The September Auction and a Sneak Preview of Some October Items

An account of james and Sons’ September auction, with a spotlight on the October auction.

INTRODUCTION

James and Sons’ September auction took place this Wednesday at Fakenham Racecourse, while apart from on that day my recent work has mainly been focussed on the October auction (Wednesday 26th, Maids Head Hotel, Norwich.

THE SEPTEMBER AUCTION

I was not involved with setting this auction up on the Tuesday due to having other work to do back at base, but I did make a flying visit to the racecourse that day to resolve some queries that people had raised at the last minute about auction items (one potential customer wanted an image that had been missed and another wanted a detailed condition report on pair of vintage spectacles – the fact that both items sold to the customers who had made the inquiries was final proof that their queries had been resolved). That just left…

THE DAY OF THE AUCTION

My work day did not get off to the best of starts, because I fell victim to a recent timetable change and arrived at the racecourse a little later than I would have liked (I now have a copy of the timetable that will come into force from this Sunday). Fortunately there were no serious issues with the IT, and the auction started on time.

INADEQUATE COVER

With the auctioneer needing regular breaks from the rostrum, and the only person capable of substituting for him being also the only person who could substitute for my role on the rostrum I was at my post while the first 650 lots went under the hammer, finally getting to consume my sandwiches at 2:20PM, before resuming my post for the last 50 or so lots (the auction ended at lot 781). This, combined with the heavy lifting work at the end, made for an exhausting and stressful day.

THE TALE OF THE HAMMER

The auction began with banknotes and coins, which fared pretty well overall. Then there were a large number of stamp lots, which predictably enough did not attract huge attention (www.the-saleroom.com while good for many things are poor on stamps, and there were not many people there in the room). After that there were a variety of different items, some of which sold well. In among the medley of items in this middle and latter part of the auction was lot 461, four decorative plates produced by Coalport, all in their original boxes with paperwork. This might not sound like the kind of lot to catch the photographer’s eye, but the the images below may provide some explanation…

461461-a461-b461-c461-d

My opening bid of £12 proved sufficient to secure the items (I had prepared for the possibility of success by bringing a stout, empty, fabric bag with me to transport them).

The auction ended with some ‘Bradbury’ stamp pages, which may as well not have gone under the hammer at all since by then there was no one left in the room save staff.

Overall it was a successful sale.

THE CLEAR UP

While two of my colleagues took a few items to our storage unit near the village of Syderstone (principally the rostrum and the stools that we sit on behind it) I moved as much stuff as I could (almost all of it) over to the door so that it could be loaded straight on to the van once they were back. The van duly loaded it was time to head back into town, and thanks to my colleague dropping me on Oak Street I was just able to catch the 16:38 bus home. The bus to work yesterday morning was 20 minutes late leaving King’s Lynn, so by the time I arrived there were a mere five boxes of stuff left to carry in to the building, a task I accomplished in not much more time than it took the kettle to boil for my coffee.

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SPOTLIGHT ON OCTOBER

Wednesday apart, since September 15 I have been engaged on a major project at work – describing and imaging a vast number of posters – a task that is not quite finished, but which is responsible for almost 250 lots so far. The first 230 or so of these lots were film posters, ranging in size from a colossal 40 inches by 30 to 16.5 inches by 16.5. Here are a few examples…

481

495
This poster is definitely worth money.

497

551-a
This is an example of a double sided poster – one side facing inside, the other with mirror writing on it designed to show in a passing driver’s mirror.

551-b617646647648661567-a567-b578591613

Yesterday, after a few more film posters I finally got some variety…

676677679680681685692693

698
I particularly appreciated this poster and the next.

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Thursday Titbits

Just some stuff I found in my inbox this morning and decided to share.

INTRODUCTION

I am sharing a few highlights from this morning’s inbox – to comment you will have to visit the pieces I flag up..

SOME QUIRKY AND INTERESTING PIECES

My first item comes from…

TAX RESEARCH UK

This little squib comes under the heading “The Most Desperate Tweet Ever” – to see it you will have to follow the link, but here, from the comments section of the original post is a classic counter version:

Nasty
Evil
Obscene
Leeching
Imperialist
Brutal
Excruciating
Ruthless
Aloof
Loathesome
Injurious
Spiteful
Malevolent

Well done to John M whoever you are for coming up with that.

For our next piece we turn to…

.PAC

Disabled People Against Cuts to give them their full title have produced something about changes to the appeal process.

The remaining links I am sharing with you are concerned with…

AUTISM

All of the following links were contained in this morning’s Autism Newsletter from The Mighty. Firstly, written by Audra Cederquist, is this piece titled “5 Things You Should Never Say To The Parent Of A Child With Autism“.For full detail and to comment you will have to follow the link, but here are the five things not be said:

1. “What’s wrong with him?”
2. “I’m sorry.”
3. “Just tell him to stop.”
4. “Isn’t he too old/big for that?”
5. “He’ll grow out of it.”

My final piece, created by Stephanie Cooper, who is both mother of an autistic child and a former police officer, is entitled “Mom Creates Autism Law Enforcement Response Training for Police Officers” and includes a short video:

Grab Bag

A variety of things that have come to my attention recently.

INTRODUCTION

This post is about a mixture of things from the last few days, hence the title.

CHAMPIONSHIPS AND CONTRIVANCES REVSITED

Some of you may remember that I put this post up on Thursday, with Somerset having secured an emphatic win in their game and Middlesex and Yorkshire going head to head in theirs. Sadly, when I checked what was going on on Friday afternoon, Lyth and Lees (the two opening batsmen, neither with any sort of status as bowlers) were purveying out-and-out filth for Yorkshire to help Middlesex set an agreed target. Yorkshire paid for accepting such an arrangement when their batting subsequently collapsed handing the title to Middlesex. Sadly, Somerset were innocent victims of this scam by Middlesex and Yorkshire, being robbed of would have been their first ever county championship not by good cricket but by dirty back room dealings.

BEES AND PARKS

This refers to two important issues that came up this weekend. Firstly, Greenpeace have exposed Bayer and Syngenta as having covered up evidence that their products were hugely damaging to bees. Greenpeace’s release can be viewed here, and here is a copy of their accompanying picture:

38-degrees-bees

The parks part of the title of this section refers to an effort by 38 Degrees to secure better protection for our parklands. Living in King’s Lynn at this time gives this a particular resonance for me, so:

Britain’s parks are at risk. There’s no legal responsibility to look after them and squeezed budgets mean our local green spaces – from playgrounds, to the park you relax in on your lunch break – don’t have the money they need. We could end up being forced to pay to use our parks – or lose them altogether. 

A group of MPs are looking into the crisis right now. They’re thinking of making protecting parks a legal requirement, and they’ll advise the government on what to do. A huge petition, signed by all of us, will prove how much we love our parks. It could convince the MPs to come up with a water-tight plan for protecting them. 

Can you sign the petition now and demand that looking after our parks is made a legal requirement by the government? It only takes 30 seconds to add your name:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-parks

Here are some pictures of my own, including a few from King’s Lynn’s own parkland areas:

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LABOUR LEADERSHIP ELECTION 

I will let these beautiful infographics culled from twitter do the talking for me on this one:

jcwiijcwiii

SOME AUTISM RELATED STUFF

As NAS West Norfolk Branch Secretary and as someone who is #ActuallyAutistic I am always glad to share really excellent autism related content, and I have two absolute gems for you:

Finally to end this section, as regular readers will know one of the activities I am involved in via NAS West Norfolk is Musical Keys, and this is an advert they have recently produced:

mk

THE FINISHING TOUCHES

One of my favourite blogs is that of singer Charlotte Hoather, who has just started at the Royal College of Music in London. Her post about her first week there can be viewed here.

To end this post I give you a series of pictures starring a snail…

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This is the original picture that I took.
snail-cropped
This is cropped but not otherwise edited.
snail-normal-edit
This is the snail after my normal editing routine.
snail-cb
This is a colour-boosted version.
snail-contrast-enhanced
This version has the contrast enhanced.
snail-the-works
Finally, this version has had the colour boosted and the contrast enhanced.

 

Championships and Contrivances

Some thoughts on the closing stages of this years County Championship, as it goes into its final day with three potential winners.

INTRODUCTION

Somerset are within touching distance of their first ever County Cricket Championship, but the situation is complicated by the fact that their only two rivals are in direct opposition.

THE CURRENT STATE OF PLAY

Courtesy of cricinfo, here is the situation in the key matches:

cricinfo

The situation is that a draw in the Middlesex v Yorkshire game is not enough for either side – the five points they would each gain from that would still leave them adrift of Somerset. Tomorrow is the last day of the match, which means that time constraints are well and truly in play. Clearly, with a draw rendered worthless by the situation both sides will do all in their power to win the game, which leads given time limitations to the question of just what would be acceptable in the way of a third innings declaration by Middlesex. It is possible that Yorkshire could win the match in the most satisfactory way, by taking the remaining eight Middlesex wickets early enough to give themselves an easy fourth innings target. For Middlesex the question would be how much risk could they take in setting a target bearing in mind that they have to have a legitimate chance of taking 10 wickets to do so?

ACCEPTABLE VS UNACCEPTABLE

Given that Middlesex are still 39 runs behind, unless Yorkshire deliberately concede runs to hasten a declaration (which would certainly cause raised eyebrows in Taunton) it is unlikely that Middlesex would be in a position to consider a declaration much before teatime. My own rough and ready view is that if come the tea break tomorrow Middlesex have a lead of somewhere in the region of 170 that in the circumstances would be an acceptable risk – Yorkshire would have to go for the target, and an asking rate of approximately 5.5 an over with no fielding restrictions would introduce enough risks that Middlesex could hope for the 10 wickets they need. A declaration giving Yorkshire 120 or so to chase in that final session would definitely (albeit actuated by very different motives) be verging on ‘Cronje’ territory, and almost regardless of when it was made, a declaration giving a target of under 100 should be considered as out and out match fixing.

Although I have indicated previously that as an underdog supporter I would like to see Somerset win, the key thing here is that any victory for Middlesex or Yorkshire should be seen to have been won out on the field, and not in the dressing rooms.

Another species of crow uses tools

A very interesting post about crows and tool use from whyevolutionistrue.

Here is an interesting diagram from later in the post…

nature19103-f1

Why Evolution Is True

The definition of “tool use” in animals is a bit controversial, depending as it does on whether the object is modified before it’s used as a tool. In its list of animal tool use, Wikpedia gives a widely-used definition proposed by Shumaker, Walkup, and Beck in their 2011 book Animal Tool Behavior: The Use and Manufacture of Tools by Animals:

“The external employment of an unattached or manipulable attached environmental object to alter more efficiently the form, position, or condition of another object, another organism, or the user itself, when the user holds and directly manipulates the tool during or prior to use and is responsible for the proper and effective orientation of the tool.”

And, according to the Wiki article, tools use is seen in 33 families of birds, including these (I have a video for each example):

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