Collectibles

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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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-...
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...
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...

Pages