Giving an account of James and Sons’ April auction and (in the introduction) setting the scene for the rest of the day’s blogging activity.
This is the first of several full length posts that I am intending to put up today (I have already produced a little squib relating to today’s special Google Doodle) and so before getting into the meat of it I take this opportunity to indicate what you can expect over the course of the rest of today: Science and Nature including an introduction to a fabulous series of memes about evolution, Autism and some political stuff.
THE ARRANGEMENT OF THE AUCTION
This auction was a three-day, 1,500 lot sale, taking place on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. All three days took place at our shop in Fakenham. The first day stuff had to be brought down into the body of the shop on the Friday.
DAY 1: LOTS 1-500
These lots consisted of coins, banknotes, bank related ephemera, coin first-day covers and militaria. This was a successful day, with the coins and the militaria doing particularly well. After consuming my sandwiches I then had to bring the stuff for Day 2 down into the shop ready for viewing in the morning.
DAY 2: LOTS 501-1000
These lots consisted of stamps, postal history and first-day covers. This second day was always likely to be quiet, and indeed it was. However, here are some pictures of lot 856, which I acquired for £4…
The auction stage of the day was followed by the most exhausting heavy lifting of the period – day two stuff back upstairs, day three stuff downstairs.
DAY 3: LOTS 1001-1500
The items under the hammer on day three were postcards, toys, Liebig picture cards, cigarette cards, ephemera, books, vinyls and various miscellaneous items. There was enough of interest going under the hammer to ensure a successful day, and indeed to ensure that the auction overall can be considered a success. This was followed by one last heavy lifting exercise – getting the stuff back upstairs so that the shop looked more like a shop once again. Our next auction, again taking place at our shop will be on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of May. Here are some pictures I took yesterday morning to show what went under the hammer later that day:
A post for “Earth Day”, which argues that every day should be Earth Day. Read, enjoy and please share.
Today is “Earth Day”, and it is all well and good to name it so, but the truth is that we should by now be capable of realising that every day should be considered to be Earth Day. This post is therefore dedicated to “Earth Day” but also to realising the inadequacy of “Earth Day”. There is a parallel here with the various “Autism Awareness” days, weeks and months (yes there is one of each) and their unfitness for purpose which I written about elsewhere. All of my own text in this post will be in green because it is about nature. Links where they appear will be in bold and underlined.
INTRODUCTION TO “EARTH DAY” COURTESY OF LIVESCIENCE.COM
Four days ago I came across this excellent post about the development of “Earth Day” on livescience.com. It is simply titled “Earth Day: Facts & History“, and it is an excellent read. The screenshot below will serve as an aperitif:
A MESSAGE FROM SWEDEN
Five days ago Annaput a post sharing a poster created by one of her friends under the title “Power listen to the voice of nature“. Anna’s message in that post is simple and compelling. Below is her friend’s poster which inspired it:
Poster by Margareta Arnedotter Jansson
This one is for those of you who are on any of facebook, twitter and/ or tumblr. I have shared it before, and on its final day I do so once again. It is titled “Birds Join Bees this Earth Day“, and focuses on the damage pesticides are doing to pollinators.
A GCSE IN NATURAL HISTORY
I consider this to be an excellent idea. Once again this is something that I have shared previously, and with eleven days to go until the deadline on this petition I do so again, considering it perfect subject matter for “Earth Day”. Pleasesign and share if you are UK citizens and have not already done so – let’s use today to get this past 10,000 signatures!
THE NETHERLANDS STEAM AHEAD WITH TRAINS POWERED BY GREEN ENERGY
ALL trains in The Netherlands are now powered by wind generated (i.e renewable) electricity. For more and a video (also embedded below) please click here.
CYCLISTS NOW HAVE THEIR OWN VERSION OF THE ‘BECK MAP’
Since he gained permission from his employers to unveil it to a wider public in 1931 Henry C Beck’s schematic diagram of the London Underground network, known colloquially as the “Beck Map” has taken the world by storm and become the template for public transport maps across the globe. Now, in it’s home city a Beck style map has been produced for the benefits of cyclists. There is a detailed article about this on indy100.comfeaturing this map, which is reproduced below for your benefit:
EVERY DAY SHOULD BE EARTH DAY
We need to appreciate nature and the Earth every day of our lives. One day per year is most emphatically not enough. We also need to remember to very important things:
1. There is no “Planet B” at this moment – if we turn this planet into somewhere completely inhospitable to Homo sapiens we have nowhere else to go.
2. Following on from that first point we need to always bear in mind that we need Earth more than Earth needs us.
To finish this post, save for a few of my own photographs I turn again to Anna, and a piece of artwork I have shared before which she created based on comment that I made on one of her blog posts:
A post about autism featuring some of my thoughts, a petition that I urge you all to sign and share, some highlights from other blogs by autistic people and some of my own photographs.
The origins of this post lie in a quote from a post on includedbygrace which I include here as a combined screenshot and link to the original.
Since seeing that I have seen several posts on autistic blogs that I wish to share with you, come across a petition that is so important that I feel I must share it and ask my followers to sign and share it as well. Also, the imminent approach of April has prompted me to think once again about…
AUTISM AWARENESS, UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE
I am more than a little ambivalent about ‘autism awareness month’, and my misgivings are twofold:
To be worth anything awareness must be the most basic of starting points, and needs to lead on towards understanding and ultimately acceptance (see the quote from includedbygrace in the introduction).
If you consider autism during ‘autism awareness month’ and not for the rest of the year that is simply not good enough. Autistic Spectrum Conditions affect those who have them every day of every month.
This leads on the role of…
AUTISM CHARITIES/ ORGANISATIONS
As someone who is both #actuallyautistic and involved in the running of a local branch of an autism charity I am obviously supportive of some of these organisations. However I am very firm in saying that such charities or organisations must be dedicated to improving the lives of autistic people, and that they should make conscious efforts to include #actuallyautistic people in the running of the organisation.
There is one very large organisation based across the Atlantic from me which I shall not name (both because I am not a fan of naming and shaming, and also because I do not wish to give them any more publicity) who promote themselves as an autism charity but are in actuality nothing of the kind. They did fairly recently amend their homepage to remove from it references to seeking a cure for autism, but it did not require much scrutiny for it to be obvious that this was not a leopard changing its spots but a leopard trying to con people into believing that it had changed its spots.
I conclude this section by re-emphasing that awareness is not a final goal, it is merely the starting point on the following path:
AWARENESS – UNDERSTANDING – ACCEPTANCE
SOME AUTISM RELATED SHARES
I am now moving to sharing some other stuff I have found, starting with…
A VERY IMPORTANT PETITION – HARRY’S LAW
This petition, calling for an urgently needed change in the guidelines used at hospitals when dealing with autistic children, to be known as Harry’s Law, contains a video as well as a lot of explanatory text. I shall embed the video below the screenshot that I am using as a link. I urge all of you to read the text, watch the video and sign and share the petition.
Here I am linking to a post on elephantsneverforgetsite, and I am using a screenshot of the end of the post as the link.
THE SILENT WAVE
It is hardly news by now that I am a big fan of thesilentwaveblog, and there have been several excellent posts from that quarter of late. We start with a post titled “Conformity does *not* make life “less difficult” for Asperger’s / autistic people”, which I link to by way of the splendid picture that heads it.
My next share from this splendid blog is a collection of autism related online quizzes. I sampled one of these quizzes, and may check out others in due course. The language used to convey the implications of your result is not always well chosen. I was told at the end of the one I did that I almost certainly “suffer from an Autistic Spectrum Disorder”. No – I have an Autistic Spectrum Condition – what I suffer from is the attitudes of people like whoever deemed that an appropriate form of words. Once again, I use an excellent graphic from the original as the link.
My third link from this source is to an excellent post about being diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Condition in adulthood. The title of the post is “Relief and grief ~ the reality of adult Asperger’s / autism discovery”. It must be stated that of the two emotions referred to in the title of this post relief comes first in more ways than one – it is the more significant, the more constructive, and certainly in my own case was very much the dominant one. Once again I am able to link by way of a headline picture:
I complete both the silentwave tribute and the sharing section of this post my once again pointing readers of this blog to the marvellous “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Neurotypicality: a handbook on the rest of the world for Asperger’s / autistic people” which you can visit by clicking the link below:
I end this post with a few of my own photographs, which in terms of what is relevant to this post the following in common:
All were taken by an autistic person (me), and
All feature one of that autistic person’s special interests.
All of these pictures are in fact close-ups of parts of lots that will be going under the hammer in April, and the special interests to which they relate are public transport, science and nature. All of the lots that these images relate to are numbered between 968 and 985.
Some stuff about nature, with a sidelight on public transport. Links to several nature/ transport themed posts and many appropriately themed photos.
This is the first of several posts I will be putting up today. Two of the links I shall be sharing are to posts that have already appeared on this site as reblogs, but which I consider so important, that I am going to link to them again. There is also among my links a piece relating to public transport for which I make no apology, as transport policy can have a big impact on nature, whether positively or negatively depending on the nature of the policy. As usual plenty of my own pictures will feature as well.
TAKING THE LOCAL AUTHORITY TO TASK
Two pieces in this section:
Anna’s searching questions of her local authority as part of the ongoing campaign to save Trosa nature. For those who have not already seen the piece, please click on the magnificent infographic/ meme that Anna created based on a comment I made on one of her previous posts.
A cabal of Tories seeking to force through the building of an expensive and environmentally damaging incinerator is all too familiar to a West Norfolk resident. This time the dodgy dealing is going on in Gloucestershire and again it is a Tory controlled County Council that seeks to force through the building of the incinerator. The Skwawkbox have picked up on the story, for which I am very grateful, and I urge everyone who reads this to visit this post by clicking on the image below.
BADGER CULLS AND BIOSECURITY
This one appears on Chris Packham’swebsite, and consists of a brief introduction to a person by the name of Anna Dale, and then an essay by this same Anna Dale titled “Below-par biosecurity should mean no badger cull licence”. To read this detailed essay please click on the graphic below.
BUSES IN CRISIS
This comes to you courtesy of the Campaign for Better Transport. Contained within this worrying piece is a bit of good news – an infographic relating to the achievements of 2016. To read the full detail on the crisis with Britain’s buses please click on the shocking graph below.
PHOTOGRAPHS 1: WORK
In this, the first of two sections of this post devoted to my photographs, I share some nature and transport related pictures from yesterday and Thursday at work. The first of these is of an item in the March auction, which I therefore use as a link to our online catalogue, while all the rest are from lots in our April auction.
PHOTOGRAPHS 2: LEISURE
To end the post here some photos from in and around King’s Lynn…
An account of James and Sons auction, which took place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week James and Sons had its second ever three day auction. This one had the additional twist that two different venues were being used, our own premises in Fakenham on days 1 and 2 and the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich on day 3.
DAY 1: FAKENHAM
I caught the 7:30 bus from Lynn to Fakenham, thus arriving at James and Sons at just before 8:30AM (this bus doubles as a school bus, so follows a more circuitous route from Lynn to Fakenham than the usual X29 route and therefore takes 15 minutes longer to make the journey than a regular bus). Thus I was able to get the setup done in plenty of time, and the auction got underway at the appointed hour of 10AM. On this day stamps, postal history and first day covers were being sold. There were a couple of room bidders, and thankfully large numbers of online bidders (over 250 by the end of day 3). Although there were not many things going for big amounts of money a lot of stuff did sell, and the auction had started well. I have no pictures from day 1 of this auction, but here are some images of items that will be going under the hammer in our March auction, which will be on the 27th, 28th and 29th of that month.
DAY 2: FAKENHAM
The routine was the same as on day 1, but the items under the hammer were different. This day featured photographs, postcards, a few books, records, ephemera, Liebig cards, cigarette cards, cheques and coin first day covers. For most of the day there was no one present at the venue who was not a James and Sons employee, but the internet was very lively for much of the time. I had two moments of good fortune. The first featured…
Here are the official images of this lot:
My opening bid of £10 was unopposed, and here are the photographs I took this morning showing the entire booklet in all its glory:
About 10 minutes later we got to…
Here is the image gallery for this lot:
My opening bid of £8 again went uncontested, and here is a much more comprehensive set of pictures of this lot…
Overall this was a better day than we had expected – there were only a few quiet spots.
DAY 3: NORWICH
The fact that we were in Norwich for the final day of this auction meant that the stuff had to be loaded up to be transported over there, which was done at the end of day 2. It also meant that since I was going to have be in Norwich earlier than I could get there using the X29 that I claimed £5.50 in excess travel expenses as the cost of travelling there on the First Eastern Counties X1 is £11 as opposed to £5.50 if I can use the Stagecoach X29 route.
As intended I left my flat at 5:15AM and was on the 5:30 bus from King’s Lynn to Norwich, arriving at the venue at 7:30. I had my laptop with me because James and Sons were one laptop short (two working machines when we needed three). The setup was just about completed before the first viewers started turning up, and there were no issues of any sort.
Here are some photos from that early period:
THE FIRST PART OF THE SALE – COINS & BANKNOTES
There were no headline making prices, but most of these lots sold, some doing very well. We had decided to have a 15 minute break after lot 1,300 (we started the day at lot 1,000). Just before the end of the session we came to some commemorative medallions from the Gigantic Wheel, which was a feature of Earls Court between 1897 and 1906. The first was lot 1,286, which I ignored as being beyond my means. Lot 1287 however, which was only a little inferior in quality was cheaper, and my bid of £10 duly secured it. Here for comparative purposes are first the official images, scanned at 600 dpi and brightened up a bit, and then the two photographs I took today:
THE SECOND PART: MILITARIA AND STAMPS
The Militaria sold well. A chess set with German markings achieved barely credible £170. Here is the official image gallery:
Plenty of other things did well as well. The stamps predictably enough did not fare very well, but everything else had done enough that the auction was an unequivocal success.
AFTER THE SALE
I had considered staying on in Norwich to attend a Green Party public meeting at which Richard Murphy would be speaking, but in the end after three demanding days I was too tired to even contemplate not being home until 11PM which is what that would have meant, and so after a visit to Norwich Millennium Library I took the bus home, arriving back in my flat just after 6PM.
An account of the ,last four days, some pictures, some links, and a special science and nature section.
This post, which comes with plenty of pictures and some cracking links, covers what I have been doing over the course of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Each of these days was very different in character from its predecessor. The links will be in two parts, a couple appearing between Wednesday and Thursday, and the remainder florming a special science and nature section at the end of the post.
A day at James and Sons getting as many images done as possible before the catalogue for our next auction went online (here, for those who would like to see it). This day went fairly quietly and without any major incidents. Here are some general pictures…
My second set of images for this day consists of coins and small medallions…
On Wednesday I started the day by typing up the minutes from NAS West Norfolk’s last committee meeting (as branch secretary this is one of my regular tasks). The in the afternoon I attended a meeting of the West Norfolk Disability Forum, which came with a little extra pressure as the branch chair of NAS West Norfolk could not arrange childcare which left me as NAS West Norfolk’s sole representative at the meeting. I found the meeting disappointing – many things talked about but little sign of any real progress having been made.
INTERLUDE – A COUPLE OF LINKS
Most of my links will feature at the end of this post, but there are two I choose to share here to break things up a bit:
AUTISM AWARENESS CUP 2017
Following the success of last year’s inaugural Autism Awareness Cup, a second event is being staged this year, on June 4th at Ingoldisthorpe Social Club between 12 and 5PM. A facebook page for this event has been launched – please click the graphic below to visit, and if you are on facebook, like the page:
HEATHER HASTIE ON A TELEVANGELIST
Heather Hastie’s blogis always worth reading, and this post, about a chap by the name of Jim Bakker, is no exception.
THURSDAY – SPARKS FLY
I had just started work on Thursday morning when I looked at my computer and noticed that the power had gone (I was taking photographs, so all the computer was on ready for editing them later, I was not yet using it). It soon transpired that none of the computers or heaters had power (the lights being on a different circuit did). One of my colleagues tested a particular plug socket that was most likely to have caused the problem, and it proved right (fortunately although shaken he was not seriously hurt, though we were all worried at the time). We then used a long extension lead to connect to the only spare socket available, which brought things to life for a few moments, before (as it transpired), the extension lead proved unable to cope with the amount of power it was having to transmit.
With no possibility of using the computers that day, the two people who were committed to remaining at work there for the day (the other person directly involved in the drama went back to working at his computer repair business) took as many photographs as possible, and it being fiendishly cold without any source of heat, gained permission to lock up a bit early. It was also in the course of this day that I took custody of a key to the shop.
Although editing and uploading them was for obvious reasons my first work activity of Friday, here are some pictures from Thursday…
FRIDAY – CALM AFTER THE STORM
I arrived at work on Friday morning and was delighted to see that the electrician was just finishing up, and that discussion about having a serious look at the electrics at some lpoint in the future were taking place (much needed – looking back the only real surprise about Thursday’s incident was that it had taken so long for it to happen).
Nevertheless, the amount of new work I accomplished on Friday was somewhat reduced, first by having to finish Thursday’s work, then by having to a bulk upload of previously created images due to mishap oin the original uploading process which meant that most of the last thousand lots were showing with no images and finally by having to make a trip to the post office, where it took the person handling our parcels 40 minutes to do the job (at least three times as long as it should have). Here are some of the new images that I did mange to create and upload…
A SCIENCE AND NATURE SPECIAL
We start with two sides of a story that may or may not be one of the most significant achievements in science history – if the experiment can be successfully duplicated a Nobel prize is a certainty. Here, courtesy of www.independent.co.uk comes…
THE PRODUCTION OF METALLIC HYDROGEN?
First of all, the story of the claimed discovery, complete with video footage:
Please click the link below to read (and below that is the video)…
An illustrated account of James and Sons’ first three day auction.
On Monday, Tuesday and Yesterday my employers staged their first ever three-day auction, all three days of the sale taking place at our shop in Fakenham. This post describes the event.
DAY 1: COINS, BANKNOTES, BANKING EPHEMERA AND MILITARIA
There were a few technical issues early on, and we had to dispense with the live video because it just would not work. However, with close to 200 online bidders (this tally rose past 300 before the end of the auction on Wednesday) signed up before the sale started and a few people there in person it was not long before good things started happening. The first and biggest headline maker was…
This 1863 penny caused an internet dominated bidding battle which finally stopped at £1,200 (the estimate had been £250-300, and the bidding had started around that level). The successful bidder then telephoned in to clarify whether he could return the item if it turned out not to be as expected. This led to a tricky photographic assignment for yours truly. Looking at the pictures below can you see what is unusual about the dating on thkis coin?
THE REST OF THE COINS
Although nothing else approached lot 22 the coins did continue to sell fairly well. I will feature one more lot, which although it did not reach great heights was contested…
This was a Lima Tramways Inauguration token. Two people were interested, myself and an internet bidder. When the online bidder went to £20 over my £18 I conceded defeat (I had decided that I was not going beyond £20 and adhered to that decision). In addition to the obvious public transport connection, there is also a more obscure and tenuous cricket related connection: Lima was also the birthplace of Freddie Brown, who went on Jardine’s 1932-33 ashes tour without being picked for a test match and captained the touring party for the 1950-51 ashes. Here is the image gallery for this lot to commemorate my near miss:
THE BANKNOTES AND BANKING EPHEMERA
The banknotes fared well, while the experiment with banking ephemera (mainly but not entirely cheques) cannot yet be judged – more of the stuff will be going under the hammer at our next auction.
The militaria was again largely successful. In a pattern of consistent successes there was one stand out, early in the section. The star of this second half of day one was…
This lot, a Free Polish Airforce pilots badge and RAF Dingley escape whistle with an estimate of £80-95 eventually sold for £320.
FINISHING THE FIRST DAY
After the end of the first day at lot 550 the stuff for that part of the sale had to be moved upstairs and the stuff for day two brought down into the shop. My involvement in this process and the fact the we had finished later than expected meant that I did not get any imaging done before going home.
INTERLUDE – ON IMAGING
This post has featured scanning and photography, so here is a brief guide to myt appraoch to imaging at work:
I scan the following items:
Coins – 600dpi, scan each face, brighten the images (this both improves the clarity of the image, and since I have also adopted the policy of using a white background, effectively eliminates the background) and join the two images together to create the master image). I can image up 20 single coin lots at a time in this way, and the scanner I use works fast even at high resolution.
Stamps – 300-400dpi according to the level of intricacy of the pattern. Small stamps usually have an automatic black background because of the holders that are used. Usually I image these lots four at a time, but occasionally if the stamps are particularly suitably placed in the holders I can do more.
Postcards – 200-300 dpi according to time considerations. When there has been a real hurry on I have got away with scanning postcards at 150dpi, but I do not recommend going this low. The bed of my scanner is big enough for four standard size postcards, and in general if I have more cards than that in a lot I photograph rather than scanning.
Banknotes and related items – 200dpi is usually right for these.
Small ephemera: Any printed item that is A4 or less in size can be scanned. These items can be done at 150dpi.
All items not in the above list are photographed, and for items in the above list the decision to scan is dependent on small size – I do not for example lay out the contents of a huge box of coins on the scanner bed and scan.
DAY 2: POSTCARDS, EPHEMERA, FILM POSTERS, CIGARETTE & LIEBIG CARDS
A slightly fractious start to the day, as it was still not possible to run the video. Also, due to the confusion caused by frantic attempts to find a way to run the video the first couple of lots went under the hammer without audio either.
There was no danger of any of these not selling because one of our regulars had left a block of bids on all of them, and some ended up going to other people.
EPHEMERA AND FILM POSTERS
These as might be expected were fairly quiet, although even they did not completely bomb – some decorated menus sold reasonably well.
THE CIGARETTE AND LIEBIG CARDS
The big news from these lots was that the majority actually sold. Near the end there was a very minor controversy concerning…
This was the second and last lot ion the catalogue that was of personal interest to me. I opened the bidding at £16, and as I as recording this information an internet bit for the same amount registered. James and Sons policy on the matter is clear – a room bid has privilege over an internet bid. I thus pressed the ‘room’ button on the console to disallow the internet bid. The item was then knocked down at £16. Just in case the unlucky internet bidder is reading this, they would have had to go to £22 to get the item, since I was adhering to the same policy that I had adopted with regard to lot 141 – I was prepared to go to but not beyond £20. As a further point please note that had I secured lot 141 I would not have bid on this item. When I have been through it in detail I will produce a full post about this item, but for the moment here are the official images:
THE SWAP OVER
The moving of items so that the setup was ready for day 3 was swiftly accomplished, and having done fewer lots and the auction having run more smoothly there was plenty of time for me to finish the day with some…
The February auction will be another three day affair, but with an extra twist – days 1 and 2 will be at the shop again, but day 3 (A Wednesday again) will be at The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich. Here are some of the images I produced on Tuesday afternoon…
DAY 3: STAMPS, FIRST DAY COVERS AND POSTAL HISTORY
The day started with a wait outside the shop as the colleague who was opening up was delayed, continued with a quick trip to get a replacement strip bulb because one was shining a very ugly shade of pink but the setupo went smoothly, and the auction proceeded with no problems. These lots were not expected to generate bidding fireworks, but a reasonable number of them did actually sell.
There was no immediate need to transfer the stuff, so I was able to do other work, starting with…
SOME HIGH VALUE FEBRUARY IMAGING
These needed to be done first as some would be featuring in the print catalogue…
After lunch and a quick trip to the stationer for a box of paper I did some more ordinary imaging…
James and Sons’ first three day auction was definitely a success. The use of the shop as a venue massively reduces overhead costs, and the fact that we can only seat a few people there is no great disadvantage. February’s auction, on the 20th and 21st at the shop and then the 22nd at the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich will provide an interesting comparison. I end this post with some pictures of the layout on the first two days of the January auction (day 3 did not warrant a picture):