Introducing the Gizmag Store

Bonhams

The car in question doing its job

The greater share of the value of any significant collector car is in the provenance – who sat in the seat before you, and experienced the same vehicle, can make a massive difference to the price the car commands. What then of a car that was specifically built for, and used, by Pope Paul VI? It went on to become the focal point of countless ticker tape parades for the first astronauts to orbit the moon (Apollo 8's Borman, Lovell and Anders), the first astronauts to set foot on the moon (Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, plus Command Module Pilot Michael Collins) plus Apollo 13's Lovell, Mattingly and Haise and Apollo 15's Scott, Worden and Irwin, President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Vice President Hubert Humphrey. How much will it go for?  Read More

Does this AJS Porcupine deserve to become the world's most expensive motorcycle?

It seems the world auction record for a motorcycle is expected to fall later this year when a 1954 AJS E95 Porcupine grand prix racer will go under the hammer. The only thing I can’t work out is “why all the fuss?” The 1949 E90 AJS Porcupine narrowly won the inaugural World 500cc championship, but by 1954 the design was obsolete and the subsequent unreliable E95 never won a race at world championship level in three seasons of trying. That’s not stopping Bonhams from talking it up (its claim that the bike is “arguably the most beautiful, graceful and innovative racing motorcycle ever built” is just plain ridiculous) and it is expecting a sale price in excess of US$750,000 which would put it on top of the list of the most expensive motorcycles sold at auction.  Read More

Less than 1500 copies of the Liber chronicarum (Nuremberg Chronicle) were printed in Latin...

It’s easy to become blasé in the ubiquitous, 24-7 avalanche of information in which we live our lives – the challenge now is about filtering, organizing and synthesizing information into a useful and relevant form. Think back though to an earlier time when the very first books became available to the public, when the treasure trove of knowledge in our pocket that we take for granted simply did not exist. A book coming up for auction, the Liber Chronicarum (1493), was one of the very first history books available, one of the first printed illustrated books available and its scope is remarkable given it was produced 500 years ago.  Read More

The recent Eric Clapton guitar and amp auction at Bonhams New York raised $2.15 million fo...

Everything that went under the hammer at the recent sale of guitars and amps at Bonhams in aid of Eric Clapton's Crossroads Centre was sold, bringing in three times the amount expected. For the first time, the legendary musician offered amps and cabinets from his own collection, including a 1966 Fender Super Reverb. The sale also included instruments from Fender, Music Man, Gibson and Martin as well as memorabilia and collectibles, and attracted fans from all over the world, hoping to take home a piece of Clapton history.  Read More

The spacesuits of Gennadi Strekalev (left) and Alexei Leonov (right)

More space history will go on sale in New York on May 5 when Bonhams will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Alan Shepard’s historic mission in Freedom 7 with a Space Sale. Some early highlights of the sale include a Sokol K spacesuit worn by cosmonaut Alexei Leonov during the historic 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Project (the symbolic end to the Space Race) and a Sokol KV-2 spacesuit worn by Gennadi Strekalov during a 1990 mission to the Mir space station. Can you tell which is which?  Read More

Charles Burton's historic skyscraper design (left) and the Crystal Palace in 1910

While the debate continues as to whether the world's first skyscraper was the the Home Insurance Building built in Chicago in 1885, or New York's seven floor Equitable Life Assurance Building built in 1870, it seems that the British pipped the Americans to the post in terms of a design. British architect Charles Burton designed a 1,000 foot (305 meter) high metal and glass building in response to a call to redesign The Crystal Palace, the famous London exhibition building, 30-odd years before the American buildings were erected. Burton's historic design sketch is headed for the auction block this week.  Read More

Eric Clapton with a signed 2006 'Blackie' recreation Stratocaster, estimated at between US...

Although guitar legend Eric Clapton has auctioned off instruments from his personal collection before, next year's sale will mark the first time that he's made some of his amps available, too. Players looking to grab a slice of Slow Hand tone, fans of the man they called God, or music memorabilia collectors will all get the chance to bid on over 70 of the icon's own guitars and 70 of his amps. Donations from other famous musicians will also go under the hammer, with all profits going to the substance abuse center in Antigua that Clapton founded in the late 1990s.  Read More

The 'Game of War' package that is being auctioned off in London

If you’re a fan of the military strategy game Risk, then you definitely might be interested in this: on October 13th, Bonhams Auction House in London will be selling off an “extremely rare” copy of The Game of War, a complex military board game dating from 1890. Unlike Risk, which is played for amusement and to shed excess friends, The Game of War was designed to be played by real military officers, to train them for the upcoming First World War. It was based on Kriegsspiel, a war game invented by Lieutenant Georg von Reiswitz in the early 19th century for training officers in the Prussian army. If you’re interested, however, be sure to stop by the bank machine on your way there – the game is expected to fetch between £1,500 to £2000, or US$2,330 to $3,100.  Read More

To alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems - Homer Simpson

Whisky may not be everyone's idea of a sound financial investment, but as we have reported previously, as long as you choose wisely and resist drinking it, IT IS! With that in mind, you may wish to consider an exceptionally rare bottle of Glenfiddich coming up for auction next month. It is one of only 61 bottles produced by the distillery in 1937 and is the first to appear at auction. Having matured for 64 years it is also one of the oldest whiskies ever released and is expected to fetch between GBP15,000 - 20,000 (US$22,250 – 29,670).  Read More

1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmuller - world’s first production motorcycle sells for GBP86,200

The rare appearance of an 1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller on the auction block on April 25 caused considerable excitement across the world in the preceding months. Gizmag covered the history and heritage of the machine in great detail prior to the auction and we're not surprised that a far-from-pristine example of the world's first production motorcycle should fetch an above-estimate GBP86,200.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 26,499 articles