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Art and antiques news from 2003

In 2003 the Antique Collectors' Club annual index showed house price gains outstripping antique furniture for the first time in 34 years - a sign of things to come as prices brown furniture began to fall.

In the same year Leslie Hindman reopened her eponymous auction house in Chicago - six years after selling her business to Sotheby’s - and Antiques Trade Gazette was voted Special Interest Newspaper of the Year at the Newspaper Awards.

Sassoon archive will be sold in Cornwall

29 October 2003

OVER 50 autograph letters and postcards addressed by Siegfried Sassoon to Professor Vivian de Sola Pinto are to be sold by Mill House Auctions of Helston on November 4, together with signed and inscribed copies of Sassoon’s books from de Sola Pinto’s library.

Scholarship boost for clock restoration

29 October 2003

A FORMER teacher has won a £6750 Queen Elizabeth Scholarship to enable him to take a unique antique clock restoration course. Brian Coles, aged 53, pictured right, taught geography and geology for 22 years, latterly at a large South Wales comprehensive school, where he was also head of year.

Good timing and Web exposure add to quality of lots

29 October 2003

The seasonal nature of the international Asian art market means buyers risk being swamped by the sheer volume of Asian art auctioned in a concentrated period. So it was the sale timing as much as the market freshness of a 103-lot private English collection of Asian works of art from a deceased estate that contributed to the success of Christie’s South Kensington’s (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) 465-lot outing on October 4.

A&G move secondary rooms

29 October 2003

THE Newcastle upon Tyne auctioneers Anderson & Garland are to relocate their second-string saleroom to a new purpose-built building at Westerhope. The firm took over Pattisons Rooms at Crawcrook near Gateshead in 1983 where for 20 years they have held their fortnightly sales of Victorian and later furniture and effects supporting the quarterly sales held at Marlborough House in the city centre.

Review and Preview

29 October 2003

Walking may be an unfashionably slow mode of transport in today’s time-pressured world, but lengthy periods spent on foot in past centuries were made more pleasurable by a vast array of walking aids. This material is now seriously collected and a cluster of cane collections have appeared on the market of late.

For the Celts, the modern boom’s nothing new

29 October 2003

THE growing strength of the Modern British market has had plenty of publicity over the last couple of years, but strong demand for Post-War painting is hardly news to the Scottish and Irish collectors who have been faithfully backing the “Modern Celtic” market for decades.

Threads of history over three centuries amassed in 20 years

29 October 2003

DAVID McAlpine’s eye for quality textiles was evident throughout Fawley House and the most important items were a set of four George I embroidered wall panels, each 6ft 2in x 2ft 91/2in (1.88m x 85cm). Worked in tent and cross stitch in richly coloured wools and silks, these depicted ornate pots full of exotic flowers set on pedestals bearing armorials and surrounded by a menagerie of exotic birds, beasts and Oriental figures.

Hercules’ rare show of strength in the garden

29 October 2003

The lacklustre results posted at Sotheby’s (20/10% buyer’s premium) summer garden statuary sale were not bettered in early autumn, the September 23 catalogue seeing only 365 of the 666 lots sold.

Why a Nobert slide rules…

29 October 2003

IN 1845, aiming to create a test that would objectively record the characteristics and power of a microscope, the Prussian scientist Friedrich Adolph Nobert (1806-1881) invented a machine capable of drawing parallel lines minute distances apart.

Steiff judgment helps success of near sell-out collectors’ sale

29 October 2003

WITH buying split 50/50 between trade and private bidders, a total of £84,000 and all bar 84 of the 928 entries getting away, this was one of the healthiest of Andrew Hartley’s bi-annual specialist collectors’ sales to date, on 20 September.

AXA Asian art winners announced

27 October 2003

THE winners of this year’s AXA Art Awards for Asian art were announced last week as Bonhams Bond Street and Mayfair dealer Sidney Moss. Bonhams clinched the prize for the best two-dimensional work with an early Chinese blue and white rectangular panel, from the Ming dynasty’s coveted Chenghua period (1465-87), from the du Boulay collection.

Paypal proves a huge boost to eBay profits

27 October 2003

DOT-COM giant eBay have registered another set of record results, this time for the third quarter of 2003. With predicted turnover of $515m, the company actually registered revenues of $530.9m for the quarter, an 84 per cent rise on the same period last year.

…about those who liked to be beside the sea

24 October 2003

Creating A Splash: The St Ives Society of Artists – The First 25 years (1927-1952) by David Tovey, published by Wilson Books, 11-13 Mill Bank, Tewkesbury, Glos GL20 5SD. Tel: 01684 850898 email: tovey@millavon.fsnet.co.uk ISBN 0953836339 £35 sb

£35,000 buys a holiday home with a difference in Paris

24 October 2003

THE 36 sq.metre habitation module, pictured right, one of a series designed for a holiday village by Jean Manevel in 1965, was by far the biggest item on offer at the Pavillon des Antiquaires staged in Paris from September 20-28. It occupied one end of the Pavillon’s 200m marquee in the Tuileries Gardens, and was sold by Jousse Entreprise to a Paris private buyer for €50,000 (£35,000).

The view from the balcony...

24 October 2003

‘SEE NAPLES AND BUY’ is a headline that has previously made its mark in the Antiques Trade Gazette when some Neapolitan scene has tickled the fancy and the bank balance of a determined picture bidder, but it was never more applicable than in the case of the Worcestershire couple who bought the superbly preserved Attilio Pratella (1856-1949), shown right, at the Colwyn Bay auctioneers Rogers Jones & Co (6% buyer’s premium) on September 27.

For those who liked to be beside the seaside…

24 October 2003

Mauchline Ware: A Collector’s Guide by David Trachtenberg and Thomas Keith, published by the Antique Collectors’ Club. ISBN 1851493921. £35 hb

A wreck is raised by Old Glory

24 October 2003

London marine sales can be routine affairs, but there was a frisson of speculative interest in this unsigned and unattributed 19th century canvas, right, which ended the 171-lot picture section of Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) October 1 marine offering in Knightsbridge.

Palm set for March after last success

24 October 2003

WORKING under the name Palm Antiques Fairs, Norfolk-based Joy Fletcher launched her Palm Antiques Fair at Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk over the weekend of September 26 to 28 and tells me both she and her exhibitors were happy enough with business to warrant a re-run on March 26-28 next year.

Concerning Pozzuoli, Kipling, Rupert Bear and Worzel Gummidge

24 October 2003

SEVEN HUNDRED or so lots were offered in the September 23 sale held by John Nicholson of Fernhurst, and though there were some disappointments – notably the 1776 volume of The Scots Magazine that contained the first Scottish printing of America’s Declaration of Independence, valued at £5000-8000 – almost 80 per cent of lots, big and small, found buyers.

New York in season

24 October 2003

USA: NEW YORK’s top antiques centre, the Manhattan Art and Antiques Center at 1050 Second Avenue (between 55th and 56th Streets), presents a special celebration Fall in Manhattan from October 23 to 31, when a selection of top dealers from the 100 housed in the building present selling shows of recent acquisitions.