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Art and antiques news from 2001

In 2001 Alfred Taubman and Sir Anthony Tennant, respectively chairmen of Sotheby's and Christie's in the 1990s, were indicted by a US federal grand jury on charges of colluding to fix rates of commission between 1993 and 1999.

Taubman received a jail sentence the following year whereas Tennant refused to leave Britain to stand trial in New York and could not be extradited because there was no equivalent criminal offence in the UK.

In other news restrictions on travel in the UK due to foot and mouth affected auctions and fairs across the country.

The attacks of 9/11, in which 3000 people died, not only disrupted fairs and sales in Manhattan but also led to fewer US buyers travelling to the UK to acquire art and antiques. Trade in antique furniture was particularly badly affected in the following years.

Gallery wins £3.85m grant

20 December 2001

PALLANT House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex, has secured a £3.85m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to build a new wing.

New York piers will open to host January show

20 December 2001

USA: Show promoter Stella Show Management was still waiting last week to learn whether or not the 69th Regiment Armory would reopen in time for their January Antiques at the Other Armory Show but they were relieved to learn that the Piers are reopening.

The Euro and what you have to do…

20 December 2001

LAPADA, the Association of Dealers, have been preparing their members with a useful guide on how to adapt to the euro for when they conduct business in Europe.

Web moves highlight online gap between US and UK

20 December 2001

First icollector close their London operation, now sothebys.com consolidate service in New York: Growing acceptance that the US antiques trade and collectors are happier to complete transactions online than their UK counterparts is illustrated by two major moves that have just been announced.

Sale success to celebrate with wine cooler and antique flagon

19 December 2001

IN DAYS when a 70 per cent selling rate is considered reasonable, a country auction enjoying a 90 per cent success rate obviously had something special going for it.

Cool £400k for Craven commodes

19 December 2001

Furniture of all nationalities has been much in evidence in London over the past few weeks as late November/early December is traditionally one of the two periods in the year when the London rooms offer their best English and Continental fare.

Early Windsor is a vernacular favourite

19 December 2001

Oak and other vernacular and country furniture formed a large slice of Sotheby’s Gwynn Collection and had some input into their R. A. Lee collection.

Art Nouveau is still very much in season

19 December 2001

Jewellery is a classic Christmas seller and, combined with the current demand for Art Nouveau this hallmarked silver Charles Horner pendant, right, was always a likely seller.

Cut steel centre table

19 December 2001

What is reckoned by the auctioneers to be a new auction record for Russian furniture was set at Christie’s December 13 Continental furniture sale in London when this 22in (56cm) wide silver- and ormolu- mounted faceted cut steel centre table, c.1785-90, sold for £620,000 to a European dealer after a battle between seven telephones.

Not quite a Brontë classic

19 December 2001

She lived by her pen, but died by her brush. If Charlotte Brontë had been remotely skilled as a portrait artist she might not have turned to literary characterisations.

The painter who just stayed in the farmyard

19 December 2001

Modern British in date, but blissfully unaffected by Fauvism, Cubism, Vorticism and just about every other ‘ism’ that was changing the face of Western art, Edgar Hunt (1876-1953) enjoys perennial popularity among picture buyers with more traditional tastes.

Seeing through the differences in glass

19 December 2001

The more collectable the antique, the greater difference small details make to the final price. This general rule may explain the contrasting prices on these two glass bowls, all but identical in date, c.1800, form and origin, Cork or Waterford.

The Lady of the Seashells?

19 December 2001

Sold for £90,000 as part of the November 15 Natural History & Travel sale at Sotheby’s was an album of 162 conchological watercolours put together c.1764-82 by Mlle. J.C. Xavery, a miniaturist of Dutch descent and probably the sister of the flower and landscape painter Jacob Xavery, who was working in Paris around the same time.

More protests over plans to regenerate Bermondsey

18 December 2001

DEALERS stalling at Bermondsey Market have voiced further opposition to plans to redevelop the site as part of a £19m urban regeneration project.

AXA Art issue guide after raids

18 December 2001

AXA Art have sent their clients a guide to beating crime following a series of raids on galleries, culminating in a $350,000 theft from a Bond Street gallery in London at the beginning of December.

Last Supper study to go to Fitzwilliam Museum thanks to art fund grants

18 December 2001

THE Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge is to be the new home for Federico Barocci’s £1.3m drawing Study for The Institution of the Eucharist.

Christie’s to market new type of New York sale…

18 December 2001

Christie’s will launch a new series of sales in the New Year aimed at creating a “one stop shopping experience” for dealers, decorators and particularly private buyers.

Lincoln Center to be Haughtons’ New York venue

18 December 2001

March Asian art fair to be first event: London-based organisers Brian and Anna Haughton have secured a site at the prestigious Lincoln Center on Manhattan’s Upper West Side as the venue for their New York fairs.

ICollector quit London to run UK and world business from Canada

18 December 2001

ICOLLECTOR are to close down their London and New York offices by the end of the year and will run their worldwide operation from Canada.

Sotheby’s start talks on sale of Taubman shares

18 December 2001

Sotheby’s board of directors has told its managers to meet with representatives of Alfred Taubman to discuss the possible sale of his controlling stake in the company.