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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.

The only show in town... and why the organiser wishes it wasn’t so

22 November 2001

EVERY dealer may dream of being in the spotlight but New York antiquities expert Dr. Jerome Eisenberg would have wished things different from the circumstances that put him there.

The Arts and Crafts of Christmas-stocking

21 November 2001

Although there has been talk of the furniture trade holding back at auction, dealers may now be looking to buy stock in the run-up to Christmas and the trade secured almost all of the top furniture entries in Michael J. Bowman’s 489-lot sale on 13 October.

Shipping firm opens NY showcase for dealers

21 November 2001

PACKERS and shippers Air Sea Packing Group have developed a unique facility to help plug the gap for European dealers left without a New York showcase this autumn.

From Naked Ape to auctioneer…

21 November 2001

DESMOND Morris is perhaps best known for his books and TV series exploring the behavioural patterns of humans and other animals. Not so well known is his fondness for collecting Ancient Cypriot Art, objects that reach back in time to an age when the society he so avidly studies was in its infancy.

Exceptional Ruhlmann piece that proved the exception to the rule

21 November 2001

DECO & MODERNIST FURNITURE: While much of higher-end Deco struggled to find buyers prepared to match the bullish levels seen in recent seasons, there was still some interest in this field, and the odd exception to buck the trend.

Sycamore struts its stuff

21 November 2001

MACKINTOSH: One of the most dramatic results of the series cropped up in Christie’s Important Decorative Arts auction on November 8, and it was one that would appear to have little to do with fashion, economics, or shifts in buyers’ confidence.

Spotlight falls on Circus range

21 November 2001

WILKINSON’S/ CLARICE CLIFF: One might have expected Clarice Cliff pottery, with its very large UK collecting base, to be one of the areas of the market more resistant to economic concerns or the lack of confidence triggered by America’s low buying profile. But the jittery mood seems to have rubbed on the two most recent auctions to feature large quantities of Clarice material: that held by Christie’s South Kensington on November 2 and the Applied Arts sale at Sotheby’s Olympia.

Teapot enthusiasts are catered for at two sales

21 November 2001

Like tea caddies in furniture sales, teapots have their own following in ceramics sales like the one at Phillips Leeds, where the 51/2in (14cm) Minton majolica Japanese Actor model, above right, date-coded 1874, made a within-estimate £1100 which took into account some damage to finial and spout.

User outcry forces eBay to change payment policy

21 November 2001

CHECKOUT, the payment feature introduced by eBay last month to streamline transactions, is to be altered following a campaign against it by sellers.

Sotheby’s results point to market fall says Ruprecht

21 November 2001

SOTHEBY’S Holdings Inc, the auction house’s parent company, have announced third quarter revenues for 2001 of $38.4m and a net loss for the period of $33m.

Birds help a Pearson charger to take flight

21 November 2001

John Pearson is to the Newlyn School what Margaret Gilmour is to the Glasgow School – an Arts and Crafts metalworker who specialised in repousee work of naturalistic style.

Yahoo case sets legal precedent over Internet

21 November 2001

YAHOO have succeeded in their court bid to deny French government jurisdiction over the firm’s activities outside France.

Spink director relaunches restoration department as new company

20 November 2001

With the purchase of Spink’s furniture restoration department on November 5 by its director Peter Holmes, all eyes are now looking to see what the future holds for the remaining departments at London’s oldest antique dealer.

Davidge points finger at Taubman

20 November 2001

FORMER Christie’s managing director Christopher Davidge has told the jury in the Alfred Taubman trial that Sotheby’s ex-chairman was involved in the illegal price-fixing between the two auction houses.

Worlds apart, and seeing a drop in global values

16 November 2001

VETERAN auctioneer Robert Finan is mainly a consultant these days but he holds two sales a year at the Old Ship Hotel at Mere and prides himself on coming up with a few pieces to interest various specialist interests.

Putting culture into permaculture

16 November 2001

KAARU is a design-led developmental initiative from India which has already achieved much in sustaining the sub-continent’s rich but threatened traditional arts and crafts.

Mickey makes the money

16 November 2001

Mickey Mouse fans from New York to Tokyo joined the bidding for this tinplate money box, right, offered in the October 16 sale at the Leigh-on-Sea rooms of John Stacey (15% buyer’s premium).

Clarion try to clear the air over Borwick

16 November 2001

Olympia and Earls Court chief executive Andrew Morris has faced some 200 exhibitors, angry at the dismissal of show director Victoria Borwick, to reassure them about the Olympia fairs’ future.

Aer Lingus to sell art collection

16 November 2001

Dublin auctioneer John de Vere White is to sell 25 paintings on behalf of Aer Lingus, the national airline of the Republic of Ireland, on November 20.

…and thoroughly modern Miller’s

16 November 2001

Collecting Modern Design by Sally Hoban, published by Miller’s. ISBN 1840004053. £25 hb