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Posts Tagged ‘Bonhams

The Perils of Early Adoption…

On November 26, 1936, three weeks after television transmissions began in England, Mr G.B. Davis of Dulwich (south–east London) paid 99 pounds. 15 shillings– over half the average annual wage of the day, equivalent to almost 4,000 pounds today– for the seventh television set manufactured in the UK, a Marconi “Type 702, number 1-007.”  The receiver had a 12-inch screen contained in a walnut and mahogany case, with a mirror in the lid onto which the picture was reflected.

But poor Mr. Davis (presumably along with his fellow early enthusiasts) was able to enjoy his pioneering purchase for only a few hours: three days after he took the plunge, the nearby Crystal Palace and its transmitter burned down.  The area could not receive television pictures again until 1946.

But Mr. Davis’ loss is his grandchildren’s gain.  Bonham’s is set to auction the set later this month. There are more Stradivarius violins in existence that pre-war TVs, so the auction house expects the set to fetch much more than it’s pre-sale estimate of 5,000 pounds.

Read the full story in The Telegraph.

As we summon memories of Sid Caesar and Soupy Sales, we might recall that it was on this date in 1953 that the first color 3-D feature film premiered– House of Wax.  Shot with a two-camera process, and viewed through “stereo” glasses with differently tinted lens, the film grossed a then-impressive $4.3 million.  It launched its star, Vincent Price, on a career in the horror genre, and goosed the careers of his supporting players, Phyllis Kirk and Charles Buchinsky (who shortly thereafter changed his name to Charles Bronson).  House of Wax kicked off the first period of enthusiasm for 3-D films (the second, a year-long period in the 70s); we are, of course, currently in the third.

source

Owning a piece of the past: an investment option for our times?…

source: Bonhams

As one passes the first anniversary of the failure of Lehman Brothers, one might be wondering where (beyond one’s mattress) one should be parking what’s left of one’s resources.

As Wired.com reports, the auctioneers Bonhams have an idea:  natural history artifacts.  The 42 items to be gaveled in a sale to held in Las Vegas on October 3 range from a fossilized fish, estimated to go for about $1,000, to a 66 million-year-old T-Rex skeleton (above), one of the best ever found– and estimated to fetch as much as $8 million.  Other highlights include the largest shark jaw ever found, a giant pig skull, and the skeleton of a duck-billed dinosaur.

Collectables, of course, have an uneven history as investments…  but then, how’s that stock portfolio doing this last year or so?

As we rethink our portfolios (and the arrangement of our living rooms), we might recall that it was on this date in 1949 that Warner. Bros. introduced the Road Runner in the cartoon short “Fast and Furry-ous.”  Created by Michael Maltese and the incomparable Chuck Jones, The Road Runner’s “beep, beep” (like the sounds of most other Warner Bros. cartoon characters) was voiced by Mel Blanc.

The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote make their debut

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