Fine Art

Fine art is a staple of the dealing and auctioneering industry, featuring works ranging from Medieval art to traditional Old Masters, and right through to cutting-edge Contemporary art.

While oil paintings represent a large part of the sector, other mediums adopted by artists across the ages include drawings, watercolours, prints and photographs.

First case for France’s new auction watchdog as it acts over suspected fake paintings

05 January 2004

FRANCE’S new auction watchdog has flexed its muscles for the first time, banning two paintings – one attributed to Van Gogh, the other to Toulouse-Lautrec – from sale on suspicion of being fakes.

At £700,000, it’s nothing to sniff at…

16 December 2003

While Sotheby’s incorporated their best objects of vertu into their silver sale on November 20, Christie’s offered theirs in tandem with portrait miniatures in a 264-lot sale the following month on December 9. The vertu side of the sale performed particularly well, with hardly any failures, most of the 55 unsold lots coming from the miniatures.

Chalet girls clean up afterPooh sale

11 December 2003

A DRAWING by E.H. Shepard of Winnie the Pooh playing a balalaika raised bidding on a third edition of The House at Pooh Corner to £7000 in the Greenslade Taylor Hunt sale of November 13 – and although nothing else in the 825-lot Taunton catalogue came remotely close to that in financial terms, a few other lots deserve mention.

The hole in the sale’s heart left by beautiful Mrs Baldwin...

11 December 2003

THE secret of great art is supposed to be not what’s put in, but what’s left out, but unfortunately the same doesn’t apply to art sales. The star lot of Christie’s (19.5/12% buyer’s premium) November 26 auction of Important British & Irish Art was meant to be this impressively decorative Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) portrait, right, of the celebrated exotic Georgian beauty, Mrs Baldwin.

Russians turn up the heat in Lewes

05 December 2003

With Sotheby’s £6.7m Russian Pictures sale notching a hatful of records four days earlier, it was hardly a surprise to see some unfamiliar leather jacket-wearing, mobile phone-wielding characters turning up at Gorringes’ (15% buyer’s premium) November 21-23 sale at Lewes to view four paintings from the estate of a Knightsbridge-based lady who had once dealt in Russian objects.

Tsar is the star as Russian works enjoy a new popularity

05 December 2003

SILVER, VERTU AND RUSSIAN WORKS OF ART £1 = $1.67: Christie’s (19.5/12% buyer’s premium) New York silver department has reasons to be cheerful: their October 21 sale, which saw selling rates of 78 per cent by lot and 82 by value for a premium-inclusive total of $5.95m (£3.56m) was boosted further when New York dealers Shrubsole bought the magnificent Charles II silver-gilt toilet service once in the collection of J.P. Morgan for a low-estimate $450,000 (£269,460) after the sale.

Sotheby’s to stage Beaton tribute

17 November 2003

IN February 2004 Sotheby’s New Bond Street will mark the centenary of Cecil Beaton’s birth with an exhibition of his most celebrated photographs. Beaton at Large, which runs from February 10 to 20, will complement the National Portrait Gallery’s major retrospective, Cecil Beaton: Portraits, which runs from February 5 to May 3.

Withdrawn Canadian views go home

11 November 2003

WITHDRAWN from sale at the eleventh hour, a recently-discovered portfolio of late 18th century topographical watercolours of Canada have been sold by private treaty to Library and Archives Canada and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

For the Celts, the modern boom’s nothing new

29 October 2003

THE growing strength of the Modern British market has had plenty of publicity over the last couple of years, but strong demand for Post-War painting is hardly news to the Scottish and Irish collectors who have been faithfully backing the “Modern Celtic” market for decades.

Sassoon archive will be sold in Cornwall

29 October 2003

OVER 50 autograph letters and postcards addressed by Siegfried Sassoon to Professor Vivian de Sola Pinto are to be sold by Mill House Auctions of Helston on November 4, together with signed and inscribed copies of Sassoon’s books from de Sola Pinto’s library.

A wreck is raised by Old Glory

24 October 2003

London marine sales can be routine affairs, but there was a frisson of speculative interest in this unsigned and unattributed 19th century canvas, right, which ended the 171-lot picture section of Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) October 1 marine offering in Knightsbridge.

It’s not only rock ’n’ roll...

17 October 2003

CLOSING this Saturday (October 18) and not to be missed, is an exhibition of photographs by Michael Cooper at the Atlas Gallery, 49 Dorset Street, London W1. One of the great archives of 1960s photography, this show has prompted the Independent on Sunday to brand the snapper as “The Swinging Sixties’ poet of the lens”. Lennon, Magritte, Warhol, Burroughs, the Rolling Stones, Twiggy, and Hockney are all featured among the 37 photos priced from £800 to £6000.

The high rise of Fabergé...

16 October 2003

And now for something completely different...A high-rise flat on the outskirts of Glasgow is not the place one would expect to find works of art by the celebrated firm of Fabergé but that was the origin of the finely crafted photograph frame, right, offered on September 26 by Glasgow auctioneers McTears (15% buyer’s premium).

Promised Land fulfils its promise at £13,800

16 October 2003

Exceptional subjects still have the capacity to fetch exceptional prices, as the Bury St Edmunds auctioneers Lacy Scott & Knight (10% buyer’s premium) discovered when this unsigned and unattributed 19th century watercolour came under the hammer on September 20 with an estimate of £250-400.

Scott’s stereographic Antarctica

02 October 2003

A series of 73 stereoscopic photocards of Captain Scott’s first expedition to the Antarctic in Discovery, the National Antarctic Expedition of 1901-04, was sold at £1250 in a book, card and ephemera sale held by Acorn Auctions of Salford on September 9, where a collection of 19th century stereoscopic photographs of Sussex scenes, 51 in all, reached £200.

Lenkiewicz’s public love affair burns on

30 September 2003

The Establishment remains unconvinced but eccentric’s studio sale is a sell-out: HAVING claimed to have slept with 3000 women, and certainly having fathered at least 15 children and kept open studio for the entire community of local vagrants, one of whom he kept embalmed in a drawer for 15 years, the Plymouth painter Robert Lenkiewicz (1941-2002) was undoubtedly one of the great larger-than-life characters of British post-War art.

Did an earl help the £16,500 boat come in?

18 September 2003

The artist might have been unknown, the subject unconfirmed, but this unsigned 133/4 x 173/4in (35 x 45cm) Victorian oil, right, of figures on the deck of a yacht was nonetheless the most hotly contested lot at Stride & Son’s (15% buyer’s premium) August 29 sale in Chichester.

The artist now arriving...

16 September 2003

Fred T. Jane is a turn-of-the-century artist who doesn’t make much of an impact in the sort of standard reference works that line the office walls of serious auctioneers and dealers.

Coming up... Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) watercolour, Hull’s Mill

16 September 2003

If the forthcoming 20/21 British Art Fair at the Commonwealth Institute proves as successful as many dealers are hoping, there will be no shortage of competition for this signed and inscribed Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) watercolour, right, Hull’s Mill, coming up for sale at the Stansted Mountfichet rooms of Sworders (15% buyer’s premium) on October 21.

£4200 picture of contentment

26 August 2003

The strong collecting base for miniatures has cushioned this market from the wider economic vagaries that have affected other more trade-dependent fields such as furniture and silver. Bonhams Bond Street (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) specialist Emma Rutherford reckoned around 80 per cent of entries sold privately in their 193-lot routine miniature and silhouettes sale back on July 1. “Our buyers tend to be retired and tend to have their money readily accessible,” she said.

Categories

News