James and Sons January Catalogue Now Available Online

Announcing that the catalogue for James and Sons’ January auction is now available for viewing online and showing some of the highlights.


The catalogue for James and Sons’ first auction of 2018, which takes place at James and Sons HQ in Fakenham on January 31st is now available for viewing online (and we expect printed copies to be ready by the end of this week). The rest of this post shows some of the highlights awaiting you, category by category.


Of course this section is dominated by lot 17, the Jutland medal group (see here for more details), but that is not the only item of interest by any means:

This Trench Mace will kick of thbe auction.
Jutland 7
Lot 17
Zulu Spear – lot 26
Lot 72




LOTS 249-380 COINS





There are no lots in the range 501-600. I have already covered the stamps in a previous post


A mixture to end the auction…

Lot 856
Lot 857
Lot 858
Lot 859
Lot 860 – a close look athe markings on these pens will tell you why there are four of them in the set.
The next three images (lots 881, 882 and 883) are motoring badges from yesteryear.


Lot 861 – there are 24 slides in total in the wooden box…
…of which my employer wanted close-up shots of four…
…and a very close up shot of this one to feature in the printed catalogue.
We end with lot 855 (four-image gallery) – a very interesting little commemorative clock.


Super Sharing Saturday – Science and Nature

A science based post, with some work related pictures and a link to an online catalogue at the end.


Welcome to the next post in this series of sharing posts. Our theme in this one is nature, and while most of the pieces I am linking to are about the present, we being with a journey back to…


This was when our ancestors first moved from the sea to the land. The usual reckoning is that the key development that led to this happening was to do with limbs, which would seem to be common sense. However, according to this piece on astrobio.net, there is an alternative view now being proposed that the key development was actually to do with vision not limbs. As is now my custom I am using an image to link to the full article:

Now we move back to the present, and we start with a distressing story about…


As wild rhino numbers continue to decline the poachers whose activities are most directly responsible for this decline are becoming more brazen. This story concerns a Rhino in a zoo which was shot for its horn. The saddest aspect of this story is that the wealthy Chinese who buy most rhino horns do so based on alleged properties of the substance that are entirely fictional – this is the same stuff that our own finger nails are made of, and no one would pay big money for those. As usual, the link is in the accompanying image.


WEIT provide an introduction to the video, which you can read by clicking here. The video itself is embedded below for your delectation:


We end with a look, courtesy of rationalisingtheuniverse, at the neutrino. We have an image to serve as a link again:



Here to finish are some of my photographs:

The printed catalogue for the March auction is now ready. Clicking this image will take you to an online version
Appropriate for a science based post – a telescope (lot 970)


Lot 954 – a silver calling card holder
Commemorative coins and medallions are frequently to be found in our sales, commemorative soap bars less so!


These last six images are of lots 977, 978 and 979 (obverse and then reverse of each of these pewter plates)





An account of Wednesday’s auction at the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich, with a few other bits and bobs, including another mention of the Positive Autism Awareness Conference.


Although mainly concerned with the James and Sons auction that took place the day before yesterday, this post will also mention a few other things at the end.


This section divides into several subsections, starting with…


Given the early hour at which it was necessary for me to be at the venue and the fact that I was not returning straight to King’s Lynn but was instead going to my parents because we were going to a bridge evening at the Jolly Sailors I decided to aim to be on the 5:55AM X1 bus to Norwich, with the more circuitous X8/X29 route, the first of which departs at 6:10AM as back up.

I achieved my intended aim of being on the 5:55AM bus and this bus not only departed on time, it benefited from a clear run along the A47 to arrive at Norwich bus station precisely when it was supposed to. I then walked down to the Maids Head, picking up a few photos along the way as I was in plenty of time…


All the stuff for the auction had to unloaded from the van and set up in the room we were using (the Erpingham room) at The Maids Head, and a few things had to be moved around for the room to properly organised for our purposes. That and a few technical hitches notwithstanding (mere trifles such as initially having no internet connection!) all was ready by 9AM when the first viewers started to arrive.


The auction started quietly, with only a few people present at the venue and no one bidding online on the early lots, but the internet bidding started at just after lot 100, and was very lively at certain points – lot 204 with an estimate of £50-60 went for £260, lots 283 and 286 both went for substantially above estimate, and a sequence of sets of penny reds with Great Western Railway perfins saw some spirited bidding involving a room and an internet bidder, with half a dozen lots estimated at 10-15 actually getting three figures a piece.

These are some of the penny reds which caused such excitement.

Lots 597 and 737 both sold very cheap to yours truly (even with buyers premium there was change from £15 for the two lots put together). Here they are…

In connection with these pieces of railwayana, a quick reminder of my London transport themed website, www.londontu.be.


The last lot went under the hammer not very long after 2PM, after which everything that had not gone to people in the room had to be loaded back on to the van. Then my colleague Andrew and I travelled back to Fakenham in the van. My initial plan had been to get the 17:38 bus on from Fakenham to East Rudham, but because we were ahead of schedule, but not sufficiently so for there to be a likelihood of me catching the 15:38, and because the weather showed its teeth when we just east of Fakenham, Andrew very kindly gave me a lift to East Rudham. I worked out that I had handled some of these lots seven separate times (carrying them to my imaging area, carrying them to the storage area, carrying them down to the shop for viewing, carrying them the shop to the van, carrying them from the van to auction venue, carrying them from the auction venue to the van and finally carrying them from the van back to the shop).


My early arrival at East Rudham proved useful – my parents had unearthed some silver spoons which needed to photographed with a view to selling them. I have two picture galleries in this connection, both created from the same set of originals – the first using Microsoft’s own image editing software, and the second, which I unveil for the first time, using my own image editing software, which was designed specifically for use with Nikon Coolpix cameras…

This is the set of images created using Microsoft software…

This was the result when I edited the same photos using my own software.

The bridge went well after a poor start – I emerged plus 13 on the evening (65p at Jolly Sailors stakes).


Monday 1st February: James and Sons feature on Antiques Road Trip – episode on air on BBC1 at 4:30PM (should be available on i-player by 6PM) – I am the guy in the red jacket sat next to the auctioneer.

Wednesday 24th February: James and Sons auction at Fakenham Racecourse, starts at 10AM. This auction features a wide variety of lots, beginning with bonds, passing through banknotes, coins, stuff from HMS Britannia, Ephemera and Militaria before finishing with Stamps.

Friday 15th April: Positive Autism Awareness Conference, the Dukes Head Hotel, King’s Lynn – for more information check out the following links:

Yesterday’s blog post dedicated to this event

West Norfolk NAS’s facebook page

The Facebook event listing

West Norfolk NAS’s website



I have shared some of London mayoral candidate Sian Berry’s transport related ideas on www.londontu.be:

London City Airport

Fair Fares

This is the official Fair Fares piece

Having provided these excellent suggestions Sian has turned her attention to London’s sky high rents, with this proposal for a London Renter’s Union

If you are eligible to vote in this election I urge you to vote for Sian Berry.


Catalogue Now available for James and Sons’ November 25th Auction

A blog post embodying the announcement that the catalogue for my employers upcoming auction is now ready for viewing.


The catalogue for James and Sons’ auction at Fakenham Racecourse on November 25th is now available. Printed copies can be picked up at James and Sons’ premises at 5 Norwich Street, Fakenham for £4, while an online catalogue can be viewed here.


Yesterday I sent an email our to a large number of people about this auction, a jpg of which I reproduce below:




For the extra pictures I am going to concentrate on the silver vesta cases, most of which I was able to scan at very high resolution, but some of which I had to photograph, and because they are silver photographing them came with the challenge of minimizing reflections and avoiding the distorting effects caused by strong artificial light shining on silver…

Lot 63.
Lot 63.

63-a 63-b

Lot 64, usually convexity is what prevents small items from being scannable, this time it was concavity.
Lot 64, usually convexity is what prevents small items from being scannable, this time it was concavity.

64-a 64-b DSCN7254

Lot 210 - this was particularly tough to get a good image of.
Lot 210 – this was particularly tough to get a good image of.
Lot 49, first of the vesta cases the needed to be photographed rather than scanned.
Lot 49, first of the vesta cases the needed to be photographed rather than scanned.

49-a 49-b

The vesta cases that were scannable were these…

This is lot 47, the last lot you will see is lot 65 (lot 210, the big bulbous vesta case seen earlier is this only one out of sequence.
This is lot 47, the last lot you will see is lot 65 (lot 210, the big bulbous vesta case seen earlier is this only one out of sequence.

47-a 47-b 48 48-a 48-b 50 50-a 50-b 51 51-a 51-b 52 52-a 52-b 53 53-a 53-b 54 54-a 54-b 55 55-a 55-b 56 56-a 56-b 57 57-a 57-b 58 58-a 58-b 59 59-a 59-b 60 60-a 60-b 61 61-a 61-b 62 62-a 62-b 65 65-a 65-b

A Hard Day’s Imaging


I have a few links to share with you, but most of the post will be taken up with the title piece.


The catalogue for the Great Centenary Charity Auction is now available in printed form. For more detail please consult the official post on www.greatcharity.org, which can be viewed here. Just to whet the appetiite further here is a glimps of the cover…

GCCA Catalogue


Having knocked the Great Charity Centenary Auction on the head, today was almost entirely devoted to imaging for James and Sons own June auction. I imaged a wide variety of lots today, and reckoning that pictures speak louder than words, the rest of this section will be images of some the better lots…

This is lot 1 - starting as we would like to continue!
This is lot 1 – starting as we would like to continue!

1a 517 589 626 626a 630 630a 647 647a 647b 777 777a 786 786a 791


Just three links with this post, these two related stories from Patheos:

1) Yet another creationist (Ken Ham in this case) makes a fool of himself.

2) Miley Cyrus shows herself to be capable of being sensible.

Our final link is to a piece in The Mirror about the DWP’s continuing effort to avoid revealing just how many people have died as a result of welfare cuts.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and will be inspired to share it.

Cricket, Imaging Auction Lots and a bit more

Another day, another collection of splendid pictures.

I notice that England are going well in the first test match of the summer, having bounced back from a decidedly shaky 120-4 to 575-9d – and that after being put into bat. Joe Root with 200 not out played the big innings around which others, notably Prior (86), Moeen Ali (48), Broad (47) and Plunkett (39) could chip in. Tomorrow I will actually be able to listen the play, and it promises to be an interesting day.

At James and Sons I have been imaging lots for the July sale (PR drive coming soon), and have some interesting pictures from that. I also have some non-work pictures for you. I was also given r3esponsibility for safely storing three pieces of Chester silver which will be lots 1-3 at that sale.

If you should chance to visit www.facebook.com/GreatAuction you will see one picture that I have posted today, and there is another scheduled for this evening. Also of course do not forget www.twitter.com/great_auction and of course extra detail, including ideas for donations, and how you could make such donations can be seen at www.greatcharity.org

Now for the pictures…


I decided to include the whole gallery for this Daguerrotype from the US Civil War
I decided to include the whole gallery for this Daguerrotype from the US Civil War

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