Saturday, 31 May 2008

Soprano outfits for auction.

James Gandolfini, who starred on the hit television series about a Mafia family, is selling off 24 outfits, including the button-down blue shirt he wore in the opening credits and the bathrobe he donned to fetch the morning newspaper.

Proceeds from the June 25 pop culture auction at Christie's will go to the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit group that assists severely wounded soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Estimates for the costumes start at $500.

Gandolfini's wardrobe, which includes many outfits with the original production tags attached, is expected to bring up to $36,500.

The actor's contract allowed him to keep the clothes after the show ended its six-season run last year, Christie's said. He has authenticated all the outfits in the sale.

A tan cotton bathrobe with lavender trim and "S" insignia on the breast pocket, featured in the pilot when he got the newspaper and fed the ducks in his pool, may bring as much as $1,500 (€950).

The auction house is also offering the "blood"-splattered costume worn in the scene when Tony is shot by a demented Uncle Junior. Consisting of a black-and-beige short-sleeve polo shirt, white tank top and black pants, the costume could fetch up to $3,000 (€1,900).

The costumes for the series were designed by Juliet Polsca, who earned two Emmy nominations and a Costume Designers Guild Award.

Jane Austen's hair for auction

A curio containing hair believed to have come from the author Jane Austen is expected to fetch £5,000 at auction.

The unusual item shows a lock of fine brown hair which has been made into a weeping willow with its branches shading Jane Austen's gravestone.

Dominic Winter Auction House's cataloguing team thinks the truth of whether it really is Ms Austen's hair may never be known.

The crafting of hair into lockets and brooches was common in Victorian times.

It is well-documented that Jane's sister Cassandra Austen cut off several locks of hair as mementoes, before her sister's coffin was finally closed.

Nobody knows what happened to them, but one theory is that they were given to one of her six brothers and made into decorative items.

Dominic Winter of the auction house said: "The best suggestion is her brother Edward but this is speculation and the truth may never be known, as all we know is that the owner unearthed it in an antiques shop in Worcestershire over 20 years ago."

Auctioneer Chris Albury said: "There is new DNA technology available (which would identify who the hair belonged to) but this has proved too expensive."

The lock of hair will go under the hammer on 18 June at the auction house in Cirencester.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Biotech Company to Auction Chances to Clone a Dog

A California company is planning a string of online auctions next month to clone five dogs, with the bidding to start at $100,000.

Scientists consider dogs among the most difficult animals to clone because they have an unusual reproductive biology, more so than humans. But the company behind the auctions, BioArts International, maintains that the technology is ready, and it is calling the dog cloning project Best Friends Again. It has scheduled the auctions for June 18.

The opening and closing times for the auctions would be staggered, to reach potential customers in different time zones, and that the starting bids for the later auctions would be higher “to steer people to participate in the earlier auctions if they can, and avoid a phenomenon of everyone waiting to see how they go.”

But Dr. Robert Lanza, the chief scientific officer of Advanced Cell Technology, a biotech company with laboratories in Worcester, Mass., voiced concern when a reporter described Best Friends Again.

“If anyone thinks they’re going to get Fluffy back,” Dr. Lanza said, “they’re gravely mistaken.” A cloned dog is “likely to be a totally unknown dog, just as if you went to the pound and adopted another, unknown animal.”

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Queen Mary WW11 ID Card for auction

An ID card issued to Queen Mary is to be sold at auction in Lichfield. The National Registration card, numbered ODPH/180/1 and issued on May 22, 1940, is signed “Mary, Her Majesty Queen”.

The three-page document survived because an Army officer assigned to shred cards after the war kept it as a memento.

Hanson’s auctioneers of Lichfield, Staffordshire, expect it to fetch £500.

Don’t be surprised if it makes more!

Auction info

Monday, 26 May 2008


Iran is to auction a ton of caviar, in the United Kingdom at an expected price of $10m.

Caviar which is Sturgeon eggs have a market value of nearly $1,000 per 50g, the sale also includes 700kg of ossetra caviar and 100kg of sevruga caviar.

The Caspian Sea produces 90 per cent of the world’s caviar, harvested by Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Russia.

Russia is the biggest consumer.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Einstein letter auctioned for record £207,600

A letter by Albert Einstein was sold this week at Bloomsbury Auctions in Mayfair, London, for a world record £207,600.

The letter, written in German in 1954 to philosopher Eric Gutkind, was sold to a private collector. Extra phone lines had to be installed to cope with worldwide interest.

It was expected to fetch up to £8,000.

In the letter, Einstein, who was Jewish, rejects the notion that Jews were God’s chosen people

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Madonna lip gloss at AIDS Auction

A benefit on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival last Thursday raised more than $10 million for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), a record for the annual event.

Sharon Stone was the auctioneer.

Madonna emptied her purse and came up with a magnifying mirror, hair clips, skin blotting tissues and lip gloss. She put it on the block along with a one-of-a-kind diamond-encrusted alligator bag donated by Chanel. The lot sold for $472,000.
The 49-year-old singer asked the crowd not to insult her with low bids: "This lip gloss touched my lips."

The event was held at the Moulin de Mougins outside Cannes.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Olympic Torch for Auction

An Olympic Torches used in 1948 to carry the Olympic Flame onto British soil for the first time will highlight in Bonhams sporting memorabilia sale in Chester on 4 June 2008. The torch, which carried the flame for part of the last stretch of its journey from Greece to Wembley for the opening ceremony of the 1948 London Olympics, is expected to sell for over £2,000.

The torch was carried by British athlete John Jenkin who ran through Canterbury on the penultimate day of the Olympic Torch Relay, before the start of the games on 29 July 1948.

The following inscription is engraved on the side:
“Olympia to London with thanks to the bearer XIVth Olympiad 1948.” It also carries the bearer’s name “John W.I. Jenkin 28th July 1948.”

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Chester auction features Linford Christie's running shoes.

In Bonhams ‘Sporting Legends’ sale in Chester on 4 June, is the pair of running shoes that made Linford Christie the fastest man on earth.

In the 100m final of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Christie sprinted to victory in 9.96 seconds, a phenomenal achievement that made him – at 32 – the oldest man ever to win the title.

In an international career spanning 17 years Christie represented his country over 60 times and won more major championship medals than any other British male sprinter. The shoes he wore to win gold in Barcelona are estimated to sell for £600 – 800.

I predict that the bidding will run well past that figure.

Auction info

Friday, 16 May 2008


The Spitting Image puppet of George Best dressed in a Manchester United kit is to be auctioned off along with other personal sporting items at Bonham’s Sporting Legends auction in Chester on 4 June.

The rubber caricature, which has been on display in the National Football Museum at Preston, is expected to make £5,000.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

John Lennon Lyrics for London Auction

John Lennon’s lyrics for Give Peace a Chance are to be offered for sale at a London auction.

The lyrics were given to teenage fan Gail Renard during one of his famous “Bed-In” peace protests with his wife Yoko Ono in a Montreal hotel room in 1969.

The lyrics, along with a number of personal photos, are now due to be sold at Christie’s auction house in South Kensington, London.

The collection, including photos which have never been seen in public before, is expected to fetch up to £300,000.

The auction will take place on July 10

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Hitler China for Auction

The china set was made by Hutschenreuther, a family firm, in a classic 1930s flo-blue style with gold edging, Nordic signs and a north-star pattern.

It was believed to have been used on board the SS Albert Ballin, built by Blohm and Voss, Hamburg, in 1922 for the Hamburg-American Line.

All the plates and dishes carry the symbol of the “Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler” (LAH), the name of the elite guard, in elaborate gold lettering.

The items are being sold at Henry Aldridge and Son auctioneers in Devizes, Wilts, on May 17, for an estimated £1,000.

Andrew Aldridge said: “They turned up just a few miles from us here and the vendor has no idea how he came by them.

“Hitler’s personal guards - the best of the best - travelled incognito on the ships in case there were any attacks by communists or subversive elements.

“They had the best of everything including their china that included the items we have for sale.

“Some would have posed as crew and others as passengers - they were the equivalent of air marshalls.

“And they would have used these items in their own quarters, so no one would have seen them.

“Collectors of marine memorabilia and second world war memorabilia will be interested so there is a cross over which will help them sell.”

Auction info

Sunday, 4 May 2008


Readers may have noticed a drop-off in postings over the last month or so. This was because, as Coordinator of the London Green Party, I was heavily involved in organising the campaign for the London Assembly.

In 2000, 180,000 votes won us three seats in the 25 seat Assembly. This time, we increased our vote to 203,465 but it was only good enough for two seats. We were just 24,409 short for my seat. Really frustrating!!

I am proud to have been part of what was our best campaign ever. We stood a full slate for the 25 seats and the Mayor. This alone was a considerable logistical and financial operation. I was on the board of London Green News. We published two editions with a print run of 510,000 as well as 600,000 campaign leaflets plus manifestos, mini manifestos, posters etc. The distribution of that lot took a lot of planning and implementation! Our TV broadcast was well received and our media hits were considerable.

I was also involved in the fundraising committee which raised the needed £100,000. This, also took a lot of advance planning. We came out of the election, without debts, probably for the first time ever.

Ah well, back to normal.

ANYONE KNOW OF ANY AUCTIONEER JOBS, OUT THERE? Seeing that I will not now be a high paid Assembly Member, I desperately need to earn a living.