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.

England hand the Ashes to Australia on a tray

17 October 2003

AUSTRALIA: Today there is no love lost in any Ashes series between England and Australia. It is a hard-fought duel which engenders at best a grudging respect, but a silver presentation tray which will be offered by the Australian auctioneers Lawson Menzies on October 19 is a reminder that the original Ashes series was played in a rather more convivial spirit and ended in a true love match.

Keen trade fill all school places forThames fair

17 October 2003

MORE worthwhile activity from our busy and productive local dealers’ associations which have surely proved their worth now, even to traditionally independent sceptics. As the stalwarts of the Cotswolds Antique Dealers’ Association wrap up their series of exhibitions, the equally industrious members of the Thames Valley Antique Dealers’ Association prepare for their autumn fair.

It’s not only rock ’n’ roll...

17 October 2003

CLOSING this Saturday (October 18) and not to be missed, is an exhibition of photographs by Michael Cooper at the Atlas Gallery, 49 Dorset Street, London W1. One of the great archives of 1960s photography, this show has prompted the Independent on Sunday to brand the snapper as “The Swinging Sixties’ poet of the lens”. Lennon, Magritte, Warhol, Burroughs, the Rolling Stones, Twiggy, and Hockney are all featured among the 37 photos priced from £800 to £6000.

Carious Carys are still worth the earth…

16 October 2003

A PORTISHEAD parent proved no dummy when he unearthed two Regency library globes at his child’s school. The unusually large globes, by renowned London maker Cary, were discovered under the floorboards of local Bristol school, Portishead Primary, and went on to form the stellar entry in this 396-lot collectors sale.

Ceramics charge ahead of silver with rare pieces

16 October 2003

An early autumn mixed hors d’oeuvres of silver and European ceramics went under the hammer at Sotheby’s Olympia (20/12% buyer’s premium) on October 2. Roughly two-thirds of the 375 lots were devoted to silver and vertu, and the remaining third to ceramics, but it was the latter that provided half of the ten highest prices, including what proved to be very much the top lot of the day.

The Lothians did unite – social history in a box

16 October 2003

While the original Friendly Society was a successful London fire insurance association, the name was adopted throughout 18th and 19th century Britain to describe every kind of mutual aid organisation.

The high rise of Fabergé...

16 October 2003

And now for something completely different...A high-rise flat on the outskirts of Glasgow is not the place one would expect to find works of art by the celebrated firm of Fabergé but that was the origin of the finely crafted photograph frame, right, offered on September 26 by Glasgow auctioneers McTears (15% buyer’s premium).

Library bookcase makes £82,000

16 October 2003

High quality mahogany carcase furniture continues to transcend any malaise experienced at other levels of the furniture market. The final lot of a small but nicely formed sale conducted by Finan & Co. at the Old Ship Hotel in Mere, Wiltshire on October 4 was this fretwork and blind fret decorated Chippendale-style and period mahogany library bookcase.

Bouton connection takes centre stage in Beds

16 October 2003

WITH a £120,000 total from some 500 lots catering for most areas of antiques, the September 18 sale held by Douglas Ross (15% buyer’s premium) at Woburn was a sound, if unspectacular, start to the autumn season for the Bedfordshire rooms.

Promised Land fulfils its promise at £13,800

16 October 2003

Exceptional subjects still have the capacity to fetch exceptional prices, as the Bury St Edmunds auctioneers Lacy Scott & Knight (10% buyer’s premium) discovered when this unsigned and unattributed 19th century watercolour came under the hammer on September 20 with an estimate of £250-400.


Caramanian pot pourri is a sweet £5000

15 October 2003

First introduced c.1809, the ‘Caramanian’ series represent one of Spode’s most popular early 19th century pattern ranges.

Centrex bag top names for new January fair

14 October 2003

APPLICATIONS from dealers to join the first National Fine Art and Antiques Fair, to be held at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre next year from January 28 to February 1, already suggest that this could be a major player on the national fairs scene.

RICS offer advice on gun safety

14 October 2003

THE RICS have issued detailed advice on gun safety in the saleroom. The advice follows the recent case where an auctioneer was fined after a professional musician lost part of his finger when a starting pistol was discharged in the saleroom.

Sotheby’s former online auctions boss has another go at high-end web sales

14 October 2003

A NEW company aiming to capture a market that even the top firms have failed to corner – selling high end art and antiques online – are trying a fresh approach. iGavel are headed by Vancouver-based Lark E. Mason, Jr, a 24-year veteran employee of Sotheby’s whose last role was director of online auctions for

Portobello deal should protect forecourt and street traders

14 October 2003

THE Portobello Management Committee have reached an agreement with Kensington and Chelsea council to safeguard the character and traditions of London’s best-known antiques thoroughfare.

Are your business rates too high?

14 October 2003

THE Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors have launched a Business Rates helpline which offers free advice to businesses across the UK. There is also a new, easy to understand leaflet available by calling the same number – 0870 333 1600.

Art market diploma set up

14 October 2003

THE Wallace Collection have gone into partnership with French art training provider IESA to develop a postgraduate diploma in the History and Business of Art and Collecting.


Cameo role takes centre stage as vases override their estimates

11 October 2003

AMONG the London salerooms offering a good selection of antique glasswares in the last fortnight, Christie’s South Kensington had a mixed-owner 280-lot selection of British and Continental glass to offer as part of their monthly ‘At Home’ series.


Strong turnout for Harvey’s vintage selection of drinking glasses

11 October 2003

In terms of collecting focus, much of the pre-sale attention for the Harvey’s Wine Museum sale at Bonhams centred on the October 1 glass and ceramics auction.


Wine Label Circle expand their sphere of influence

11 October 2003

If antique glass was the focal point of the celebrated Harvey’s Wine Museum collection, sold in three parts by Bonhams in the last month, then the first purchase for the fledgling museum in the mid 1950s had been the Pratt collection of silver wine labels.