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.


Vanvitelli outsells Flemish work thanks to the James Brothers

22 December 2004

With TEFAF Maastricht beckoning, it was hardly surprising that Dutch and Flemish painting should capture most of major prices at the December round of Old Master paintings sales in London.


Clive of India flask remains in UK – law change suggested

22 December 2004

A LEADING figure in the world of heritage is calling for a change in the export licence rules – after the decision to keep a valuable work of art in the UK.


Leaving the best furniture until last

22 December 2004

The two best-selling pieces of furniture offered outside London in 2004 were sold during one of the very first and one of the last sales of the year.

Bonhams raise the stakes over client services

22 December 2004

FROM January 1, Bonhams will cut the paying out time for UK clients from 35 days to 21. Chairman Robert Brooks aims to cut the payment time further to 14 days and eventually to extend the policy worldwide.

Accidental email loop

22 December 2004

The ATG and many of the UK’s fine art auctioneers have fallen victim to a computer bug that has hit many firms in recent months.


CSK win ATG pub quiz

15 December 2004

Hosted by ATG at the City Flogger in the City of London, the event brought together 20 teams from all areas of the art and antiques world for a light-hearted charity event which nevertheless caused some serious head-scratching.


Taking a pricey ticket to obscurity

15 December 2004

Attracting some welcome national publicity for Swindon book specialists Dominic Winter (15% buyer’s premium) on November 11, was the remarkable performance of a group of early railway tickets consigned for sale by the widow of a Gloucestershire collector.


Consignment rate suggests a successful merger

15 December 2004

Humberts, inc. Tayler & FletcherBourton-on-the-Water, October 26Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent

Coys experts go it alone

15 December 2004

TRANSPORT Collector Auctions is the name of a new specialist auction house that has opened in Richmond, Surrey. The limited company, run by the two former automobilia specialists at Coys, has its first sale at Brooklands on February 12, 2005.

Tajan heads for Brussels

15 December 2004

Paris auctioneer Jacques Tajan is severing his links with Tajan SA, the firm he founded in 1994, and setting up an art consultancy firm in Brussels, where he has already acquired 1000sqm premises near Avenue Louise.

Fine mantel clocks add to reputation of West Country

15 December 2004

By Kate Hunt WHILE large dispersals of clocks have always been rarities outside of the major London rooms, the West Country is becoming a new spot on the dial. Like Bath-based Gardiner Houlgate (see last week’s ATG), the auctioneers formerly known as The Bristol Auction Galleries, who now operate under the Dreweatt Neate banner, have built a good private as well as a trade following for the triannual specialist clock sections included in their antique sales.


Sir Isaac Newton and the trouble with transmutation…

15 December 2004

The small group of Sir Isaac Newton’s manuscripts and papers offered by Sotheby’s New York on December 3 were not for the most part concerned with the work that will forever ensure his fame – although an autograph draft of a letter concerning the presentation of six copies of the 1726, third edition of the Principia to the Académie Royale des Sciences sold at $28,000 (£14,560).

Interest-free loans to tempt millions of would-be art collectors

15 December 2004

Arts Council England have launched Own Art, a new national interest-free loan scheme to encourage people to buy art.


Russian connection is key to tea caddy topping sale at £7000

15 December 2004

BK Art & Antiques, Gloucester, November 11Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent

Email hiccup

15 December 2004

APOLOGIES to any recipients of an email sent out from ATG last week that caused problems.

New rules open up pensions as a source for art investment

15 December 2004

THERE is growing speculation in the trade that the government’s reform of the pension industry is likely to have a significant effect on the art and antiques market.


£17m cabinet record

14 December 2004

Breaking its own record as the most expensive piece of furniture ever sold at auction, this massive, 12ft 8in (3.86m) high, 18th century Florentine ebony, ormolu and pietra dura architectural display piece known as The Badminton Cabinet brought Christie’s December 9 sale of European furniture to a dramatic climax last week when it sold for £17m (£19,045,250 including premium).


Beswick prices keep moving on up

11 December 2004

Pick up a copy of a Beswick price guide from the late 1990s and it will tell you that the Galloway Bull, designed by Arthur Gredington, was made in three versions.


Troika adds gloss to Stonepark sale

11 December 2004

Troika is known for two distinctly different styles – the rough textured wares of which the Cycladic masks are now the most celebrated and the scarcer Brancusi-style smooth monochromatic glazed wares that reveal a rather different aesthetic.


Copper turns to gold

09 December 2004

A STUNNING early Ming dynasty dish has equalled the highest price ever paid at auction for a piece of Chinese porcelain.