Art and antiques news from 2008

In September 2008 Sotheby's much-hyped sale of works by Damien Hirst was a runaway success amid the general gloom, taking £100 million.

After 37 years on traditional newsprint, Antiques Trade Gazette became full-colour gloss.

Dealer Agnews sold its historic Bond Street premises, Elaine Dean retired after 25 years as secretary general of BADA and Christie's South Kensington introduced interiors sales aimed at the retail market.


Britton Smith spoons come to the fore

27 December 2008

BONHAMS’ latest silver auction was another sale of two parts. Around a third of it was devoted entirely to one specialist collecting field, early spoons, the bulk from one vendor, Mr Britton Smith.


Collectors gather to pick up Vaughan inheritance

27 December 2008

AT points, the catalogue of items from the Vaughan family collection sounded like the script for ‘Monty Python and The Holy Grail’.


Record £1.8m sale announced after French authorities drop interest

22 December 2008

It took them over a week, but Bonhams have now been able to announce a new record for a piece of 19th century furniture achieved. The new high was achieved when this French ormolu, lacquer and Brazilian rosewood cabinet imitating the shape of a Japanese shodana realised a mighty £1.8m.

New York Asian fair cancelled as downturn bites

22 December 2008

LONDON-based organisers Brian and Anna Haughton have cancelled the International Asian Art Fair scheduled for March 11 to 15 at New York's Park Avenue Armory – the first major fairs casualty of the world economic turmoil.


Government rethink over illogical CITES rules

22 December 2008

Could it be that common sense has broken out in the interpretation of the complex laws regarding the sale of antique rhinoceros horns?

Imports and exports figures show last effects of art boom

22 December 2008

THE latest Goverment Import/Export figures indicated the final effects of the art market boom before the downturn seen in October.


Unknown drawings by ‘father of British watercolours’ comes to light in Edinburgh

22 December 2008

A Borders property provided Thomson Roddick (15% buyer's premium) with a sensational discovery for their sale in Rosewell, Edinburgh on December 4.

On-off saga of Bauhaus artist’s dispersal reaches another impasse

22 December 2008

A FAMILY feud has led to yet another cancellation of the sale of 63 works of art by Oskar Schlemmer, one of the central figures of the Bauhaus.

DMG sell second US antiques fair

22 December 2008

DMG, one of the world’s biggest antiques fair organisers, have sold another show from their American portfolio.


Hong Kong sales series brings serious rethink over Chinese art

15 December 2008

The Chinese ceramics and works of art market is undergoing a price readjustment after a decade of unfettered growth, a trend highlighted at the latest Asian sales series staged at Christie's Hong Kong.


Sale toasts the Welsh Jacobites by netting £136,000

15 December 2008

Fifty-six works from the Vaughan family estate of Hengwrt, Nannau and Rug in Merionethshire, many of which have been in The Welsh Museum, Cardiff following the sale of the house several years ago, were dispersed without reserve by Tamlyn's of Bridgwater, Somerset, on December 9.

Review underway at Christie’s as salerooms face the downturn

15 December 2008

Christie’s have announced a number of changes to their South Kensington operation – the first tangible evidence that the London salerooms are reviewing strategy following the downturn witnessed in recent sales.


The £14.6m diamond sets new auction record

15 December 2008

The 17th century Wittelsbach diamond was bought for £14.6m (plus premium) by dealer Laurence Graff at Christie’s on December 10, beating the previous auction record – the $16.5m paid for a 100 carat rock at Sotheby’s Geneva in 1995.


Bonhams’ $3.7m valuation day find

15 December 2008

BONHAMS & Butterfields saw a strong price for a Korean ceramic in their Asian works of art sale in San Francisco on December 9.


The Bermuda bounce in Banbury

15 December 2008

BY the time sale day came around, Holloways of Banbury knew they had something special on their hands.


Dealers suffer double theft in London

15 December 2008

THE premises of two London dealers were targeted by thieves over the same weekend at the end of last month.

Halls to launch new sales format

15 December 2008

Shrewsbury auctioneers Halls will have a new format for their weekly sales in the new year.


The key differences for Nelson vinaigrettes

13 December 2008

Recently sold at auction, three examples of the well-known Nelson memorial vinaigrette made by Matthew Linwood of Birmingham in 1805 sold for markedly different prices – and for good reason.


Kings of the castle-tops

13 December 2008

SO-CALLED castle-top boxes represent a fascinating moment in British social history. Fashioned by the silver ‘toy’ makers of Birmingham, these vinaigrettes and card cases engraved or die-stamped with British landmarks were seemingly marketed as tourist souvenirs.


Old Masters sales holding firm in the downturn

09 December 2008

Old Masters provided some solace for the London auction rooms last week, posting the solid totals and some eye-catching prices to suggest this most established of markets will ride the downturn better than its modern counterparts.