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.


06 December 2002

Interior decorators may well be familiar with the work of ARC prints, the Battersea firm based at 1-6 Andrew Place, SW8.Their high quality reproductions of antique engravings of Piranesi vases, Roman architectural studies and David Roberts Middle Eastern landscapes can be seen on the walls of many an antique shop or stand as well as providing a stylish focal point to domestic interiors.

Top-end Victorian art feels the pinch

02 December 2002

The market for high-value Victorian pictures took a downturn last week when Christie’s and Sotheby’s Important British Picture sales posted some worryingly high levels of bought-ins.

Long lost – and found

21 November 2002

The paintings of Edwin Long (1829-1891) are well known to London’s gallery visitors, since there are works by him in both the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Academy, but many of his works have long been lost or forgotten.

Venus rises, Wailing Wall tumbles

21 November 2002

Sotheby’s and Christie’s October sales of 19th Century European Art in New York told, or at least seemed to tell, very different stories of the current state of the market for high value Orientalist and genre painting.

Agnews case settled out of court

19 November 2002

The claim against London art dealers Agnews over a painting formerly attributed to Constable has been settled out of court. Sir Simon Day launched the claim over a series of free valuations carried out on the painting – Hampstead Heath: Branch Hill Pond – from 1975 until the late 1990s.

La Grande Loge sells for $600,000

12 November 2002

The Impressionist and Modern sales were not the only New York sales last week to smash auction records. Christie’s November 5-6 sale of 19th and 20th century prints brought an extraordinary record price for a single print by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec. La Grande Loge, an 1897 lithograph in colours on wove paper, was an extremely rare and previously unrecorded colour trial proof produced before an edition of 12.

New York art sales beef up the market

11 November 2002

OF the three new world auction records taken at Christie’s Rockefeller Center saleroom on the evening of November 6, two of them were for pieces of sculpture. This follows on from Christie’s success in the May Impressionist and Modern sales, their best – as Sotheby’s were for them – for some time, when Constantin Brancusi’s 1913 bronze Danaïde took $16.5m (£11.6m), the highest price for any piece of sculpture sold at auction.

Tally ho!

07 November 2002

The imminent sale at Bloomsbury Book Auctions this Thursday (November 7) will feature a late 15th century French illustrated manuscript of the most important treatise on hunting of the Middle Ages, shown right. Gaston Phébus’ Livre de la Chasse and Livre de l’Ordre de Chevallerie, illuminated manuscript on paper, bound in 17th-century calf, in modern morocco-backed cloth case is estimated at £250,000-300,000.

Manguin lifts the lot of Modern

07 November 2002

GIVEN the fiscal disadvantages involved, Christie’s and Sotheby’s won’t usually be looking to Paris as a venue for sales of Modern art, but Christie’s (buyer’s premium 20.93%) had a modest French Collection of Post-Impressionist & Modern Paintings and Drawings on offer on September 28 that fared well enough, with 40 lots from 43 sold for a hammer total of €1.04m (£650,000) with seven per cent bought in by lot and just two per cent by value.

Tuai and Titere – Maoris from the Marsden Missionary School

30 October 2002

Seen here are two black ink silhouettes of Teeterree and Thomas Tooi that sold for £2500 as part of the book and ephemera section of an antiques sale held on October 5 by Finan & Co. of Mere.

Hepworth doubles hopes

23 October 2002

Over the last 10 to 15 years, the market has undergone a slow but steady shift towards 20th century painting in particular the Post-War abstraction of the St Ives school whose geometric shapes and pure blocks of colour are wholly in tune with contemporary tastes.

Girl’s revealing tassel

23 October 2002

“Marvellously dotty” was how Peyton Skipwith of The Fine Art Society chose to describe this 14 by 12in (36 x 30cm) oil on panel by Rex Whistler (1905-1944). Entitled Miss Muffet, the panel depicts the moment when, sat upon her tuffet eating her curds and wey, a spider sits down beside the well-known nursery rhyme character.

Huge single-owner sale is London’s first in euros

14 October 2002

Sotheby’s break mould in bid to lure Germans: A little piece of history was made on October 8 and 9 when Sotheby’s four-part dispersal of the Beck Collection of 20th Century German and Austrian art became the first major sale ever to be conducted in euros in a London auction room.

Heirisson’s 1801 Swan River map sells for £160,000 as part of the £1.57m Freycinet Collection

08 October 2002

Bligh relics sold as part of the Travel Week at Christie’s, attracted national media headlines, but the most successful of this series of four sales was the Freycinet Collection, which on September 26 raised a premium-inclusive total of £1.57m.

For Lowry on a budget – Delaney

08 October 2002

For those who can’t afford paintings by L.S. Lowry, the Manchester townscapes of Arthur Delaney (1927-87 appear to be becoming an increasingly popular substitute.

How Smith made Moyr of a name for himself

08 October 2002

John Moyr Smith 1839-1912: A Victorian Designer, by Annamarie Stapleton, published by Richard Dennis Publications. ISBN 0903685841 £18sb (ISBN 0903685876 £22hb)

Irish collection falls victim to theft again

07 October 2002

A set of paintings, including two by Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens, have been stolen from a country house in Ireland that has now been targeted four times by thieves, police said.

Annigoni’s majestic appeal goes worldwide

03 October 2002

THE Italian painter Pietro Annigoni (1910-1988) is forever associated in English minds with his dramatic 1955 portrait of The Queen, which now hangs in The National Portrait Gallery and which still has plenty of admirers, including HM herself.

Big city views of a new lease of life for specialist

23 September 2002

AFTER a closure of some 18 months to sort out some little problems with the lease, Mayfair's Shapero Gallery, which specialises in antique prints, photographs, maps and watercolours, reopens this week at 24 Bruton Street, W1 with a show called simply Cities.

The leader of the pack

23 September 2002

With the government still dithering over whether and when it should put a bill banning hunting with dogs in England to the vote in the House of Commons, it could hardly be a more ironic time for Sotheby's to be auctioning the only known portrait of the 'Father of Foxhunting' and the founder and first Master of the Quorn Hunt.