Art and antiques news from 2004

In 2004 Nicholas Bonham left Bonhams. It was the first time there was no family member on the board in the firm's history.
A blaze at Momart's London warehouse destroyed about £40 million of art including important contemporary and Modern pictures.
A crowd of more than 800 people in the saleroom watched as Young Lady Seated at the Virginals, a newly acknowledged work by Johannes Vermeer, sold at Sotheby's for £14.5 million.


The trade gear up for first fine fair of the year

23 December 2004

ESTABLISHED in 1976, the annual West London Antiques Fair is traditionally the first quality fair of the year and a sure sign that the trade is well and truly back in harness after the seasonal break.


Something new under the Florida sun...

23 December 2004

AFTER 43 years, the annual Original Miami Beach Antique Show is a world attraction but, despite its longevity, it still rings the changes, as you will see at this year’s staging from January 20 to 24 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive.


Owls and pussycats

23 December 2004

THE last of the four annual selling shows of Japanese woodblock prints at The Japanese Gallery, 66D Kensington Church Street, London W8, is Cats, Birds and Flowers which opened earlier this month and continues until February 28, 2005.


Horologists clocking on to 2005

23 December 2004

NOTED Manchester horologists Northern Clocks, run by Robert Love and his daughter Mary Anne, always have more than 100 good, craftsman-restored clocks in stock at Boothsbank Farm, Leigh Road, Worsley, but you can also see what they have on offer in their just published 2005 catalogue.


CHRISTIE’S - Le Pavillon de Chougny

23 December 2004

Christie’s King Street (19.5/12% buyer’s premium) were pulling out all the stops for their first full week of the month.


Music box sings at £5200

23 December 2004

Halls (15% buyer’s premium) "It was quite a rare object, in good working order and sang beautifully.”

A rare survival: a signed book from the library of Pierre de Ronsard

23 December 2004

SOLD at £42,000 to a collector in a November 30 sale of Continental books and manuscripts held by Sotheby’s was a 1566 Lyon edition of Celsus’ De re medica from the library of France’s ‘Prince of Poets’, Pierre de Ronsard. Autograph material by de Ronsard is of the utmost rarity, with just two documents entirely in his hand recorded (both in the Bibliothèque Nationale) and ony two or three volumes bearing his signature, as this one does, remaining in private hands.


Governance of mind and body

23 December 2004

FIRST printed by Berthelet in 1531, Thomas Elyot’s The Boke named the Govenor, a treatise on the education of statesmen that was dedicated to Henry VIII and found great favour at court, has been described as “not only the earliest treatise on moral philosophy in English but the first of an imposing array which introduced into England the cultural and political ideals of the renaissance”.


SOTHEBY’S - Furniture and objects

23 December 2004

MINDFUL of how demand at many sales is polarised between the ‘best and the rest’, Sotheby’s (20/12% buyer’s premium) decided to tackle this prevalent attitude head on with a new type of sale.

Carmarthen is sized up

23 December 2004

CARMARTHEN’S own Towy Antiques Fairs ended the year on a high note with good sales across the board at their Christmas Carmarthen Antiques & Collectors’ Fair, held at the local showground on December 11 and 12.


Norfolk’s stylish landscape

23 December 2004

Thos. Wm. Gaze & Son (10% buyer’s premium)At 13in (33cm) high this really is a very good-sized example of William Moorcroft’s celebrated Hazeldene design.


Do buying patterns reflect present conditions?

23 December 2004

Is there a Christmas factor in the auction rooms? Cheffins auctioneer Jonathan Law (Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent) believes that the season may have some effect in putting a little pressure on people to buy rather than wait.

Signs of the old times

23 December 2004

CONSOLIDATING his comeback, Reg Cooper, who now operates as Caminade Antiques Fairs, encountered a bit of old-fashioned fair wars skulduggery at his second Oxfordshire Antiques Fair, held from December 10 to 12 at Heythrop Park.


Americans spurn Aristotle

23 December 2004

ANOTHER Greek author whom Aldus published was Aristotle, whose Opera Omnia appeared in a five-part, seven-volume edition between 1495 and 1498.


Three more ‘Goostly’ leaves and a first-class sandwich wrapper

23 December 2004

Autographs, manuscripts and printed ephemera have long been a great strength of sales at Strides of Chichester, but the December 3 sale was rather special, being devoted entirely to that field and, though not billed as such, the first part of the personal collection of Derek White, who for many years has catalogued for the Sussex saleroom.


Eremon chases glory again with £2600

23 December 2004

Richard Winterton (15% buyer’s premium)Trained by Tom Coulthwaite, who schooled a number of high-class jumpers in the first decades of the 20th century, Irish-bred Eremon was one of the top chasers of his era. And 1907 was very much his year.


Repeating time and money

23 December 2004

Complete with its original bill of sale and warranty, this fine 18ct gold chronograph minute repeater pocket watch made by London maker J.W. Benson sold into the trade for £3100 at John Taylor’s (12% buyer’s premium) of Louth on December 7.


V&A review after second Ceramic Galleries theft

22 December 2004

The Victoria and Albert Museum have updated security following a second theft from their Ceramic Galleries in as many months. While the new systems were installed, the galleries were closed for a week.

Sotheby’s to change premium thresholds

22 December 2004

Sotheby’s are to change the thresholds of their buyer’s premium structure from January 1, 2005.


...and, illustrating the point

22 December 2004

“Business has been good, but to achieve this I have had to work extremely hard.” This is how Chris Beetles summed up 2004 and, having already taken over £500,000 in sales from his renowned annual exhibition of British illustrators, he is ending the year on a bullish note.