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  1. Contrary to the name by which the sale is best known, books have been rarities at Bonhams’ annual Gentleman’s Library auction. But oddities have been commonplace. Bidders at last year’s sale could...
  2. Gloria Books’ New York ( www.glorialuxury.com ), a 26-pound, 700-page, Italian-silk-bound volume enclosed in a crystal Lucite case, may not cover every feature of the city it honors, but it surely...
  3. The Gift Guided visits to the top contemporary art galleries, dealers, collectors, and museums in Beijing and Shanghai. — Meetings with leading Chinese contemporary artists in their studios, and...
  4. Elizabeth Gann, a dealer in chess sets and boards, has no storefront and rarely allows clients into her home, near Boston, where she displays about 20 sets. Her policy reflects canny thinking, the...
  5. William Laskin employs semiprecious gemstones the way that a painter uses watercolors or acrylics. The master luthier decorates his acoustic guitars with inlaid scenes that he creates by cutting...
  6. In private, maze-maker Adrian Fisher allows himself to be devilish. He and the five-member design team at his namesake firm in Dorset, England, annually plot 60 to 75 mazes that are created from a...
  7. Bentley Motors and the Italian pen maker Tibaldi have teamed up to create Bentley at Brooklands ( www.tibaldi.it ), a line of limited-edition pens offered in advance of the Bentley’s Brooklands coupe...
  8. The stakes of most matches would have to be doubled many times over before they equaled the value of the Charles Hollander Backgammon Set ( www.charleshollandercollection.com ) shown here. Made from...
  9. An Indian prince of the late 17th and early 18th centuries would not be caught dead without his dagger—if he had any sense of style. "Daggers were male jewelry, worn only by royals and aristocrats,...
  10. The Item This French snuffbox depicts Napoléon Bonaparte, his second wife, Marie-Louise, and their son, Napoléon II. It is dated 1815 and might have been made just prior to Napoléon’s arrival in...

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