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.

The American touch of gold

15 February 2002

Anyone looking at this small 19th century still life painting, right, for the first time could be forgiven for rubbing their eyes with disbelief to hear that East Sussex auctioneers Gorringe’s (15% buyer’s premium) had allocated it an estimate of £20,000-30,000 at their January 29-31 sale in Lewes.

Winifred’s winner

15 February 2002

Rise of Winifred Nicholson goes on apace with amazing bid of £100,000 for portrait of Ben: Over the last two or three years Winifred Nicholson (1893-1981), the first wife of Ben Nicholson, has become an increasingly significant figure in the Modern British market, culminating in the record £52,000 paid last July at Phillips for one of her trademark window still lives.

Seventy years on, etchings rise again

15 February 2002

Buying art as an investment has always been a perilous business. Back in the 1920s during the so-called Etching Boom speculating collectors were prepared to pay hundreds of pounds – ie more than the price of an average London house – for single prints by ultra- fashionable artists such as Muirhead Bone, David Young Cameron and James McBey.

Impressionist and Modern sales with a wow factor

12 February 2002

The London art market received a major lift in the salerooms last week when Sotheby’s and Christie’s attracted remarkably strong levels of international demand for their February round of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary auctions.

Stars and students in print

07 February 2002

IN 1954 the painter and printmaker, Philip Reeves (born 1931), being interviewed for a post as a lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art, produced a letter of reference from the artist Robert Austin (1895-1973).

International photo fans hail a Scouse Giza

07 February 2002

FRANCE: FRANCIS FRITH (1822-98) was the focus of attention of Beaussant-Lefèvre’s sale of 19th century photographs at Drouot on January 25, as expert Pierre-Marc Richard claimed a world record auction price of €23,000 (£14,400), almost double-estimate, for a Francis Frith photograph: an 1858 view of The Pyramids of El-Geezeh from the south-west (pictured).

From Dürer to Ackroyd, the magic touches

07 February 2002

Exhibitions outside London: Specialist print dealer Elizabeth Harvey-Lee (1 West Cottage, Middle Aston Road, North Aston, Oxon OX25 5QB. Tel: 01869 34 7164) has built up an impressive reputation for producing informative, well-illustrated stock catalogues.

Il Parmigianino on a jpg

07 February 2002

Last summer Christie’s Old Master drawings expert Nicolas Schwed was sitting at his desk in Paris checking through his e-mails when he came across this 460-year-old face staring back at him from his computer screen.

Collectable clout of Nelson and Titanic

05 February 2002

The Maritime sale held by Bonhams (15/10% buyer’s premium) in their New Bond Street rooms on January 16 was a sizeable 400-lot affair divided roughly 50/50 into paintings and maritime artefacts – the latter featuring anything from ship models to scrimshaw, divers’ helmets to sextants.

Agnew’s fight £1.5m claim over Van Dyck attribution

05 February 2002

MAYFAIR art dealers Agnew’s are hotly contesting claims for a £1.5m refund over an Old Master which is at the centre of a dispute over who painted it.

Sunny Beuys…

31 January 2002

GERMANY: Joseph Beuys’ Sonnenkreuz (1947-48), a patinated bronze sculpture 15 x 81/4in (37 x 21cm), evoking a crucifix against a radiating sun, sold comfortably over estimate for DM200,000 (£64,000) at the Lempertz Contemporary Art sale in Cologne on December 5.

Gazette ad made high ransom for Hostage

31 January 2002

BELGIUM (£1=BFr63): Antwerp's Campo Vlaamse Kaai enjoyed a pleasant pre-Christmas surprise at their two-day sale on December 11/12 when A Hostage, a large work by Edmund Blair Leighton (1853-1922) measuring 3ft 8in by 4ft 10in (1.12 x 1.48m), featuring a girl leaning on a wall, gazing wistfully out to sea, raced to BFr3.1m (£49,200) against an inexplicably low estimate of BFr8000-12,000.

A newer look at watercolours

23 January 2002

LONDON is especially strong on niche events and specialist fairs do not come much more quintessentially English than The Watercolours and Drawings Fair which will be held for the fourth time at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London W1 from January 31 to February 3.

£7m sales round off a bonne année

23 January 2002

PARIS: A prestige series of auctions held by Tajan at the Hôtel George V just before Christmas (December 17-19) yielded just under £7m hammer.

Sironi sets record as Italian buyers rally to Futurist past

23 January 2002

“Fascism, charged with Idealistic values, is applauded by all of those who are legitimately able to call themselves Italian poets, novelists and painters. We are sure that in Mussolini we have the Man who will know how to value correctly the force of our Art dominating the world.”

Horse and boy image that changes history of photography

23 January 2002

SOTHEBY’S have given the autograph documentation and picture, right, a hefty estimate of €500,000-750,000 for a very good reason: the picture is now thought to be the earliest image made by photographic means.

The beauty of Bellfield

16 January 2002

FOR a long time now, Kent antique prints dealer Ingrid Nilson, who is a member of and director of LAPADA, has been a well-known figure in the antiques trade, but in recent years her highly decorative stock has been sought after by interior designers.

Artcurial Briest sale

16 January 2002

PARIS: American buyers were to the forefront at the ArtCurial-Briest sales on December 17 and 18, held in the stylish Hôtel Dassault halfway down the Champs-Elysées, and preceded by an elegantly hung four-day viewing.

Old Masters

16 January 2002

The Tower of Babel was a popular subject with Flemish artists, and with the Louvain-born Lucas van Valkenborch (c.1530-97) in particular. He painted at least four versions, to be found in Munich, Mainz, the Louvre, and in the Beaussant-Lefèvre saleroom at Drouot on December 14, when an oil on panel Tower dated 1587, 28 x 35in (71 x 90cm), spiralled six times over estimate to Fr8.2m (£781,000), establishing an auction record for the artist.

Photographs

16 January 2002

PARIS: An ensemble of nine photographs by Gustave Le Gray, all albumen paper prints from collodion or paper negatives from the collection of chemist Paul-Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran (who discovered the metal gallium), surfaced at Millon & Associés on December 3.

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