Guides...........and blogs

In a large ephemera lot we found motorway and trunk road plans from the 1970s.

This extract is from a 1978 map that we shall list on eBay.

Would life be better or worse without the M25? view more »

If you are faced with a large quantity of potentially interesting film negatives, and you want to produce prints, what do you do?

First we made a light box, which was ok..ish in viewing the negatives to try to see if they might be of interest. A better way of viewing the negatives was to use a white screen page on my Android tablet. But it still took a real effort to interpret them, so the next step was to photo the negatives and then use a software inversion programme.

Trouble is, the quality was sorely lacking and it was a long-winded process.

So finally, after research, we invested in a scanner, the Epson Perfection V550, which we bought from Curry's eBay… view more »

That was the rather underwhelming catalogue entry for a recent auction lot.

But we went to the preview with this as the main item of interest, only to find out that the plans were of sewage works! Still, where there's muck there's brass, so we bought these and an associated lot of royal ephemera that had many photo negatives. Time will tell whether we were right but at time of writing these have sold already and illustrate the diversity of items to be found in such a lot:

So Bracing: 1971 Skegness Leaflet and Accommodation Guide
Austin Motor Company "Longbridge Today" 1930s Company Booklet
Post Office 1974 Guide to New County Names
Dudley Zoo 1937 Opening Year Guide
Merseyside's New Railways Leaflet 1970s
Mersey… view more »

A recent Antiquer's forum post featured a pile of reference books bought for AU$50. While reaction was generally positive, and in some cases envious, one responder said that they were getting rid of their books and using internet resources instead.

So we thought, is it feasible to rely solely on the internet for researching antiques?

The internet certainly has some major advantages that we would not wish to lose:

Forums can be excellent for bringing together a wealth of far flung knowledge that can greatly assist identification e.g. Antiquers

Google can be invaluable at finding other examples of a piece.

Wikipedia has become an indispensable research aid

And there are many other sites that are important sources of information. We show several of these in our… view more »

Reading the Times recently, I was reminded that KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky had said that Jones provided intelligence to the Soviet Union and received payment .

These allegations resurfaced in The Spy and The Traitor by Ben MacIntyre

At the time these reports first emerged, Jones denied this and claimed he had been working for British intelligence. Separately allegations were also made about Michael Foot.

Whatever the truth of the matter, and whether either man was guilty of spying for the Soviet Union, in this autograph of Jack Jones there is a little slice of history for sale! view more »

We buy lots of ceramics and inevitably we have accumulated many items that we cannot identify. Sometimes we seek help from online forums but, all too frequently, the item remains a mystery

This is the latest to go in the box, a kind of porcelain Room 101:

Polychrome Chinoiserie plate, looks to be porcelain and possibly British. 8 1/2" diameter, pronounced foot, outline transfer print with extensive hand painting.

We have two of these, one has no markings, the other has an impressed 6 or 9. Looking at an angle one can see that features were originally painted but they have worn, as have many stems.

But what age and pattern is it, never mind who made it?

We now have so many mystery ceramics… view more »

Additional Resources


This photo is of Lisa Minghetti as painted by Philip Alexius de László

A beautiful young woman and one of László's best known portraits. Lisa must have loved it, using a photo of the painting to sign autographs for her admirers

This photo is signed by Minghetti "To Dear George" and dated 1936. The following year the BBC reported "Only twenty-four years of age, Lisa Minghetti has already had a brilliant career. Her main studies were at the Akademie fur Musik in Vienna, her native city, where she studied under Jacques Thibaud and Carl Flesch. Since then she has appeared in almost every important musical centre in Europe. In London last year she played Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1, in G… view more »

In the mid 1980s Dr. Mehta wrote to many world leaders and leading statesmen seeking their photos and autographs.

Though most responded with stock photos and facsimile autographs, some also wrote personal notes.

Featured is President Chiang Ching-kuo, who was president of the ROC (Taiwan) until his death in 1988. Wiki: "The President of the Republic of China is the head of state of the Republic of China. The ROC was founded in 1912 in mainland China. However, after the ROC lost control of the mainland, the government of the Republic of China relocated to Taiwan in the late 1940s."

We bought a file of many of the letters and photos sent to Dr Mehta, together with other signed photos of politicians from… view more »

For most people the run up to Christmas starts in the mid-autumn when the shops start to stock Christmas goods and the John Lewis and Coke adverts appear on the telly.

The shops started much earlier, designing and sourcing the 2018 Christmas ranges at the end of 2017 and start of 2018.

But our 2018 Christmas stock buying started in April 2015 when we bought a number of boxed Snowmen (made by Coalport) which promptly went on display. Only for a recent hall redesign to see the Snowmen packed away again.. So we decided they had to be rehomed, which is why they have just been listed on Ebay and two are Walking in the Air to new owners already! view more »

In May 2018 we decided to focus this website purely on paper and ephemera.

We moved all other items off the site, some to our Ebay and Etsy shops, which both trade under the Penllyn Collectables name.

In August 2018 we began to add more letters and autographs here and created several new categories in our important autographs and letters department to make it easier to browse.

At the time of writing we have many hundreds of items for sale and this will steadily increase over the coming months.

And we now post worldwide as well!

Right: Cora Urquhart Brown-Potter, stage actress, signed letter c 1900 (SOLD) view more »

Next 10 Results