Posts Tagged ‘auction’

Two Highlights of the Forthcoming Bonhams Book Auction

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Bonhams has a book auction coming up on June 8. There are a lot of interesting things outside of fiction (like Mohammed Ali’s passport), but very few items of interest to science fiction collectors.

However, there are two quite notable exceptions:

  • A first edition of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged inscribed to Barbara Branden. For those unfamiliar with Rand, Barbara Branden was one of Rand’s closest friends before the break between Rand and her protege/lover Nathaniel Branden, Barbara’s husband. Rand and Barbara Branden would later reconcile toward the end of Rand’s life, after which Barbara Branden would write The Passion of Ayn Rand, so even though this is quite a worn copy, it’s among the best possible association copies of Rand’s most influential book.
  • An autographed letter from Thomas Pynchon. I don’t need to tell you how rare a Pynchon signature is, do I?
  • Pynchon Simpsons

    For Auction: Queen Victoria’s Lacy Underthings

    Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

    Finally something for the ultimate Steampunk enthusiast/Queen Victoria fetishist: an auction lot of her underwear.

    Yes, for a mere £1,500 starting bid, you can own Her Majesty’s Bloomers.

    The Dreweatts & Bloomsbury auction takes place on May 21 BST, which means you’ll either need to place a bid online or get up fairly early in the morning (if you’re in the U.S.) to bid…

    Big Animation Cel Auction December 18

    Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

    There’s a reasonably big auction of animation cels drawings, production stills, etc. starting December 18 at 11 AM PST. Interesting stuff, from a number of Disney films, a few Warner Brothers (including One Froggy Evening, the animated Star Trek, and even Ralph Bakashi’s Wizards.

    And those of you with $40,000 burning a hole in your pocket can bid on an original Chuck Jones oil painting of Daffy Duck:

    Where Would I Park It?

    Saturday, July 12th, 2014

    If I were made of money, this would be very tempting indeed:

    Centurion Mk 5 Main Battle Tank (MBT)

    Crew: 4
    Armor:
    Up to 6′ (152-mm)
    Weapons:
    -Primary
    1x QF 20-pdr (83.4mm) cannon
    -Secondary
    1x 7.62-mm L8A1 machine gun co-axial with main armament
    1x 7.62-mm L37A1 machine gun in AA mount
    -Ammunition
    65x 20-pdr
    4,250x 7.62-mm
    Engine: Rolls-Royce Meteor gasoline, 650-hp
    Power/weight: 11.8-hp/ton
    Fuel Capacity: 120-USG (455-l)
    Range: 65-miles (105-km)
    Speed: 21-mph (35-km/h)

    The tank being offered, Centurion Mk 5, VRN 12BA97 K, #370/450, was built in April 1953. It is an older restoration that needs an exterior cosmetic restoration. The wheels and tracks are serviceable. The canvas mantlet cover is in good condition. All bazooka skirting is present. Spare track shoes and a tow cable are fitted to the tank’s exterior. This tank is equipped with a 20-pdr “A” barrel. Cutting the breech has demilled the gun. All gunner’s controls are present. This Centurion is powered by a Rolls-Royce Meteor engine – the non-supercharged version of the famous Merlin engine used in Mustang and Spitfire fighters of the day.

    The Centurion was designed during World War II to provide a tank that could do the work of both the Infantry and Cruiser tank classes. It was designed to have firepower and protection that would allow it to survive with the latest German types of tanks and self-propelled guns seen during the war. The first Centurions entered service too late to see action in World War II. Initially, they were equipped the 17-pdr (76.2-mm) cannon which was one of the best tank guns used by the Western Allies during the war. By the time Centurions saw combat in 1950 during the Korean War, they had been upgunned to the more powerful 20-pdr (83.4-mm) cannon. This remained the standard gun on Centurions until the early 1960s when they were upgunned with the 105-mm L7 cannon.

    The four-man crew of the Centurion was well-protected with armor up to 6-inches (152-mm) thick. Stowage bins mounted on the turret sides provided standoff protection from HEAT rounds while skirts along the suspension helped protect against anti-tank rockets. Various upgrades throughout the years allowed the Centurion to stay in service with many countries well into the 1980s. The Centurion has been exported to numerous countries including the Canada, Denmark, Israel and South Africa. They saw action in numerous wars including the Indo-Pakistani Wars, Arab-Israeli Wars, the 1956 Suez War, and various conflicts in southern Africa between South Africa and Cuban forces.

    Transport Cost to Storage: $5,808

    Alas, a few tiny problems present themselves:

  • It is a wee bit out of my price range.
  • The auction is in California, so transportation would be a pain (and expensive).
  • Where would I park it?
  • Likewise, parking spaces are crowded enough at my current job, and I’m pretty sure this would take up at least two spaces.
  • What’s the point of having a tank with a demilled gun? Except, of course, that no one will ever cut you off in traffic ever again.
  • Even if it weren’t demilled, finding 83.4mm ammunition would likely prove challenging, and I don’t think anyone makes a reloading press for HEAT rounds…
  • And what sort of BATFE permit do you need for a tank anyway?
  • Really, I’d need a ranch to buy something like this. Or, as the news reports would inevitably refer to it, a “heavily fortified compound.”

    There are many other interesting items in this auction, which is happening today. Including a Jagdpanzer Kanone, which, alas, looks pretty crapped out, and, I kid you not, an actual SCUD launcher. (I’m not sure any BATFE permit would cover a working SCUD launcher…)

    Hollywood Auction Alert

    Saturday, July 27th, 2013

    Hollywood auction house is having another big auction of film memorabilia, including a few interesting SF-related items:

  • The fourth issue of the fanzine Imagination, which includes Ray Bradbury’s first published story.
  • Willis O’Brien’s very shoggothian concept art for an unproduced film called The Bubbles, featuring “bubble-like creatures in Baja, California that devour everything in their path.”

  • Electrodes from both the James Whale Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein.
  • A diving helmet from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
  • Concept art from Forbidden Planet.
  • Charlton Heston’s torn Planet of the Ape pants, plus ape masks.
  • Props from Alien and Aliens
  • A bunch of Star Wars posters and props.
  • Lots of The Nightmare Before Christmas props and sets.
  • Some Matrix stuff, both from the good one and the crappy ones.
  • That farking annoying robot from The Black Hole.
  • Frank’s bunny mask from Donnie Darko.
  • Enough stuff from The Wizard of Oz. and The Sound of Music to start your own museum.
  • Plus Bruce Lee’s nun-chucks, Conan’s sword, the Terminator’s gun, Jason’s machete, Maximus’ axe, Legalos’ arrow, Indiana Jones’ whip, Jack Sparrow’s sword, Captain Kirk’s phaser, a Ghostbusters proton pack, The Comedian’s pistols, Freddy Kreuger’s fingernails, Rambo’s knife, James Bond’s gun, and Scarface’s “little friend.”

    The auction is online in a “Flipbook” format, evidently invented because HTML was insufficiently annoying.

    Interesting Book and History Auction

    Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

    Including that super rare Abraham Lincoln set that I mentioned before. Plus letters from George Washington, etc.

    Lot’s of interesting stuff (though very little even remotely SF), but I’m about to go to sleep, so can’t do more than mention it in passing…

    Random Monkey Gorilla Business

    Friday, March 2nd, 2012

    First up, from the world of auctioning, comes the offering of the exceedingly rare issue of June 1926 Zeppelin Stories pulp containing Gil Brewer’s “The Gorilla of the Gas Bags,” a holy grail for gorilla and zeppelin fans everywhere.

    This issue formerly belonged to SF writer and pulp collector Frank M. Robinson. Bidding is currently up to $2,000, which does rather take it out of the impulse purchase range for me. Assuming, of course, that Rick Klaw, Jess Nevins and Mark Finn didn’t all chip in together to purchase it. But really, it’s a comparative bargain right now, since one just sold for $6,572.50

    Second, as seen on Fark, a giant mechanical gorilla was found abandoned in Witchford, Cambridgeshire, UK.

    Insert your own gorilla in the mist joke here…

    Lawrence Person’s Library: Reference Books (Part 3: Contributor Copies)

    Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

    Here are some pics from the section of my reference library where I keep contributor copies of publications my work has appeared in. Before the contributor copies, there are several book auction catalogs (including from the auctions I covered here), as well as some old S. M. Mossberg and L. W. Currey book catalogs of interest. After that the actual contributor copies start. You should be able to figure out what these are from my bibliography. The exception is the black tape-bound volume on the first shelf, which is a compilation of materials handed out for a Danish class on science fiction which includes my review of Donnie Darko. I have so many copies of Jim Baen’s Universe because FACT had boxes to give away at the 2008 Nebula Awards here in Austin and I snagged some leftovers.

    As usual, click to embiggen.

    I have a few of these available for sale through Lame Excuse Books as well.

    Previous entries on my reference library can be found here and here.

    Friends of Ed Bryant eBay Auction

    Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

    Ends TODAY! (October 23) To help out with Ed’s medical bills (as mentioned here).

    You Could Own John Wayne’s Copy of The Lord of the Rings

    Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

    Heritage Auction is auctioning off tons of items from the estate of John Wayne. Being the canny man he was, he saved just about everything from his movie career: scripts, outfits, awards, you name it. There’s a treasure-trove of Hollywood memorabilia going under the hammer, including letters from Ronald Reagan, Katherine Hepburn, Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra, and about a hundred other luminaries.

    I did take a look at the books being sold from his library, but all of them have opening bids substantially above market minus the Wayne connection. However, I did want to point out his owning copies of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Not firsts, of course (Wayne seemed to be an avid reader, but not a book collector), but that beautiful second edition Houghton-Mifflin LOTR set done to bring the books back into copyright after the unauthorized (but borderline legal) Ace books edition. This is the edition my father read to me from as a child, and it’s the edition I own.

    Heritage sends out a Heritage Magazine for the Intelligent Collector as a freebie to people who bid in their auctions, and they had a fascinating interview with his son Ethan Wayne about growing up living with his father, and about how random people would come around. One time John Wayne saw some guys coming up his dock, grabbed a gun and said “Who are and what do you want?” “Golly, Mr. Wayne, we’re Marines. We just heard that you lived here.” “Well then come on up and have a drink.” And they sat around drinking until 1 o’clock in the morning.

    Sounds like he was a swell guy.