Author Archives: gaukartifact

The history of the silver apple corer

One of the reasons why people specialise in silver is that the study of such is often associated with the object rather than the maker. Whereas some enthusiasts become incredibly focused on Dr Wall period Worcester, or 18th century Meissen Kandler figures, for example, the study of silver is Read more


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The legendary Rocket Firing Boba Fett has long been considered the Holy Grail of Star Wars toy geekdom. A small number of production samples were made and escaped into the wild before the Imperial Federal Government decided that parents weren’t smart enough to make decisions and decreed said Read more

What makes the Stradivarius violin so special?

A well-preserved Stradivarius violin was recently sold in an online auction for a record £9.8m. However most will fetch anything over £1.000,000. What is it about the violins made by Italian craftsman Stradivari that makes the instruments so valuable?
Over the years, various theories have been touted in a bid Read more

The Story of The Tin Can

Tin cans have, in 200 years, changed the way the world eats. But Victorian disgust over a cheap meat scandal almost consigned the invention to rejection and failure.

Bryan Donkin left the chimney smoke of the city behind as his carriage headed south through Bermondsey, with the Duke of Kent’s Read more

Antiques of America

We often refer to antiques as Edwardian, Victorian, Georgian, etc. but how do Americans refer to their antiques?
American antiques have well established styles. In the early years, they tended to contrast with more ornate European styles, but eventually came to reflect and influence those across the Atlantic.
American antiques dates Read more


Spode Marks
About Spode
Spode is a Stoke-on-Trent based pottery company that was founded by Josiah Spode (1733-1797) in 1770. Josiah Spode earned renown for perfecting under-glaze blue transfer printing in 1783-1784 – a development that led to the launch in 1816 of Spode’s Blue Italian range which has remained in Read more

The Bentley Collection

Part two sold on the 27th September 2012 for an incredible £2.25m and included the record breaking price of £780,000 achieved for the 1920 Sydney Mint Sovereign
Regarding the 1920 Sydney Mint sovereign Baldwin’s state that:
 “the greatest rarity in the Colonial Gold Sovereign Series, most specimens are housed in institutions Read more

Selected Highlights from the David Fore Collection

1839 Rupee – Unique in private hands with two others in the Calcutta mint.

Obverse: Head to left. VICTORIA QUEEN This Pattern was produced by a native die cutter due to the slowness of the dies coming from London and the need for coinage. The fact that it was rejected Read more

Toys at auction

To whet your appetite here’s our top five favourite lots to go under the hammer at Aston’s to date!
1904 Bing Open Tourer

This very rare antique toy was found local to Aston’s in a loft in Dudley! Several ‘telephone bidders’ battled it out, whilst bidders in the room simply gasped in amazement as Read more