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Bonhams

The Curtiss MF Seagull represents the era of flight, sailing, and engineering in one stunn...

Putting aside ugly flying cars, no one should fail to be moved by the gorgeous warm-colored wood, hammered copper trims and time-worn patina of this gorgeous piece of antiquity. One of the last known Curtiss MF Seagull Flying Boats is to be sold at auction on Tuesday April 13 at Bonhams in New York. Rich in history, this beautiful vintage sea plane was designed and created by engineer and aviator Glenn H. Curtiss, otherwise known as "the Father of Naval Aviation."  Read More

Sir Malcolm Campbell's first world water speed record trophy

Soon to go to auctioneers hammer is this silver trophy presented to daredevil and racing legend Sir Malcolm Campbell to commemorate his first world water speed record (126.33mph) on Lake Maggiore on September 1, 1937. Campbell is somewhat of a rarity in that he successfully competed in some of the earliest motorcycle and car racing events, won Grands Prix, broke the Land Speed Record nine times, the World Water Speed record four times, and was the first human to drive over 300 mph, and fought in WW1 in the RAF, yet he died of natural causes. Few such daredevils escaped death in their pursuits – his son Donald among their number.  Read More

The Bohmerland three-seater motorcycle

In the period prior to WW2, the automobile was beyond the financial reach of the average family and motorcycles with sidecars were commonplace as family transport. Enterprising Czech engineer Albin Liebisch embarked on a different philosophy, creating three and even four seat motorcycles sold in Germany under the brand Böhmerland. The 1937 Langtouren (long touring) model pictured is a three seater with two gearboxes, the second one requiring a passenger to change gears. The cast wheels were also a first for motorcycles.  Read More

The world's first motorcycle comes up for auction

An unrestored example (top left) of the very first vehicle to which the name ‘motorcycle’ (motorrad in German) was ever applied is to come up for auction in April. The 1895 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller motorcycle sounds like a modern motorcycle in its specification – twin-cylinder, four-valve, water-cooled, 1488cc engine – but it is indeed as unconventional as it is rare. Check out the diagram and you’ll see the rear wheel doubled as a pseudo flywheel and indeed, the piston connecting rods and the pushrods that actuate the valve gear are also attached to the rear wheel, there’s no clutch, no brakes and there’s a lot of work to be done on a machine that’ll cost you GBP40,000 to 60,000 before you start. At the end of it all though, you’ll have a bonafide centrepeice for any transport museum.  Read More

The Palawalan Princess is bigger than a baseball

The second largest pearl ever found is set to go under the auctioneer's hammer next week, and may fetch as much as US$400,000. Weighing 2.25 kg (5 lb), the pearl measures six inches in diameter and bears an uncanny resemblance to a human brain. The auction lot of the massive pearl will include the lower half of the giant clam (Tridacna Gigas) in which it formed in the coastal waters of the Philippines.  Read More

The November 2, 1936, BBC broadcast using the Marconi-EMI system

Although computers and the Internet have eaten away at the dominance of television, it remains the most popular form of entertainment and source of information in the world. And with the line between TV and computers blurring with the advent of Home Theater PCs (HTPCs) and devices like Apple TV it’s likely that television in one form or another will retain its crown for some time to come. Television is no longer limited to a big box sitting in the corner of the living room. It can be accessed on sexy, slim panels hung on a wall or on mobile phones while sitting on a train. In fact television is so pervasive today it can be hard to imagine life before it existed – but there was such a time, and it wasn’t even that long ago.  Read More

The Dalmore Oculus

Further proof that the GFC might be retreating and that the demon drink has indeed become a sound financial investment was the news that a bottle, err decanter, of Dalmore Oculus whisky sold for a GBP27,600 (USD47,000) at yesterday’s whisky auction at Bonhams Edinburgh (UK).  Read More

Michael Bennett-Levy's extraordinary collection of early technologies went under the hammer at Bonhams in London on Wednesday with 90% of the 758 lots on offer sold for a total of £683,384. A tidy sum no doubt, but having had the opportunity to examine the treasure trove closely, and the benefit of speaking at length to Bennett-Levy about the significance of key items, we can't help but conclude that many pieces were a steal for shrewd investors. The largest privately held collection of early televisions in the world - including 26 pre-war sets - made up a large slice of the auction and in the first of a series of interviews, Michael Bennett-Levy talks to Gizmag about outstanding items in his collection, starting with the much sought after Teleavia type P111, a rare 1958 console-stand television by Citroën DS designer Flaminio Bertroni that was not only a hallmark in style, but also one of the earliest examples of high-definition TV.  Read More

The auction includes 758 examples of almost all forms of early technology including many f...

The freight train progress of technology during the last century has masked the true value of landmark specimens of mankind’s technological triumphs. First-of-a-kind devices were quickly superseded and hence soon regarded as useless in comparison to newer, better equipment. Accordingly, we believe an auction to be held in London this week represents some of the finest medium-term investments we have ever seen, with a likelihood of their value increasing dramatically once historical perspective is restored. The auction includes 758 examples of almost all forms of early technology including many firsts – and the largest privately held collection of early televisions in the world.  Read More

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