Collectibles

The private salon of Countess Ottilie von Faber (1877-1944) was the inspiration for this year’s Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year . The countess was the wife of Count Alexander zu Castell-...
Marco Coppiardi insists that by employing Antonio Stradivari’s antiquated techniques, he produces violins superior to any modern-made ones. Coppiardi, a 40-year-old luthier with dark hair and a small...
The Item This trio of baseball jerseys was worn during the 1909 season by Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance, the Chicago Cubs infielders immortalized in verse. Shortstop Tinker, second...
Man’s Room , the new accessories collection from 23-year-old Serbian designer Damjan Popovac ( www.damjanpopovac.com ), is as masculine as its name suggests. Take his Hand, a $7,470 back scratcher...
It might look like a pig, but this bronze, 2,500-year-old Chinese wine vessel actually takes the form of a tapir, an animal related to horses and hippos. "Tapirs were extinct in China then, but they...
The Item. This original, 40-by-60-inch promotional poster for Forbidden Planet shows the 1956 film’s real star, Robby the Robot, carrying a supine Anne Francis. Considered one of the best science-...
In Japan, as in the United States, companies have been printing baseball cards for about as long as teams have been playing the sport. Japan has had professional baseball since the Great Japan Tokyo...
Lawrence Yerkes heals ailing books. The master bookbinder treats important and valuable volumes that have been traumatized by fires, floods, and the accumulated insults of advanced age. On a morning...
The $74,000 Sveid corkscrew ( www.sveid.com ) might be more expensive than any bottle of wine it will open—but it can be used more than once. The complex titanium device, which removes a cork by...
Music "is to the soul what the water bath is to the body," wrote author and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. While Holmes’ observation might be true, music making, like bathing, does not...
The Jiva Hill Park Hotel ( www.jivahill.com ) in France has begun offering easy access to some of the finest ski areas in the Alps. The hotel, located on the Swiss border near Mont Blanc, has created...
The Item The Green Brenham was part of a 35-pound meteorite that landed on earth at least 5,000 years ago. After Geoffrey Notkin and his treasure-hunting partner, Steve Arnold, discovered the stone...
Kelly Wearstler describes the items in her new home accessories line—the interior designer’s first—as "special"; unusual might be an equally apt descriptor. Her most eclectic decorative objects from...
The words of God have dominated Donald Jackson’s life for the last seven years. The British calligrapher is in the latter stages of rendering the first entirely hand-lettered and hand-illustrated...
One of the latest creations from German clock maker Matthias Naeschke is a $70,000, 10-pound table clock called L’amour ( www.matthias-naeschke.de ). The gold- and silver-plated, opulently engraved...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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,...
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...
The Item. Irish artist Harry Clarke completed this stained-glass window in 1930 (a year before his death from tuberculosis) for the Republic of Ireland government. The then-new government...
When Montblanc issued its first limited-edition pen, a tribute to Lorenzo de’ Medici, in 1992, Barry Rubin became a man possessed. Since then the former CPA has collected more than a thousand rare...
The Item This medallion flew into space aboard Apollo 12 in 1969. Commander Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr. had a total of 82 of them struck from silver ingots recovered from a Spanish ship that sank in...
The next best thing to exploring the wreck of Titanic might be visiting Peter Boyd-Smith’s antiques shop, Cobwebs, in Southampton, England. Titanic items remain especially popular with his clients...
During a rough stint covering World War II, British photojournalist George Rodger took some remarkable photos in Africa, including the one of horsemen shown above. In 1947, Rodger, along with his...
In the year 1900, Ada and Minna Everleigh relocated their already-flourishing enterprise from Omaha, Neb., to Chicago, a larger city that offered the sisters the prospect of even greater riches, if...
The Item This device is the incarnation of Charles Babbage’s plans for the Difference Engine No. 2, a calculating machine designed in the mid-19th century that is considered an ancestor of the modern...

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