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 indomitable Herr Kerner and his 144 bunches of grapes…

05 July 2002

It is believed that only two copies of Johann Simon Kerner’s Le Raisin, ses espèces et variétées… were completed, but then this German botanist did make it hard work for himself in choosing to illustrate it with original watercolours.

Untiring appetite for Edo views takes set of prints to £480,000

02 July 2002

Sotheby’s Olympia clinched the week’s loftiest price for an Asian work when a mighty £480,000 was placed by a Japanese telephone buyer probably bidding against the reserve for a complete set of Ando Hiroshige’s (1797-1858) 120 woodblock prints: The One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.

Market upbeat about pictures

02 July 2002

Concerns that turmoil in the world’s stock markets would spill over into London’s June round of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary sales proved to be largely unfounded.

Prince Charles watercolours unmasked as forgeries after sale

24 June 2002

FELLOWS and Sons, the Birmingham auctioneers, have refunded the buyers of three watercolours sold as the work of Prince Charles last week after the pictures were revealed as forgeries.

The ladies take the honours

19 June 2002

Back on April 9 and 10 Bonhams (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) Bond Street rooms offered a double helping of portrait miniatures on consecutive days: a 165-lot single owner and a 133-lot mixed-vendor sale, both of which saw around three-quarters of their contents get away.

£360,000 Osborne backs claims of Irish Sellers

19 June 2002

IRISH auctioneers have long been adamant that Irish pictures sell better in Ireland and certainly the 71 per cent sold by lot achieved at James Adam (15% buyer’s premium) in Dublin on May 29 was only just shy of the 76 per cent by lot selling rate taken at Christie’s Irish sale in London on May 17.

Poertzel joins high-price Deco

14 June 2002

Buoyant as the world of Art Deco is, bidders still like familiar names, which in the world of bronze and ivory 1930s figures tend to mean Demetre Chiparus and Ferdinand Preiss.

Winners at Lake Lugano and Brooklands

14 June 2002

The German painter Hans Purrmann (1880-1966) is described by Bénézit as an artist who was heavily influenced by Matisse (with whom he had contact in Paris from 1906-1914), but who lacked the greater artist’s “sense de lumière et de la couleur”.

A primitive makeover for Raphael

14 June 2002

La Guérison de l’Epiléptique, 3ft x 2ft 4in (91 x 70cm), pictured right, by André Bauchand (c.1927), based on Raphael’s Transfiguration, sold on low-estimate for €3800 (£2450) at Blanchet (17.94% buyer’s premium) on May 15, partly reflecting the indifferent condition of its paintwork.

Portrait miniature makes £200,000

13 June 2002

This portrait miniature of a 30-year-old lady by Nicholas Hilliard, dated 1582, set a new auction record for the artist at Sotheby’s Olympia rooms on June 6 when it sold to a private collector bidding on the phone against the room for £200,000 (plus premium).

Auctioneer sues vendor after settling buyer’s claim over painting

12 June 2002

A VENDOR has been ordered to pay more than £10,000 legal costs after a picture he sold at auction proved not to be by the famous German artist to whom it was attributed.

Coming Up in London

28 May 2002

THIS unrecorded portrait by John Constable, estimated to make up to £80,000, was discovered by East Anglian auctioneer and fine art broker John Vost during a routine valuation at a house on the Suffolk/Norfolk border.

Now Contemporary sales boost confidence

23 May 2002

CHRISTIE’S established 15 new auction records at their Rockefeller Centre saleroom on the evening of May 14 with a $42.1m (£29.9m) sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art.

Back in the provinces, a more traditional view-halloo

23 May 2002

THE ongoing calls for a ban against fox hunting have failed to dent the popularity of hunting and equestrian pictures at auction. Cecil Aldin (1870-1935) and Snaffles (Charlie Johnson Payne) (1884-1967) are just two of the artists for whom demand is strong and after Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) it is Lionel Edwards (1878-1966) whose work is taking consistently high prices in the salerooms.

Lavery’s lucky touch wins again...

15 May 2002

Sir John Lavery R.A. (1856-1941) is one of the hottest names in the booming Irish picture market and back in 1998 The Bridge at Grez, a large oil on canvas, took a record £1.3m at Christie’s London.

New York’s Impressionist and Modern market bounces back

14 May 2002

Sotheby’s quadruple recent results and Christie’s celebrate boost too: Barely a month after its former chairman and chief executive were sentenced in a New York court, Sotheby’s bounced back in their Manhattan saleroom on May 8 with a $126m (£88.7m) Part I auction of Impressionist and Modern Art.

Ashmolean wins Rubens oil sketch

14 May 2002

THE Ashmolean Museum in Oxford has just acquired an important oil sketch by Sir Peter Paul Rubens thanks to grants from the National Arts Collection Fund and the Resource V&A Purchase Fund.

Russian Imperial vases reach €520,000

03 May 2002

A pair of ornamental blue and gold vases made by the Manufacture Impériale in St Petersburg (c.1825-30) soared to €520,000 (£335,000) at Beaussant-Lefèvre on April 10.

...modern Irish

03 May 2002

THE strength of the Irish picture market will be tested in May when Sotheby’s and Christie’s hold their annual Irish sales in London. Recent sales in Ireland indicate things look promising, and that interest is still strong Stateside was confirmed at Dennis Auction Service (10% buyer’s premium) in Stewartsville, New Jersey on March 9 sale when this early work, right, by Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1957) came up for auction.

Artist suffers third raid in five weeks

02 May 2002

ROBERT Lenkiewicz, one of Britain’s most controversial artists, has been burgled for the third time in five weeks in what is widely believed to be a ‘stolen to order’ theft.

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