Tuesday, 16 February 2010

A walking stick given to diplomat by a King is expected to fetch around £300 at auction.*

Sir Ralph Champneys Williams was presented with a walking stick by Edward VII in the early 1900s, but that stick was destroyed in a fire.
Later, Sir Ralph's son wrote to King George VI to ask for a replacement, and the monarch sent him another stick which had belonged to Edward VII.
Despite its low value, auctioneers said the stick's story was "heart-warming".
Sir Ralph, born in Llanddeiniolen, was a former acting governor of Barbados, and he met King Edward VII and Queen Mary at the start of the 20th Century. The King presented him with one of his walking sticks, and the stick accompanied Sir Ralph wherever he was posted.
However, years later the stick was destroyed in a fire at his son's house in Kenya.
Sir Ralph's son, Major Geoffrey Howard-Williams, wrote to the then King, George VI, to ask for a replacement.
A letter from the King's personal secretary was sent from Sandringham, dated 29 December 1945.
It read: "I write to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 31st October.
"Under separate cover I am forwarding you, by direction of the King, a walking stick which belonged to King Edward VII to replace the one which you had the misfortune to lose when your house burnt down.
"It has taken a little time to find this stick, which accounts for the delay, but His Majesty hopes that it may prove a suitable substitute."
The replacement stick - which bears the stamp "Balmoral" and Edward VII's crest - remained in the family.
Sir Ralph's great-grandson, the present owner, discovered it when he was clearing his late father's home in Devon.
It will be auctioned, along with the letter that accompanied it, on 27 February.
Auctioneer Duncan Chilcott said: "Obviously this walking stick - like the one it replaced - was a dear friend to Sir Ralph and while it is likely to sell for less than £300 the story behind how it came to be sent from Sandringham to Kenya is really heart-warming.
"Clearly Sir Ralph was held in very high regard by the Royal Family and it is a mark of King George's generosity, for which he was well known.

*I disagree with the auctioneer’s valuation. I predict that it will go a good bit higher.

Rare copy of first Batman will be most valuable comic book ever offered at public auction, Feb. 25

A rare copy of the first Batman comic book has far surpassed the previous comic books record price, $317,000, paid for a first Superman comic in 2009, and the bidding is still underway with Batman already at $418,250. Super heroes and pop culture fans will learn the final, new record price when the auction ends on Feb. 25.
"One of the finest known surviving copies of the 1939 issue of Detective Comics #27, the first appearance of Batman, is being offered without reserve by Heritage Auctions in a public auction in Dallas, and simultaneously online," said Lon Allen, Director of Sales for the Comics Division of Heritage Auctions (www.HA.com). "It's been an amazing thing to watch as the price has soared. Collectors know this may well be the only shot they will ever get at this, the ultimate comic book. Who knows how high it will go by the time bidding ends?"
"It was owned for decades and kept in excellent condition by a savvy comic book collector who purchased it for $100 more than 40 years ago," said Allen. "In the 1960s and 1970s many people considered that an outrageous amount of money to spend for a comic book of any era.”
"The Bat-Man," as he was originally called, appeared for the first time in a six-page story in Detective Comics #27 with a cover date of May 1939. Superman appeared a year earlier in Action Comics #1 with a cover date of June 1938.
For additional information, contact Heritage Auctions at (800) 872-6467 or visit online at www.HA.com.

Friday, 12 February 2010

The World's first postal order sold at Auction.

The world's first postal order, purchased for just one shilling 129 years ago, has been sold for £4,485 at an auction.

Buzz up!
The payment, which bears the serial number 000001, was the first to be produced by the Post Office in Lombard Street, London, in 1881.

"This was a very unique item and as such went for a lot more than predicted. There were lots of bids from enthusiasts. It's been in the same family for over 130 years so the opportunity to own something as rare as this doesn't come up very often. Collectors were always going to have to dig into their pockets to own this and clearly they did," the Telegraph quoted auctioneer Richard Beale, of Warwick and Warwick Auctioneers, as saying.

Only five other 1881 postal orders having the same 000001 number are known to have survived.

Victorians used the postal order to safely send money
through the post.

The first postal order was bought by Arthur Bull on January 1, 1881.

It was signed by a clerk named A.G. Emery but Arthur never cashed it, thinking it would become a collector's item one day.

He kept it in a leather case and locked it in his family's safe before his son, also named Arthur Bull, inherited it.

After Arthur Bull junior's death in 1953 the postal order passed to his son Brian Galpin, who kept it safe in his home in Surrey.

And when Galpin died at 72 in 2005, the postal order passed to his widow Audrey, 75, who agreed to auction it.

The Postal Order is a direct descendent of the money order which was introduced by a private company in 1792.

During World War One and World War Two, British Postal Orders were temporarily used as money to save paper and labour.

Postal Orders can be bought and redeemed at post offices in Britain, even though a crossed Postal Order must be paid into a bank account. (ANI)

Friday, 5 February 2010

Christie’s Announces Green Auction “A Bid To Save The Earth”

In order to drive awareness throughout Earth Week, Christie’s International has announced the 2010 Inaugural Green Auction titled, “A Bid to Save the Earth.”

The green auction, which takes place on April 22, will include major artwork, celebrity experiences, upscale eco-vacations, exquisite jewellery, and luxury items.

Proceeds from the sale will be divided among four non-profit environmental organizations: Conservation International, Oceana, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Central Park Conservancy.

“We are inspired and honored to convene top members of the philanthropic, environmental, business and cultural communities to benefit the environment,” said Edward Dolman, CEO of Christie’s. “We are equally pleased to present a stellar evening auction and to partner with NBC Universal in telling this exciting story with Charitybuzz in building such a compelling silent auction; and of course our four charity partners, who will do what they do best with the proceeds: advocate for the environment.”

Thursday, 4 February 2010

SA flag from Mandela's inauguration up for auction

A London auction house is selling a South African flag that flew during Nelson Mandela's inauguration as the country's first black president.

Auctioneer Bonhams says the 5 foot by 7 1/2 foot flag was flown from a helicopter above the ceremony in Pretoria on May 10, 1994.

It is signed by Mandela, his predecessor F.W. De Klerk and his successor Thabo Mbeki and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Mandela's inauguration was one of the first occasions on which South Africa's multicolored post-apartheid flag was displayed.

The flag is expected to sell for £10,000 to £15,000 on March 24.

Bonhams did not identify the seller Wednesday but says the flag was previously owned by the helicopter pilot, Maj. Louis de Waal.

Anyone who wants something less expensive can come to the Green Room, 192 Archway Road, London N6 5BB. We have a genuine ballot paper from the first free SA elections which includes a photo of Mandela. Unused. Price only £9.