James and Sons’ May Auction

An account of James and Sons’ May Auction.

INTRODUCTION

This auction was a three-day affair, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. All three days were at our premises, 5 Norwich Street, Fakenham. Our next auction will also be over a three-day period, but there will be no selling on the second day, as the third day will be at Fakenham Racecourse and we will be setting things up down there. 

MONDAY

The setup was accomplished with no problem and the first item went under the hammer at 10AM as intended. The auction started with coins which fared reasonably well, cheques which did not, some interesting ephemera which attracted some attention, and some joint numismatic/ philatelic items which fared well. The militaria which concluded day 1’s action started very quietly but picked up again later. Here are some pictures from this day…

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The big screen display for people who turned up at the venue.

Lot 359, one of those joint numismatic/ philatelic items, came my way for £8. I will be going into more detail about it in a future post, but here is the shot that appeared on our slideshow…

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Lot 359 – five images.

In between moving stuff for day 2 down into the shop ready for the morrow, consuming my sandwiches and other little bits I also did some work on our next auction. Here are some pictures of items that will be going under the hammer at the end of June…

TUESDAY

This was the quietest of the three days. It featured stamps, postal history and first-day covers. There were no room bidders, and the internet bidders did not bestir themselves and the second half of the day. However, eventually some items did sell, although it was a hugely unsuccessful day. Here are some shots taken before proceedings got underway…

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There was an addition to the routine today – three large items that feature in our next auction needed to be offloaded into the shop, photographed and given lot numbers. They are now lots 791, 792 and 793 in our June auction – two dolls houses and a rocking horse:

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Lot 791 – the thatched cottage version of a dolls house
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Lot 792 – a more modern style version of a dolls house.

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Lot 793 a rocking horse, and not just any rocking horse…
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…a locally made rocking horse.

After attending to this and to bringing down the lots for the morrow I had time for some more work on the June auction…

WEDNESDAY

This final day of our sale featured postcards, cigarette & trade cards, Liebig picture cards and books to end the auction. We needed a good day, and we got one. All else was overshadowed by three postcards, lots 1038, 1039 and 1040. These were early 20th century Real Photographic (RP) cards featuring football matches. 1038 and 1039 went for £495 and £450 respectively, while lot 1040 sold for no less than £900. Most of the rest of the postcards found buyers (one postcard, an RP featuring the 1910 visit of Halley’s Comet sold to none other than science writer Ben Goldacre), the cigarette cards had some successes, and the Liebig cards fared pretty well. The books did what ordinary books usually do at auction. Here are some pictures I took early that morning:

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I redid this one after seeing a few of the less huge lots that I had omitted to bring down (see third pic). Although the dolls house was not in this sale no place had as yet been found for it.

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Lot 1107 (about which much more later) went to me. Going into this auction I had a couple of other items besides the two I actually bought (for £8 each) mentally filed as possibles, but found myself obliged to ignore them since my old camera (after somewhat in excess of 80,000 pictures) had conked out, necessitating a replacement which in turn meant that I could not entertain mere ‘possibles’ at this stage. Here is the image that appeared in our slideshow:

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The auction concluded, wiring tidied up and internet bidders list printed out I finished my working week by doing some more work on the June auction. Here are some of the items I imaged…

 

 

James and Sons April Auction

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.

INTRODUCTION

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…

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The front of lot 856
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A close up of the six stamps
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A close up of the big train
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The reverse of the envelope
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A c,lose up of the explanation.

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:

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This cinema screen sized Charlie’s Angels poster (in the black plastic tube) was lot 1,401 and went unsold.

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These Liebig’s were being sold as albums rather than as sheets, and three of the five found buyers.

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Sharing

Some thoughts on sharing, provoked initially by the Gorsuch plagiarism case as reported by whyevolutionistrue and given the final push when I saw a post on everydayaspie.wordpress.com and reblogged it.

INTRODUCTION

I first started thinking about this post yesterday, and then a few minutes ago something else  occurred that prompted me to actually create it. 

A TALE OF TWO POSTS

Yesterday I read on whyevolutionistrue about an accusation of plagiarism against the US Supreme Court’s most recent appointee, Justice Gorsuch. That post makes it very obvious indeed that Mr Gorsuch is indeed guilty, and to an extent that would have earned any student an automatic zero for cheating. 

The second post, the one the actually got me started writing this post, comes from everydayaspie.wordpress.com, and those of you who follow this site should already have seen it by way of this. If you have not yet seen this post, titled “What if the Tables Were Turned and This was an Autistic Workplace?” I urge you to do so. 

The first post I have mentioned in this section shows Gorsuch seeing something he appreciated and making use of it an unacceptable fashion that gave no credit at all to the person who had actually done the work. My reaction to the second demonstrated one (there are several) example of the…

ACCEPTABLE WAYS OF USING
CONTENT CREATED BY OTHERS

I reblogged the post, with the addition of a line of my own explaining where I had found it. However, because the real work had been done by the original blogger, I then opened the editing screen and made two small but important alterations (as well as a few others not relevant to this post):

  1. I made my mention of the site from which I had reblogged it into a link.
  2. Because all credit or otherwise that might be due to the post belongs rightfully to its creator I turned off the comments section on my reblog.

If the post in which you are using content from elsewhere also contains significant work of your own, then it makes sense to keep the comments section open.

There is one golden rule when using content from other sources in a piece of your own: always give full credit to the original creator. Thus when I am sharing multiple pieces in the course of one post my own usual approach is to link to the source website of each piece the first time I mention it by name, and link to each piece individually. Also, if boosting the appearance of my own post by using pictures or screenshots from the other site I format them as links. This is especially important with screenshots, as they are not automatically attributed to the site to whom you are linking. 

It is nice if someone is impressed enough by your stuff to want to share it, but to put it very mildly it takes some of the gloss off if they omit to mention where they got it from (btw I have direct experience of this – when the Lynn News printed a report on the inaugural Autism Awareness Cup every word of that report had also appeared in my blog post about it, which had peen published some days previously, and no credit was accorded to me).

PHOTOGRAPHS

These pictures are of items that will be going under the hammer in James and Sons May aujction (22nd, 23rd and 24th of May, all three days at our own premises in central Fakenham):

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Lot 499
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Both sides of the brooch
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The front of the brooch.
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The back of the reverse (not the markings at the bottom). The reflections are unavoidable when taking a close up of an object this tiny and this shiny.
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Lot 500 – a lot that required many images
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both faces of the medals in one shot
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Closer ups of each face of the medals

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The back the middle medal, showing the naming.
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The three images I took to show the markings on the rim of this medal combined to form one…
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…and the individuals

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Finally, completing the gallery for his lot, a close up of the cap badge.

James and Sons March Auction

An account of James and Sons’ March auction with lots of photographs. Also a brief mention of the theme of my next blog post.

INTRODUCTION

James and Sons’ March auction took place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, with the first two days taking place at our premises on Norwich Street, while the third took place at Fakenham Racecourse.

DAY 1: LOTS 1-500

I arrived at the shop at 8:30AM, the setup was accomplished with no serious hitches, and the sale got underway at 10AM as planned. The first lots to go under the hammer were coins, and a few of them sold well, with a large internet presence making up for the fact that we had very few people bidding live. After coins came banknotes and related epehmera, including the first Traveller’s Cheques to feature in a James and Sons auction. Here are some pictures of lots in this part of the sale…

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This was lot 25
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Lot 140.
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Lot 254 (two images – the first Travellers Cheque lot)

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Lot 255 (six images, the other Travellers Cheque lot)

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The remaining lots to go under the hammer on day 1 were cigarette cards, Liebig cards and match attack cards. None of these fared especially well. I therefore end this section with a picture of one lot that did sell and will feature in much more detail in my next post…

369

Lot 369 went to me. My next post on this blog will be about what I shall be referring as Autism Acceptance Month in preference to the older, less expressive and misappropriated (I won’t name the culprits, but if you want a clue think blue jigsaw pieces) Autism Awareness Month, and I shall display these pictures in the context of talking about special interests. 

DAY 2: LOTS 501-950

This was in many ways the most stressful of the three days, because in addition to the middle part of the auction it featured the setup at the racecourse to enable people to preview the third day lots in advance. The auction part of the day was very quiet, although there was one brief moment of excitement around lot 696, a Chinese stamp for which I do not have an image (I rarely do stamps these days because they are easy to scan and my time is better spent doing the more difficult imaging). 

After the auction part of the day finished I helped with the unloading of items of the racecourse to be set up for the morrow, took some close up photographs of a couple of items that were needed to enable me to answer last minute queries and walked back to the shop (it takes about 15 minutes from the Prince of Wales Suite, the part of the racecourse where we hold our auctions) to edit the images and answer the queries. I also got a small amount of April imaging done before closing time (having arrived early to ensure that I had time to do the IT setup, and given the day that I knew to lie in store for me on the morrow I was not going to burning midnight oil, and when the last of my shop based colleagues finished his day at 3PM and I had seen him out I called it a day myself. Here are some pictures of the lots I was answering 11th hour queries about…

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The first five of these images relate to lot 1142.

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The remaining images relates to lot 1117 – a gun stock without the barrel which would have been stored inside it. Both these items sold for good money in the end.

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DAY THREE: LOTS 951-1560

In view of the fact that the catalogue advertised viewing at the racecourse from 8AM I decided to get the first bus of the morning to Fakenham, which leaves King’s Lynn at 6:28AM. I was therefore outside the Prince of Wales Suite at about 7:30AM, and had to wait for someone else to arrive with a key to open it up. Still, while waiting I did get this picture:

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With the setup accomplished, and knowing that all was working properly I could get some pictures from the venue (the first had actually been taken the day before):

After a fairly quiet start to the day the militaria sold well and the toys/ collectors models also fared well. As on the first two days it was the online bidders (who by the end of the auction numbered some 350) who were responsible for most of the action. The auction finished, it remained to dismantle the sale, load the goods up and transport them back to the shop. This was accomplished just quick enough for me to get the 3:35 bus home. The third day more than made up for the comparative quietness of the first two. James and Sons next auction is on April 24, 25 and 26, with all three days happening at our shop on Norwich Street. Here are a few final pictures to conclude.

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This was the first lot under the hammer on day 3.

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This lot was the subject of query that led to the taking of a number of extra images (the sale price justified the extra work many times over)

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This was the first of toy/ collector’s model lots.
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This little thing did not make big money (I will be collecting it and paying for both lots that I won when I go back to work on Tuesday).

A Very Successful Three Day Auction

An account of James and Sons auction, which took place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

INTRODUCTION

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. 

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These first two pictures of lot 1031 in the March auction, which has an interesting story. This item is a grass sledge, designed and built by a craftsman in Sussex for use on the Downs.

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The remaining images here are cigarette cards photographed after day 1 of the auction finished and before I went home.

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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…

LOT 864

Here are the official images of this lot:

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My opening bid of £10 was unopposed, and here are the photographs I took this morning showing the entire booklet in all its glory:

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About 10 minutes later we got to…

LOT 891

Here is the image gallery for this lot:

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My opening bid of £8 again went uncontested, and here is a much more comprehensive set of pictures of this lot…

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We start with front and back images of the cards in sets of six (the complete set contains 30)

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Then we have close ups of some of the more interesting cards – this one is Richard Trevithick’s Pen-y-Darren (that y is pronounced roughly as a “uh” sound), the first commercially operated steam locomotive ever. Steam engine technology predates this by approximately 1800 years – Heron of Alexandria designed a steam operated device for opening temple doors.

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The most famous of all the very early locos – Stephenson’s rocket.

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This Metropolitan Railway locomotive was designed specifically for operating in tunnels.

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Luxury travel on the Brighton Belle

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I travelled on this stock when I visited Scotland in 1993.
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The only other stock in this set of 30 that I have travelled on, the legendary Intercity 125.

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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:

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This item sold for a fair amount of money.
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The rostrum – the black machine belongs to my employer, and we ran the operator screen (my responsibility) from it, while the white machine is mine, and we ran the auctioneer screen from that.

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Only a few of these big stamp lots sold, although both helmets found buyers.

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A distant view of the main display area, and visible through the window, the wall of the Cathedral Close.

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:

1287
For auction purposes I scan each face and then produce a combined image as well as c,lose ups of each face

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The photographs from earlier today.

 

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For the record, these medallions are approximately the same size as a Queen Victoria penny.

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:

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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.

James and Sons First Ever Three Day Auction

An illustrated account of James and Sons’ first three day auction.

INTRODUCTION

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…

LOT 22

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?

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I took a photo of the whole coin (for this I needed a larger image than I could get by scanning), and produced from that two full face pictures and two pictures focussing only the date.

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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…

LOT 141

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:

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The main image for this lot consists of two 600dpi scans (one of each face) joined together.
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I also keep the individual images so that interested parties can look at each individual face if they so desire.

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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. 

MILITARIA

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…

LOT 309

This lot, a Free Polish Airforce pilots badge and RAF Dingley escape whistle with an estimate of £80-95 eventually sold for £320.

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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. 

THE POSTCARDS

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…

LOT 789

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:

789
The whole item.
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Close focus on some of the cards.

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…

FEBRUARY IMAGING

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…

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Please do not draw any conclusions from the fact that I have included images of third Reich coins in this post!

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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…

1043
This is about the biggest coin lot that could be sensibly scanned.

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1265
I departed from usual policy with banknotes and scanned this one at 600 dpi because it is a very rare item.

After lunch and a quick trip to the stationer for a box of paper I did some more ordinary imaging…

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A repeat of my earlier disclaimer re images of stuff from the third Reich.

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This whole set of 25 lots of Liebig cards had to be imaged – I have selected a range rather than sharing all 25.

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CONCLUSION

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):

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Most of the lots were laid on or under this table
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The small, high valued stuff such as coins was in this display cabinet.
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Day 2, followed by a couple of close ups (day three was not worth photographing).

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A Demanding Week and a New Computer

My first post created using my new computer. It covers my work for James and Sons this week and includes solutions to the puzzle contained in my previous blog post.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this post, the first to be composed using my brand new Acer Chromebook 15, of which more later. As well as covering the events of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with a few pictures, and of course explaining the computer situation I will be providing an answer the puzzle that I included in my last post.

THE COMPUTER SITUATION

My old computer (and by computer standards it was a veritable Methusalah) had been struggling for some while when it finally decided to give up the ghost completely. My mother by way of an early Christmas present transferred the funds necessary to buy a replacement to my account, and I made the purchase today. All I am now waiting for is the arrival of the hard drive caddy that I ordered online which will enable me to connect the hard drive that I extracted from my old computer to this one and all will again be as it should be.

A HEAVY WORKLOAD AND HEAVY LIFTING

James and Sons had its last auction of this year on Wednesday (our next auction is taking place on January 18, 19 and 20 at our shop in Fakenham), and on either side of that I was getting as many images ready for January as I could. The auction we have just had took place in Norwich, and a shortage of people available to help combined with the fact that one of my colleagues was experiencing knee trouble meant that most of the heavy lifting had to be done by yours truly.

DAY 1: TUESDAY

Most of the work of loading the van had been accomplished on the Friday, but some still remained to be done. Additionally there were last minute queries to be resolved, work to be done for our next auction and a few other things. I made enough of a fuss about the extra expense of catching the very early bus to Norwich (a First Eastern Counties X1, which leaves at 5:30AM and on which a return costs £11 as opposed to the £5.50 it would have cost me if I could have caught the Stagecoach X29 which leaves at 6:28AM) that I was authorised to extract the bus fare from the till.

DAY 2: WEDNESDAY

I managed to catch the 5:30AM bus, and was the first James and Sons employee at the venue. Once the van arrived it was time to unload everything and get the place set up for the auction. After a few hitches, including requiring an emergency replacement for the computer which we had been using to run the auctioneer’s view screen we got underway on time at 10AM, and the sale proceeded fairly smoothly. The coins fared especially well, and much to my relief some of the larger boxes of stamps sold in the room, meaning that they did not have to go back on the van. The militaria also did well. 

Once the van was loaded I was able to take my leave, and being in Norwich took the opportunity to visit Norwich Millennium Library before getting the bus home. In the end I arrived back at my flat a little under 14 hours after I had left it in the morning.

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These old coins fared especially well, two of them (213 and 215 fro memory) going for £170 each after protracted online bidding battles.

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DAY 3: THURSDAY

After unloading the sold goods from the van it was back to work on the January auction. The catalogue cover was ready by the end of the day, and the images were about 70% done, a near miracle in the circumstances. Here are some of the new images from yesterday…

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These postcards were needed for the catalogue cover, so with time pressing I scanned them at 150 DPI – and they looked superb on the printed page.

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THE PUZZLE EXPLAINED

I asked you to take any three digit number, multiply by 7, then multiply the new answer by 11 and finally multiply that answer by 13. I then asked how your final answer compared to your original number. That final answer consists of two copies of your original number. The reason for this is that 7 x 11 x 13 = 1,001 – and that post beinbg my 1,001st on aspiblog was why I set that puzzle in it. As a bonus I asked what multipliers you would need to produce a similar effect with four digit numbers, and the answer to that is 73 and 137, because 73 x 137 = 10,001.