond/horrible memories of the parka coat, depending on personal experience.

Original Alaskan inuit parka coat on sale at an Eve auction in Paris.

Original Alaskan inuit parka coat on sale at an Eve auction in Paris.

On the plus side, they were certainly warm and cosy and kids just loved zipping up the hood as far as it could go to create a small tunnel of fur in front of their face – the snorkel effect. On the downside, parents insisted on zipping them right up to protect their cherished offspring even when it was boiling hot.

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Bottle of Arctic Ale from 1875 offered unopened

Auctioneer Aaron Dean holds a bottle of Arctic Ale to be offered on June 13.

Auctioneer Aaron Dean holds a bottle of Arctic Ale to be offered on June 13.

A FINE 1875 vintage… never opened… those ATG people must be blogging about a wine sale.

Er, no. Beer. And a very interesting bottle of beer at that. Shropshire auctioneers Trevanion & Dean are offering a brew bottled for the British Arctic Expedition sent out to reach the North Pole.

This attempt by HMS Alert and HMS Discovery, under the leadership of Vice-Admiral Sir George Nares (1831-1915), failed to reach the pole but succeeded in mapping the coast lines of Greenland and Ellesmere Island.

Nares, in taking both ships successfully north through the channel between both land masses, became the first explorer to do so and the channel was named ‘Nares Strait’ in his honour.

One hundred and forty years later, the bottle of Arctic Ale was discovered by Trevanion and Dean auctioneer Aaron Dean in a garage in the Shropshire village of Gobowen. “I saw a bottle which looked interesting standing in a mixed box of spirits,” he said. “However, my jaw dropped to the floor when I saw ‘Arctic Expedition 1875’ embossed on the intact seal.”

The bottle, which is full, will be offered on June 13 with an estimate of £400-600.

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How the Guinness toucan fits the bill for advertising

QUIZ time: what do an extravagantly billed tropical bird, a writer of crime novels and a pint of the ‘black stuff’ have in common?

Guinness toucan light on offer at Denhams of Sussex with an estimate of £100-200.

Guinness toucan light on offer at Denhams of Sussex with an estimate of £100-200.

Apart from what sounds like a great night out with lots to explain to your other half in the morning, the answer is ‘advertising’.

The bird and pint then become easy: the toucan and Guinness. The two were a familiar pairing in advertising and marketing for the Irish brew, as a lot on offer at Sussex auctioneers Denhams on June 3 demonstrates perfectly. The Carltonware lamp GA/2178, wired for electricity, 9½in (24cm) high, is estimated at £100-200 in the sale at Warnham, near Horsham. The bird has a light sitting on top of its head and a pint of Guinness sits below its bill.

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Fashion parade is all the rage at auction house

Hermes Birkin handbag with original card box sold for £3500 at North Yorkshire auctioneers Tennants.

Hermes Birkin handbag with original card box sold for £3500 at North Yorkshire auctioneers Tennants.

AUDREY Watson is a self-confessed fashion addict. Through the swinging sixties and, er, slightly weirder seventies she amassed an astonishing collection of clothes and accessories.

Now a great-great-grandmother, the Lincolnshire lass decided to sell items ranging from baby doll dresses and miniskirts to jumpsuits and platforms in a riot of colours and patterns.

North Yorkshire auctioneers Tennants held an exhibition of her collection before offering it on May 9 in their Fashion Revolution sale.

With many traditional collecting areas not as strong as they used to be, most auction houses are looking for the markets on the up, preferably with lots of eager young buyers involved, and costumes and luxury goods is an option often now encountered.

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The tale of furniture designers Robert Mousey Thompson

WHAT is it about mice? The artist Terence Cuneo, famed particularly for his railway scenes, was also renowned for including a mouse somewhere in the picture as a ‘signature’ mark.

The signature carved mouse of Robert Thompson seen on a chair in Lawrences' sale in July.

The signature carved mouse of Robert Thompson seen on a chair in Lawrences’ sale in July.

Regarding furniture, the mouse fan is definitely Robert Thompson. Known as ‘Mouseman’ or ‘Mousey’ Thompson, this craftsman left a carved design of the creature on each item that came out of his workshop in Kilburn, North Yorkshire.

They enlivened his simple and utilitarian but classic oak designs, which come up regularly at auction and usually prove very popular. An unusual pair of ‘Mouseman’ elbow chairs is to be sold by Lawrences of Crewkerne, Somerset, on July 16.

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One of the last two flying Mk1 Spitfires on offer at Christie’s

FOR such a brilliant symbol of the Royal Air Force as the Spitfire, ending up half-covered in sand after belly-landing on a beach is a sad indignity. Being pictured in such a state with German soldiers sitting on top is even worse.

Spitfire P9374 on offer at Christie's auction on July 9 (photo copyright 2011 John Dibbs)

Spitfire P9374 on offer at Christie’s auction on July 9 (photo copyright 2011 John Dibbs)

Thankfully for later generations, P9374/G-MK1A not only survived this sad moment in its history but lasted to this day, to be one of only two remaining Mk1 models restored to the original specification and still flying.

Now, Spitfire P9374’s story enters a new phase – at a Christie’s auction in London on July 9 it will be offered with an estimate of £1.5m-2.5m at The Exceptional Sale. Finely timed to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the sale also helps flying heroes of days gone by and those serving today through a donation of part of the proceeds to the RAF Benevolent Fund.

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Elephant bird egg is a cracking find

SO many opportunities to make a dodgy pun are presented by this photo supplied by Sotheby’s. The obvious one relates to ‘egghead’.

Elephant bird egg on sale at Sotheby's on April 30 estimated at £30,000-50,000.

Elephant bird egg on sale at Sotheby’s on April 30 estimated at £30,000-50,000.

However, we choose to commiserate with the poor old member of staff who has suffered the indignity of their features being replaced by a striking lot from the auction house’s London sale on April 30.

It is a rather good way of showing the 12in (30cm) height of this cracking item, we admit. Believed to be over 400 years old, the egg comes from the elephant bird aka the largest bird ever to live on the planet.

Now extinct, the great elephant bird – a giant flightless bird indigenous to the island of Madagascar – measured over three metres tall and weighed over half a ton. The bird became extinct at some point between the 13th and 17th centuries, so this perfectly intact example could be up to 800 years old, say Sotheby’s. It is estimated at £30,000-50,000.

It will go on public exhibition at Sotheby’s galleries at 34- 35 New Bond Street from Saturday, April 25, until Wednesday, April 29, ahead of its sale as part of the Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History auction.

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Vivien Leigh Gone With the Wind dress sells at auction

“RHETT, Rhett… Rhett, if you go, where shall I go? What shall I do?”

Vivien Leigh dress from Gone With the Wind sold by Heritage Auctions.

Vivien Leigh dress from Gone With the Wind sold by Heritage Auctions.

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Bidders do give a damn when it comes to Gone With the Wind memorabilia, however, as befits one of the most popular films of all time. The familiar garb worn by Vivian Leigh in her Oscar-winning role as Scarlett O’Hara sold for a premium-inclusive $137,000 at a Heritage Auctions sale in Beverly Hills, California.

The winning bidder of the outfit on April 18, which is comprised of a jacket and a matching full skirt with a black zig-zag appliqué, wishes to remain anonymous.

The dress took top lot honours in an $890,000 auction of highlights of the James Tumblin Collection of Gone With the Wind costumes, props, and behind-the-scene rarities collected over the past 40 years.

Tumblin, formerly in charge of the hair and make-up department at Universal Studios, began collecting rarities associated the film in the early 1960s. He bought the outfit for just $20 from the Western Costume Company as it was being about to be thrown away.

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Titanic deckchair sells for £85,000

BLOG Titanic deckchair‘SHUFFLING the deckchairs on the Titanic’ refers to a pointless effort in the face of impending disaster.

Thankfully for Wiltshire auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son, the words ‘Titanic’ and ‘deckchair’ add up to a far from futile exercise.

Their latest auction of Titanic and Liner Memorabilia included a lot billed as ‘the Nantucket Titanic Deckchair, one of only a handful of fully provenanced and documented examples in existence’.

It sold for a hammer price of £85,000, giving the Devizes saleroom, who have built a name for themselves in selling Titanic relics, another headline-grabber. A number of phone bidders from all over the world battled against each other on April 18, and when a British collector succeeded at a premium-inclusive £100000 the deckchair became the fourth most expensive piece of Titanic memorabilia ever sold.

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