Written by Tom | Published on 13th December 2021
When it comes to curiosities, Catawiki has long made a home for them. From the most remarkable objects to the bizarre, we celebrate some of this year’s most special and sometimes unexpected objects that may inspire even the most curious bidders.
The ancient royal sarcophagus
This ancient Egyptian sarcophagus was made for a royal known as Lady Setscha-iret-binet, daughter of Her-iou and remains in as immaculate a condition as a stone coffin possibly can be. Carved with details that pay homage to Egyptian deities such as Anubis, the jackal god, and Osiris, the god of the deceased, the sarcophagus is an eerie but beautiful memento of the ancient Egyptians’ treatment of and tribute to death.
The Michael Jordan debut ticket
Like any good collector, sports fans will go to great lengths to salvage a piece of their favourite team or player’s achievements. This ticket marked the debut game of NBA icon Michael Jordan, still regarded as one of, if not the greatest, basketball players to have ever existed. It sold at auction for €12,500. In mint condition, it’s a reminder of MJ’s record-setting debut, where he netted 16 points for the Chicago Bulls and changed their fortunes on the court for years to come.
The micro book
The saying goes that good things come in small packages and that’s never been more true than with this micro book that’s miniature even by miniature standards. An almanac from 1832, this tiny but wordy gem is sized at 27mm in length and 18mm in width. It’s filled with songs, engravings and even a calendar depicting the holy saints from 1832. It sold for €175 to a bidder who we can only hope also invested in some excellent reading glasses.
The aircraft table
The beauty of design and interiors is that there really are no rules. This aircraft table is a bold example of just that; a cavalier sayonara to the conventional and a finish that’s memorable at the very least. Made from a 9-cylinder aircraft engine and topped with a glass table, it’s an unusual twist on industrial style that sold for an impressive €2,650.
The carriage handbag
This handbag designed in the shape of a traditional horse drawn carriage is the definition of a statement accessory. Designed by Florentine label Braccialini, it’s a brown leather number complete with stitched windows, custom floral curtains and even its own set of wagon wheels. Snapped up for a tidy €305, this bag is bound to turn heads, whatever the reason.
The Habana radio
We’ve long professed our love for radios, however, this walnut-lacquered ‘Habana’ tube radio is worthy of extra attention. Made in Paris during the 1920s, it’s an example of the type of radios popular at the time, designed with ‘tubes’ that produced electrical signals such as radio signals. Nowadays, tubes are rarely used in electrical devices, making this four-tube radio something of a timekeep and an example of engineering ingenuity.
The Lumière brothers’ projector
Icons of Lyon, France and cinema, the Lumière brothers' influence on photography and cinematography remains unmatched today. This projector is one of the few purchasable pieces of theirs, with the majority of their work showcased at the Institut Lumière in Lyon. Designed by J. Carpentier for the brothers in 1897, it’s one of the earliest examples of motion picture projectors in the world, which may explain why it sold for a staggering €19,500.
The helpful toadstool
The toadstool as it’s fondly known, is a familiar face in Dutch society. Predominantly used as signage and way-finding for cyclists in rural areas, they’re meant to be unobtrusive signs that passersby can read quickly when in need of direction. This toadstool was taken from the Dutch island of Vrieland, and after years of pointing the way home for many a lost soul, sold for a tidy €2,660 in 2021.
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