Category Archives: News

World record in record collecting – The Archive

Picuture of Title, The Archive, against a shelf of recordsThis is a wonderful short film made by American filmmaker Sean Dunne about 4 years ago.

The film called ‘The Archive’  tells the story of legally blind record collector, Paul Mawhinney from Pittsburgh, PA, who has been collecting records for over 40 years. He has now accumulated what must be a world record in record collecting, apologies for the obvious pun there, but his collection now boasts an incredible 1 million albums and over 1.5 million singles.

He is now retiring and is in the process of selling his archive.




Mawhinney was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Over the years he has amassed what is believed to be the world’s largest record collection. Due to health issues and a struggling record industry he is now being forced to sell his collection.

This is the story of a man and his records, beautifully told by a talented filmmaker. Hope you enjoy it.



Anthony Vizzari – A tale of cameras, booths and bodies.

Cameraman Philip Bloom has worn many hats through-out his career, amongst them photographer, blogger, entrepreneur, educator, writer, marketeer.  Apologies if I have missed any. It is through his wonderful talents as a film-maker however that he has risen to prominence outside of his industry.

He has made many fine short films over the past number of years, many of which can be seen on his site, or on his Vimeo page. One of my favourites is his short documentary about the camera shop owner and collector Anthony Vizzari.

Vizzari sells antique photographic equipment, cameras etc. but also collects old antique Photo-Booths. The short documentary film below by Bloom, tells Vizzari’s story and also delves deeper into another interesting but macabre subject that Vizzari has been collecting for years. (Warning some of the images can be a bit disturbing)


Booths & Bodies: The life and work of Anthony Vizzari from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.



Record price for newly found Chinese vase.

Record breaking oriental vase

An extraordinary price of £51m was achieved yesterday for a Chinese vase discovered in a regular clearance of a bungalow’s contents in north London.

The vase, part of an inheritance put on sale by a brother and sister at Middlesex auctioneers Bainbridges of Ruislip, is from the Qianlong period, c.1740s to late 1790s, an era renowned in China for the quality and perfection of its porcelain.

The scenes in the auction room were reminiscent of the bidding war that erupted at Irish auction house Sheppards of Durrow in March, when another Qianlong vase went from €50 to €100,000 within the space of a couple of seconds. At Bainbridges the astonished punters watched in awe as the gravity defying bids increased by increments of one million pounds at a time.

The discovery of such a vase would be a major find for any auction house, but it is especially sweet for Bainbridges, a 30 year old company which is not one of the major London auction houses.

The blog on the Bainbridges website (yes I said ‘Blog’, Irish auctioneers please note!), tracked the growing excitement within the company as they came to realize the extent of their good luck and indeed that of their clients. The entry posted on November 1st, sums it up.

Bainbridges auction catalogue

‘…I can’t easily explain the excitement that is building up here in Ruislip. In the normal course of our business and from a local house clearance we have received generous instructions to offer what must be one of the most important Chinese vases to be offered for sale this century. ‘

Hyperbole not withstanding, all the research pointed to something very special. When they placed an estimate of between £800,000 and £1.2m on the vase, it was backed up by more than just gut instinct and hopeful guesswork.

It is often said that all you need to get a good price at auction is to have two bidders present who want to buy the same item. If you paraphrase that to, countless bidders with newly-found riches from the orient, competing for a unique piece of Chinese Imperial history, you get what is reputedly the highest price paid for any Chinese work of art at auction.

The 16in high masterpiece was eventually knocked down to a private buyer from mainland China, who unsurprisingly wishes to remain anonymous. With a hammer value of £43m, along with auctioneers commission fees of 20% (plus taxes), the buyer will eventually pay an amount somewhere in the region of £51m.

Further report from Sky News