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.

Heron soars to £260,000

27 June 2001

UK: FOLLOWING on from the success of the International section of the Seeger Collection in New York last month, high quality and low estimates once again proved a winning combination for Sotheby’s (20/15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) when on June 14 they offered works by British artists collected by Stanley Seeger over the last 20 or so years.

Georgian chinoiserie framed mirror painting

21 June 2001

UK: THIS Georgian chinoiserie framed mirror painting of c.1760 took the top slot at Sotheby’s June 13 English furniture sale when it sold to an American private buyer for £280,000.

Alice’s Adventures Begin

21 June 2001

There will be much more to come on the £2m Lewis Carroll’s Alice at Sotheby’s on June 6, but this week just one of ten recorded prints of Dodgson’s 1858 portrait of Alice Liddell as ‘The Beggar Maid’, which sold for £160,000.

New police database traps Luton Hoo raider

21 June 2001

SIX years after a gang stole part of the Luton Hoo Fabergé collection, a new police database succeeded in trapping one of the thieves.

Equestrian bits and pieces

21 June 2001

UK: ONE of numerous full-page woodcut illustrations of bridles, bits, etc. to be found in a 1602 Naples first of Piero Antonio Ferraro’s Cavallo Frenato..., bound in contemporary limp vellum, that sold at £1950 (Traylen) in the Dominic Winter, Swindon (buyer's premium 12.5 per cent) sale.

US collector beats Irish trade fan to £210,000 O’Conor

21 June 2001

US: REVERED as the only Irish artist to have been fully involved in the developments of French avant garde painting during the early years of Modernism, Roderic O’Conor (1860-1940) has inspired a succession of impressive six-figure prices over the last couple of years, culminating in the £320,000 bid by a Dublin collector for a c.1903 Post-Impressionist oil, Nature Mort: Faience, at Sotheby’s June 21 sale of Modern British & Irish Art in London.

Lenin makes a profit thanks to Saatchi cash

13 June 2001

AS Roman generals used to parade the heathen idols of vanquished tribes before the populae urbis, so this monumental bronze figure of Lenin, pictured, will provide an entertaining diversion for the guests at Maurice Saatchi’s garden parties in Sussex this summer.

A question of scale when it comes to ale

12 June 2001

If Hogarth had lived a little longer he might have bumped into the bibulous individual responsible for commissioning this c.1770 ale glass.With a capacity of nearly two pints, it is one of the largest of its kind on record. Drink the full measure, and the 14-ply spiral band in the opaque twist stem might begin to do just that, because ale in the 18th century was mighty strong compared to the milds and bitters of today.

Ceramic sculpture of Michael Jackson and Bubbles

06 June 2001

USA: Star turn at Sotheby’s May 15 Contemporary sale in New York was Jeff Koons’ outrageously kitsch ceramic sculpture Michael Jackson and Bubbles.

Contemporary Bubbles yet to burst in New York

21 May 2001

USA: The gloom created by disappointing results at this month’s Impressionist and Modern sales in New York was swept away last week by the strong performance of contemporary art at the three main auction houses and reports of good business being done by a number of dealers at The International Fine Art Fair.

Hard going in NY as Phillips join race

14 May 2001

USA: Fears that the recent slowdown in the US economy would drastically affect the top end of the art market were to some extent realised at New York’s Impressionist and Modern sales last week.

The moral of the story is, original work sells best

17 April 2001

UK: NINETEENTH century genre paintings with strong narrative and moralising elements have not been the strongest performers at auction in recent years.

Dublin sale sets the pace

17 April 2001

EIRE: WITH the traditional Irish sales due in London next month, many an eye was on the Dublin sale held by James Adams (15 per cent buyer’s premium) on March 28 to see how pictures were selling in their native land.

Come on, ye Ram!

17 April 2001

FRANCE: THIS bronze Leaping Ram, right, from Ancient Greece (c.400BC), bearing a remarkable resemblance to the emblem of Derby County FC, sprang to a triple-estimate Fr250,000 (£24,300) at Piasa on March 20.

1925 Golden Cockerel edition of Songs... by Robert Burns

09 April 2001

UK: INSET with a portrait miniature, this 1925 Golden Cockerel edition of Songs... by Robert Burns, illustrated with wood engravings by Mabel Annesley and bound in Cosway style in red morocco gilt by Bayntun Rivière, was sold at Bonhams (Buyer’s premium:15/10 per cent) at £1400 (Pirouages).

Carbon print of the Terra Nova at Cape Evans

09 April 2001

Showing the Terra Nova at Cape Evans, this large, green toned carbon print is an example of the largest format photographs offered by the Fine Art Society in their 1913-14 exhibition of photographs taken by Herbert Ponting on Scott’s last expedition (this one measuring 2ft 6in x 23in – 75 x 58cm) and it sold for £5000 (Grigor Taylor) in the Bonhams Knightsbridge sale.

Dotcom investment proves unenlightened

09 April 2001

US: THIS Khmer bronze group of the Mahayana trinity, depicting Muchalinda Buddha, Prajnaparamita and Avalokitesvara, c.13th century, 12in (30cm) high, was one of several entries purchased from Nagel in May 2000 by an American collector.

Shots from the front line

09 April 2001

UK: Collectors and dealers will get a rare chance to bid for prints by pioneering photographers Roger Fenton and James Robertson, who made their names during the Crimean War, at an auction on behalf of a photographers’ charity on April 26 in central London.

Barry’s fireworks make a record bang

02 April 2001

UK: LEVELS of demand at Bonhams & Brooks’ (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) March 22 sale of Modern and Contemporary British and Continental Art were less impressive than the Phillips event of March 20.

Portrait of Augustus

02 April 2001

Rightly described as ‘superbe’ this 28mm diameter portrait of Augustus made a slightly over-estimate E290 (£180).

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