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.

Highlands near high point

29 August 2002

ON July 23 Bristol Auction Rooms (15% buyer’s premium) took the second highest price at auction for an oil by Hampshire artist Henry Garland (1854-1900). Back in December 1998 Bonhams Knightsbridge took a premium- inclusive £12,650 for the 3ft 4in by 5ft 7in (1.02 x 1.70m) oil Village Gossips.

Bonhams target country clients in double-barrelled bid

27 August 2002

Ever keen to come up with new auction formats that stimulate the interest of private buyers, Bonhams (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) held their first sale of sporting and ornithological pictures combined with sporting guns at Knightsbridge on August 7-8.

Value leap is par for the course

27 August 2002

Golf has always been a subject that can have a dramatic effect on the price levels of artists who normally make little impact in the salerooms. Take the case of Frank Watson Wood (1862-1953), a Berwick-on-Tweed watercolourist who specialised in landscapes and marines, the best examples of which fetch around £1500 at auction.

Bernini traits win backing at £1.9m

27 August 2002

This muscular terracotta modellino of a moor, Il Moro, 2ft 75/8in high (80.5cm), attributed to Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), wrested the top slot from a powerfully modelled pair of 16th century bronzes in Sotheby’s (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) 174-lot European Sculpture and Works of Art 900-1900 auction on July 9.

Sir Henry’s timely bow

14 August 2002

WITH the Proms season now upon us it seems fitting that a portrait of the founder of the famous concerts, Sir Henry Wood, topped the pictures on offer at Bonhams Oxford (17.5% buyer’s premium) on June 25.

American collector catches his £9800 Wave after 30-year wait

14 August 2002

CONDITION is a prime concern in the 20th century print market but occasionally images come on the market that are so rare and so striking that condition concerns take a lower priority – particularly if the buyer has been searching for such a piece for 30 years.

A peace mission in watercolour

07 August 2002

FRANCE: Millon & Associés (17.5/ 13.5% buyer’s premium) June 26 sale included two watercolours taken from an album of drawings by Eugene Delacroix, which the artist presented to Count Charles de Mornay on their return from Morocco in 1832.

Carrà goes boom in May…

07 August 2002

ITALY: A record price for a painting by Carlo Carrà was established in Italy back on May 21 in a sale of contemporary art held by Christie’s in Milan.

Steppes to Russian mythology

26 July 2002

Russian Myths by Elizabeth Warner, published by the British Museum Press. ISBN 0714127434 £8.99pb

The photographer’s art is fully exposed

26 July 2002

Family Photographs 1860-1945 by Robert Pole, published by the Public Record Office. ISBN 1903365201 £12.99pb

Impressions of Rural America

26 July 2002

USA: The works of two American impressionists, Fern Isabel Coppedge (1888-1951) and Edward Henry Potthast (1857-1927), both of whom were plein air painters whose works were admired for their fresh and colourful imagery, are featured here, together with a sample of the folksier treatment of rural America by Paul Seifert, a German fruit and vegetable farmer who took to painting as a lucrative sideline.

War was mere childsplay for Habsburg emperor

26 July 2002

Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller’s small 1832 child portrait of the future Kaiser Franz Joseph as a Small Grenadier playing with toy soldiers, right, panel 13 x 11in (33.5 x 28cm), led the Wiener Kunst sale in Vienna on June 11 with a low-estimate €150,000 (£97,000).

Mackintosh, cloak and dagger…

25 July 2002

Artists at Walberswick: East Anglian Interludes 1880-2000 by Richard Scott, published by Art Dictionaries Ltd. ISBN 0953260941 £29.95hb

Going Shell, going well over hopes

24 July 2002

SINCE the 1920s, Shell have commissioned paintings from key British artists for Shell county guides, calendars and school wall charts. In order to raise funds to create a new exhibition space in the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu for the earlier works from the company’s collection, Shell decided to sell 193 lots dating from 1950-1990, most of which had never been seen in public before, at Sotheby’s Olympia (17.5% buyer’s premium) on July 4.

Hole in one for Scottish gallery

24 July 2002

JUST as the world’s top golfers were teeing off for The Open at Muirfield last week, Scotland was celebrating another hole in one. Grants totalling more than £2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Arts Collection Fund, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews and private benefactors meant that the Scottish National Portrait Gallery could acquire the nation’s most important golfing painting, Charles Lees’ (1800-1880) oil on canvas, The Golfers (1847).

£12,500 Nelson outranks artist

17 July 2002

In the portrait miniature market the sitter is considered less important than the painter – but sometimes even a famous artist like Henry Bone, enamellist to the Prince Regent and the author of this miniature, right, can be superseded by their subject.

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Rubens masterpiece joins the world record holders at £45m

17 July 2002

History was made at Sotheby’s July 10 Old Master Paintings sale when Sir Peter Paul Rubens’ long-lost masterpiece, The Massacre of the Innocents, sold in the room to the Mayfair-based book dealer Sam Fogg for £45m, the highest auction price ever achieved for a work of art in the UK.

Bonhams work hard to create a good Impression at their first attempt

12 July 2002

Stockmarket jitters may not have had any noticeable impact on the upper ranges of the Impressionist and Modern market but further down the scale things were looking less rosy. At Bonhams (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) on June 24 the 95-lot sale took £446,020 with a 52 per cent take-up by lot.

Reading between the cracks

12 July 2002

Every picture tells a story, but in the case of Théodore Chassériau’s large portrait of Comtesse de Latour-Maubourg, it was condition as much as content that revealed the artist’s state of mind at the time.

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.

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