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Recent Posts

  • Lifelike Doll sells for £200,000 at Bonhams
  • Theodore Roosevelt inspired Wemyss pig
  • Remembering the Falklands
  • Looting, pillaging and jewellery design


  • Lot 530 – An unusual
  • Lot 83 – Roy Lichten
  • Lot 146 – A Japanese
  • Lot 213 – A small gr
  • Lot 4 – A Second Wor
  • Lot 427 – Unusual Ch
  • Lot 928 – A taxiderm
  • Lot 4224 – TAXIDERMY
  • Lot 4234 – TAXIDERMY
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Lifelike Doll sells for £200,000 at Bonhams

BLOG doll recordThere is definitely something a bit unnerving about dolls, as even the most ardent doll fan would probably admit. And the more lifelike they get, the more those eyes seem to be staring at you… ‘Lifelike’ is certainly a description that can apply to the German example sold at Bonhams Knightsbridge for £200,000 on September 24, with the London auctioneers saying it was a world auction record for any doll.

The Kämmer & Reinhardt model 108 bisque (porcelain) head character doll c.1909-12, standing 2ft 1¼in (64cm) tall, previously sold at Sotheby’s Important Dolls and Toys auction in February 1994. Since that sale, no other example has been found according to Bonhams. It is therefore possible that this doll was an experimental mould. more »

Theodore Roosevelt inspired Wemyss pig

BLOG wemyss pigTheodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the US, is well known for inspiring the Teddy Bear toy after a 1902 hunting trip when he baulked at shooting an old bear which had been tied to a tree to make sure he bagged one. Not so many people know that he probably also inspired a pig made by a Scottish pottery.

This Wemyss pig, wearing a top hat and sporting a monocle, was produced by the Fife Pottery which was taken over by Robert Heron in 1837. From 1882, Robert Heron & Son were branding their range of decorated Earthenware as Wemyss ware in honour of the Wemyss family who were patrons, living a little way along the Fife coast. more »

Remembering the Falklands

Fuller being presented with his Military  Medal at Buckingham Palace

Fuller being presented with his Military Medal at Buckingham Palace

With British forces recently involved in lengthy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and soon Syria?) it is sometimes easy to forget the bloody battles that won the Falklands back for Britain after the Argentinian invasion in 1982. Although that conflict was rather shorter than the long slugging matches that dragged on for years after 2001, the fighting was often intense, as a medal group sold for £68,000 on September 18-19, just under top estimate, underlines.

This Military Medal group awarded to Sgt Desmond Fuller, 3rd Battalion Parachute Regt, reflects the fierce battles outside Port Stanley, capital of the Falklands, towards the end of the April to June war in which 255 British personnel were killed.

Sgt Fuller’s heroism took place when his predecessor – another notable Falklands gallantry medal recipient – was killed. Fuller volunteered to take over 4 Platoon of 3rd Bn on Mount Longdon after the platoon commander was badly wounded and the platoon sergeant, Ian McKay, went missing. McKay was subsequently found to have been killed and was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his gallantry.

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Looting, pillaging and jewellery design

BLOG viking pendantWhile not out looting and pillaging, the Vikings were a rather talented lot, as the recent blockbuster exhibition at the British Museum showed (if you could see past the crowds). A tiny pendant sold at Timeline Auctions in Bloomsbury, central London, on September 4-5 also demonstrates this creative side of the much-maligned Scandinavians.

The 9th or 10th century silver design, which made over three times its top estimate to take £9500, measures just over 2cm tall but has a clear low-relief image of a man grasping two birds by their necks – possibly a reference to Odin and his two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who flew all over the world gathering information for the god.

Odin (the main Norse god) was a god of war and death, a sky god and the god of wisdom and poetry, and has been depicted with the two ravens sitting on his shoulders. After their daily journeys they whispered their news in his ear.

The Germanic version of Odin, Woden, gave Wednesday its name.



Okay, so the look of something that has a sink plunger attached to the front is not particularly scary given modern special effects, but back in the day the Daleks were pretty terrifying and many sofas were genuinely hidden behind.

Brighton General Auctions have two examples from different eras of Dr Who up for grabs in their October 1 auction. The lifesize Daleks made for the BBC, one in gold dating from the 1970s and the 2005 version pictured, are to be sold on behalf of an events company at Brighton Racecourse on October 1 with a £1000 reserve per Dalek.

If you wish to find out more about Daleks – and who doesn’t – then the BBC has a handy and lengthy guide.

Just remember, this is part one:

Inaugural packers conference at the-saleroom HQ

Packer conference (2)The inaugural Delivery Packers Conference took place recently and marked over a year’s service of collecting, packing and shipping lots sold on The service launched in June 2013 and now services 70 auctioneers and over 100 auctions per month with small team in house and dedicated teams of freelance packers throughout the UK.

Representatives from the nine regional patches spanning from Edinburgh to Portsmouth (which has recently grown to 10 as the Lincolnshire patch is born), converged on the Southwark headquarters in what turned out to be a rewarding, enlightening and entertaining day all round. more »

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 »

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