Art & Collectibles

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. 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...
Maddie Bill is on vacation, but she is not relaxing. The 9-year-old and her 6-year-old sister, Daphne, stand shin-deep in a shallow river near their family’s summer home in Connecticut, scanning the...
When China’s Emperor Qin Shihuangdi, who initiated the construction of the Great Wall, died in 210 B.C., an army of life-size terra-cotta figures was sculpted to guard his tomb. These warrior statues...
A Geography Lesson can be enthralling, or so Chicago’s Field Museum plans to demonstrate. The exhibit Maps: Finding Our Place in the World ( www.fieldmuseum.org ), which will run from November 2...
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...
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-...
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...
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...
Its Owner Bruce Gimelson, a 64-year-old art and antiques dealer in Garrison, N.Y., once bought and sold a letter in which John Hancock, writing on July 6, 1776, proclaimed, “We are finally free from...
A duck rescued Joseph Hautman from a fate of teaching physics to college students. “When I won, I had no artistic career,” Hautman, a 50-year-old Minnesotan, says in reference to his victory in the...
Much of what we believe about the American flag and its history is not true, or so claims Jeff Bridgman, an antiques dealer in the rural Pennsylvania town of Dillsburg, near Gettysburg, who...
As old as it is, the Hawaiian surfboard from 1895 that is the highlight of an upcoming surf memorabilia auction may be relatively new when compared to the sport itself. In fact, the board dates from...
“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...
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...

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