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.

Full house as photo fair attracts specialists from around the world

13 May 2004

THIS Sunday May 16, the second London Photograph Fair of the year will take place in Bloomsbury at the Bonnington Hotel in Southampton Row.

That Lowry moment captured forever…

13 May 2004

COLLECTORS who love the art of L.S. Lowry but can only afford Helen Bradley (1900-1979) were presented with the picture of their dreams when this 11 by 14in (27 x 36cm) oil, right, of the momentous and inspirational meeting between Lowry and Bradley outside the 1955 Saddleworth Art Group’s Exhibition came up for sale at the Chichester rooms of Henry Adams (15% buyer’s premium) on April 28.

Film critic with an eye for prints and drawings

11 May 2004

ALEXANDER Walker, who died last year at the age of 73, was the film critic of London’s Evening Standard for more than 40 years and among the well-known names in the film world. Not so well known is that he was a noted collector of modern art.

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Picasso knocks Van Gogh off the top spot with $93m portrait study

11 May 2004

AUCTION history was duly made at Sotheby’s New York on the evening of Wednesday, May 5 when Picasso’s iconic 1905 Rose Period canvas, Garçon à la Pipe, was knocked down for a hammer price of $93m (£54.7m), making it the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction.

Pocket-sized appeal of history on a grand scale

11 May 2004

RUSSIAN interest in their own heritage propelled the prices of two Imperial Russian subjects in the Albion collection, sold at Bonhams' (19.5/10% buyer's premium) New Bond Street rooms on April 22, to very high levels.

Sashes with youthful dash

11 May 2004

STUDIES of children tend to be one of the most popular subjects for miniature collectors, and there was plenty of choice in the Albion collection sold at Bonhams' (19.5/10% buyer's premium) New Bond Street rooms on April 22, enough indeed for the room to demonstrate some distinct preference.

Rival trio at Sudbury set new record for Bawden watercolour

05 May 2004

INTENSE competition between three bidders on the telephone and two in the room pushed the watercolours of Edward Bawden (1903-1989) into new financial territory when this signed and dated, 1956 composition, right, House at Ironbridge, fetched £10,500 at the Sudbury, Suffolk rooms of Olivers (12.5% buyer’s premium) on April 1.

An impossible overall view... but Snowdon is sale high point

05 May 2004

JOHN Varley Senior (1778-1842) was one of the most prolific watercolourists of his generation, exhibiting no fewer than 700 works at the Old Water Colour Society between 1805 and 1842.

A £30,000 surprise, but it’s not a sleeping Old Master

05 May 2004

WHEN a small, unattributed Old Master painting sells at £30,000 in the provinces the S-word usually gets plenty of use.

Athlete to star in Australia

05 May 2004

ACQUIRED for £52,000 by the Australian businessman John Schaeffer at Christie’s, London in June 1996, this striking oil on canvas, right, A Dancing Athlete with an Olive Branch, by Frederic Leighton (1830-1896), comes under the hammer again on May 15.

The Vettriano factor of 1888 ... Backdated feel-good nostalgia and a limited technique ... does Sadler’s appeal sound familiar?

05 May 2004

HAVE we just had a glimpse of the Jack Vettriano market in 100 years’ time? Any connection between the Walter Dendy Sadler (1854-1923) painting of three top-hatted Regency gentlemen being served a bottle of port in an inn garden which made £50,000 at the Cambridge rooms of Cheffins (15% buyer’s premium) on April 22, and the £660,000 Singing Butler might seem tenuous in the extreme.

William Randolph Hearst and his Bavarian connections...

05 May 2004

RECENT auctions held by Pacific Book Auctions have tended to be driven to a large extent by absentee bidding and by those using the ‘Real-Time Bidder’ internet option, but for a March 25 sale devoted to one man’s collection of letters, photographs, drawings and other mementoes relating to the life of William Randolph Hearst, those old fashioned habits of turning up in the room or even just picking up a telephone were dusted off.

But older prints need the Nelson touch

28 April 2004

UNLIKE the market for oil paintings, where traditional images appear to be going through something of a mini-revival, print auctions show signs of being a sector where the critical mass of demand has shifted permanently towards Modern and Contemporary.

A mixed picture at Belgian art sales

28 April 2004

THERE was some erratic bidding for the pictures which dominated Belgian auctions in March.

The Raj comes to Bury Street

28 April 2004

ST JAMES'S specialists in Asian art Jonathan Tucker and Antonia Tozer are among the many exhibitors who enjoyed success at the recent International Asian Art Fair in New York where they sold some fine early monumental pieces of sculpture.

The Old Rectory at Banningham

28 April 2004

BOOKS, manuscripts and photographs from The Old Rectory, at Banningham in Norfolk, provided a separately catalogued section of a three-day March 21-23 contents sale conducted by Bonhams and represented 70 years of collecting by the owner, picture restorer Bryan Hall, and his father, the Rev. William Hall, who was at one time Vicar of Barton Turf and Smallburgh.

Traditional scenes of the times...

28 April 2004

THERE was no doubt about which were the two outstanding lots at Hamptons’ (15% buyer’s premium) March 24 picture sale in Godalming.

In curators we trust

28 April 2004

SIX lots from Bonhams' (17.5/10% buyer's premium) March 22-24 sale at The Old Rectory, Banningham will be making their way back whence they came, National Trust curators having identified them (Bonhams had only spotted one) as having been bought by the Rev. Hall & Son at the 1951 contents sale of Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk. The house now belongs to the Trust which rescued it from demolition.

Success in miniature

27 April 2004

BONHAMS notched up a clutch of auction records and an impressive £1.28m total for the Albion Collection of portrait miniatures in Bond Street on April 22.

Prints with even wider appeal

22 April 2004

AFTER 19 years, The London Original Print Fair is still the only event of its kind in Europe and it goes from strength to strength, as you will see when it runs this week from April 22 to 25 at London’s Royal Academy of Arts.

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