Collectibles

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...
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...
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...
The Cavalieri Hilton ( www­.cavalieri-hilton.com ), set in a 15-acre park on the Monte Mario, Rome’s highest hill, is known for its panoramic views of the city. But from September through May, guests...
Doug Hansen did not reinvent the wagon wheel, but he has reverse-engineered it more than once. As the owner of Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop, a business he founded 29 years ago in Letcher, S.D., Hansen...
Creating a 4,000-pound piece of glass art was only part of the challenge for Jonathan Christie; once he completed Lyrical Light , he had to find a place to hang it. Originally, his work, a 100-foot-...
Although poisonous, the sap from an Asian sumac nevertheless can be irresistible—when it has been heated, transformed into lacquer, and used to make intricate decorative items such as the incense box...
The red cue ball in this billiards set from 1951 represents the People’s Republic of China (PRC); the other balls symbolize problems that the government wanted to address. The green ball in the third...
Lobkowicz Palace does not offer accommodations, but two nearby hotels in Malá Strana, or Little Quarter, serve as fine bases from which to explore the museum, the adjacent castle, and the surrounding...
A group of New Englanders has built a better telescope, better than the bronze Art Nouveau–style instrument that Russell Porter created in the 1920s, and which served as the model for the new Porter...
“Jesus saves,” declared a bumper-sticker slogan for the Big Bad Boston Bruins of the early 1970s, “and Espo scores on the rebound.” (“Espo” is Phil Esposito, the former Bruins’ center who held the...
The little girl wears a serious expression and a sumptuous lace-trimmed gown, which the green parrot perched at her right nearly upstages. “She’s three weeks old,” says Catherine Weiss, referring to...
To the extent that pens can resemble cars, the Tibaldi for Bentley ( www.tibaldi.it ) writing instruments, from the Italian brand that Aquila Brands resurrected last year, display similarities, both...
Hunting has supplanted golf as a means of cultivating social and business contacts, claims Richard Purdey. His perspective on the merits of one sport versus another might not be completely objective...
Eernest Shackleton failed in his attempt to become the first man to reach the South Pole, but he was responsible for the first book being printed on Antarctica. In 1907, before embarking on what...
Interior decorator and antiques dealer Keith Skeel considers the decorative objects that he owns his “friends.” But, sounding like a New Englander instead of the Lon­doner he is, Skeel says that he...
Its Owner George Gruhn has owned and operated Gruhn Guitars in downtown Nash­ville, Tenn., since 1970, selling vintage guitars, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, and other stringed instruments. In...
When Judy Kensley Mckie sees a duck on a pond, she does not think, “Oh, how cute,” or “Look at it swim,” or even “That would taste delicious in an orange sauce.” Instead, the Cambridge, Mass., artist...
Three years ago, Larry Charles learned how well he had mastered trompe l’oeil when he brought one of his works to a frame shop near his hometown of Peoria, Ariz. The style of painting takes its name...
When the subject of Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923–1997) comes up, most of us think of paintings of oversize cartoons—such as Drowning Girl (1963), with its young woman exclaiming, “I don’t care!...
Its Owner Edward Horswell is the director of London’s Sladmore Gallery, which specializes in sculptures from the late 19th and 20th centuries and has handled many of the animal depictions that...
The Biblioctopus Catalog can be as entertaining a read as some of the rare and antiquarian books that the Beverly Hills, Calif., shop sells. An entry for a $3,300 first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s...
The formidable line of custom fly-fishing reels from Hatch Outdoors ( www.hatchoutdoors.com ) has a new top end. The 9 Plus Pulse ($725), built for saltwater big game, joins three other reels,...
Its Owner Bill Mastro is the chairman and CEO of Mastro Auctions, a Chicagoland consignment auction house that specializes in sports-related items. Its Significance A long-running but now defunct...
However striking a fazioli piano ( www.fazioli.com ) may appear, the instrument’s truly distinguishing component is the red spruce soundboard that lies under the strings. The company—which...
Dr. C. Keith Wilbur’s collection of antique medical instruments indicates that 150 years ago, his was not a profession for the fainthearted. The physician’s interest in these items first was piqued...
An unfinished poker table made of mahogany, ebony, maple, and satinwood sits in the center of Mark Lackley’s workshop in the Vermont village of Quechee. The walls of the shop are hung with sheets of...

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