Antique teaware: Japan

The Japanese inherited tea from the ancient empire of China. There the art of tea was already ages old, a gentle pleasure that ran back to antiquity. It is perhaps fitting that tea arrived in Japan in 805, the same century that saw the writing of the Cha …

Antique teaware: China

"A cup of tea is a cup of peace." Soshitsu Sen XV   Tea is for some a repast and for others a religion.  It entered history as a medicinal brew during the Han dynasty of China (206 BC–220 AD), although folk tales mention tea being drunk …

Definitive and commemorative stamps

Stamps used to come to us stuck on letters and that is how many of us started collecting them.   Now that the snail mail is becoming extinct, stamp collecting is waning too, a victim of the rise of digital technology.   Although …

Picture postcards

Deltiology, the study and collecting of picture postcards, is thought to be third largest collecting hobby in the world.   Once upon a time, weary travellers knew that their first duty upon arriving at a destination was to buy a bunch of picture …

The R5 Griqua Town coin

If you are a regular visitor to the bidorbuy Coins and Notes category, you may have noticed there is a relative new-comer: the R5 Griqua Town coin.   This commemorative coin was issued in 2015 by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to mark the …

Grading notes in South Africa

It's finally here!   We are all aware of the note grading companies overseas. The problem with overseas grading is the cost due to the rand/dollar rate, the time it takes to send out and receive and of course, the shipping costs. All in all it …

Jellyfish on South African stamps

Jellyfish are not everyone’s cup of tea. Some find these creatures vaguely repulsive, probably due their mushy and squashy physique. Some find them positively terrifying, a state of mind that seems to be in close correlation to having been stung by a …

Royal Albert porcelain

The name Royal Albert brings to mind delicate tea cups that Victorians might have used. For a good reason: Victorians did use them.   If Thomas Wild and Co. wanted to win the favour of the upper British classes by naming their table and tea …

Rare and expensive

A  Rolex watch can be much, much more always expensive, but this 9 Carat Gold Rolex Half Hunter pocket watch, to give it its full name, is what the seller justifiably calls “a rare find”. It dates from around 1920s or 1930s and, old as it is, still works …

Spade, lion, turtle

And the first coin ever minted was… read on to find out!   Today, you can’t trade if you don’t have money. Long ago, it was the other way around: you didn’t need money if there was no trade.   That is why the first “true” coins …