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Art and antiques news from 2000

In 2000 Bonhams merged with classic car auctioneer Brooks.

Sothebys.com was launched in a $40 million joint venture with Amazon.

Christie's CEO Christopher Davidge left and was replaced by Edward Dolman. News later emerges that the firm had colluded with Sotheby's to fix rates of commission between 1993 and 1999.

Sotheby’s in talks with staff over new roles

27 November 2000

DETAILS of the planned development of Sotheby’s UK salerooms announced in last week’s Antiques Trade Gazette are unlikely to become clear before mid-December at the earliest.

Dover dealers asked to take customers’ fingerprints

27 November 2000

DEALERS in the Dover area have contacted the Antiques Trade Gazette to complain about a local police initiative asking them to fingerprint their customers.

The live auction is far from dead

27 November 2000

“Is the live auction dead?” was the challenging question before a panel discussion at the annual conference of the Appraisers Association of America in New York in which four major regional auction houses took part.

US appraisers accept Internet as a fact of life

27 November 2000

As chairman of a discussion panel at the annual conference of the Appraisers Association of America in New York, MARK BRIDGE, found that the Internet is not the villain it was painted a year ago. He reports on the current attitudes to on-line valuation in the USA and the views of auctioneers experimenting with online bidding.

Charles II pewter candlestick.

27 November 2000

UK: The absence of a buyer’s premium at Nigel Ward & Co’s sale on November 18 at Ewyas Harold Memorial Hall near Pontrilas, Hereford was certainly a factor in the substantial price attained for this Charles II pewter candlestick, 7in (18cm) by an unknown Bristol maker.

Regency giltwood chair

27 November 2000

This Regency giltwood chair may have been one of the largest hearing aids ever built, but it was intended to serve the same purpose as the smallest, mobile device: disguising the disablity and sparing the dignity of the listener.

Paris gallery appeal over stolen bronzes

20 November 2000

FRANCE: POLICE today appealed for help in tracing up to 100 bronzes and other antiques which were stolen in a £1m burglary at a Paris Gallery in June 1998.

Sotheby’s to restructure after ‘significant’ losses

20 November 2000

Sotheby’s have instigated a dramatic ‘restructure’ of their company after announcing net losses of $183m for the first nine months of this year.

Casting vote needed to rescue Kent Bill

20 November 2000

UK: FOUR weeks of expert evidence and deliberation has ended with the Parliamentary Select Committee needing the chairman’s casting vote to keep the Kent Bill from being thrown out.

Rare late 18th century bracket clock by Thomas Berry of Ormskirk

15 November 2000

UK: Lot 1098 at the Leominster rooms of Brightwells auctioneers offered the clock trade the chance to purchase this rare late 18th century bracket clock by Thomas Berry of Ormskirk, 2ft 7in by 17in (79 x 43cm).

Rare example of printed letter

14 November 2000

Sold at Sotheby’s, London sale (October 12-13) for £6500 was a rare example of a printed version of one of the letters exchanged by Napoleon and the Sherif of Mekkah, Ghalib ibn Musa’id, at the time of the French invasion of Egypt in 1798-99.

Picasso world record

13 November 2000

PICASSO’S Blue Period canvas Femme aux bras croisés set a world record for the artist at auction on November 8.

It is possible to censor the Web, experts tell judge in Yahoo case

13 November 2000

A trio of international experts appointed by a Paris court have concluded that it may be technically possible to prevent Web browsers from consulting sites based in another country, but that the method envisaged is not fully reliable.

Fresh hope for Academy vendors

13 November 2000

UK: Doubt still hangs over the future of goods consigned to troubled west London auctioneers Academy of Ealing.

The Voyage of H.M.S Beagle edited by Charles Darwin

13 November 2000

UK: The Voyage of H.M.S Beagle is a summary of fauna discovered by Charles Darwin on his travels through the Southern Hemisphere from 1831-6, and became crucial to the formulation of his brutal creed: “survival of the fittest”.

Kent Bill latest

09 November 2000

EXPERT evidence on the Kent County Council Bill will go into select committee session for an unexpected third week on Tuesday, November 7 as almost every clause in the proposed Bill is closely examined.

Antiques Portfolio files for insolvency

09 November 2000

UK: ANTIQUES Portfolio, the dotcom company which had tied in its future with the now defunct Gavelnet, has itself filed for insolvency

More space for larger Olympia

09 November 2000

CLARION Events, organisers of the Olympia Fine Art and Antiques Fairs, assured the Antiques Trade Gazette last week that exhibitors at the June Olympia need not fear that the summer fair would be vastly enlarged in 2002.

Paris court intervenes after claim that Cézanne was looted by Nazis

07 November 2000

FRANCE: A Paris court has granted a temporary injunction placing a Cézanne painting currently on show at a city museum under legal supervision pending an inquiry into its ownership.

Civil War piece

07 November 2000

As demonstration that one should always be alert outside one’s narrow field, it is worth citing the Civil War piece, pictured, that was offered in a Jewellery sale at Phillips London on October 3.