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.

Sotheby’s move Asian contemporary sales to Hong Kong

18 August 2008

SOTHEBY’S have announced that, as of next year, all their dedicated contemporary Asian art sales will be held in Hong Kong.

Tiffany appeal against eBay ruling in US

18 August 2008

Tiffany & Co have appealed over the ruling that eBay do not have to police their auction site for fakes before they are sold to unwitting buyers.


An index of murder, mayhem and other horrors

18 August 2008

AT Sotheby's on July 17, a wooden file box containing nearly 4000 index cards compiled by the father of professional forensic pathology, Sir Bernard Spilsbury, sold at £15,000 to a collector.

FBI tracing owners of huge art hoard

18 August 2008

The FBI are attempting to track down the rightful owners of 137 works of art, discovered in a New York apartment, which are thought to have been stolen in the 1960s and 70s.

Beatles tape found in attic makes £10,000

18 August 2008

A previously unheard tape of a Beatles recording session, in which John Lennon and Paul McCartney break into giggles and crack jokes, has fetched £10,000 at Cameo auctioneers in Midgham, Berkshire.


Johnson family jailed but stolen antiques still remain at large

11 August 2008

Stolen art and antiques valued at tens of millions of pounds remain at large despite the incarceration of five members of the notorious Johnson family who bragged in a 2005 BBC documentary that they would gladly steal from “the lords, the sirs and the ladies”.


Isle of Wight saleroom clocks up a £240,000 record

11 August 2008

Isle of Wight firm Island Auction Rooms established a new record for a clock sold by a UK provincial auctioneer when this remarkable longcase took £240,000 on August 7.


Sotheby’s figures show reliance on contemporary art

11 August 2008

SOTHEBY’S dependence on the contemporary art market could hardly be clearer than in their latest set of figures.

Christie’s to sell Yves St Laurent collection

11 August 2008

Christie’s have announced that they are to sell the multi-million collection of Yves St Laurent, who died in June, and his business partner Pierre Bergé in February next year.


Wartime treat that takes the biscuit

11 August 2008

This Carrs of Carlisle biscuit tin looks like pretty much any other Christmas biscuit tin from 1941 – except that it happens to be unopened.

‘London’s largest sculpture gallery’ in Kings Place

11 August 2008

WHAT is billed as London's largest sculpture gallery will be launched on October 1 when Pangolin London opens in a 100 sq metre space at the new Kings Place development near King's Cross and St. Pancras International stations.

Wine sales return to Asia

11 August 2008

CHRISTIE’S first wine sale in Asia for seven years will take place in November after the auctioneers have decided to reintroduce wine auctions in Hong Kong.


Gallery looks back to early Lucian Freud

11 August 2008

A MAJOR loan exhibition of early works by Lucian Freud (b.1922) will run from October 9 to December 12 at the St James’s gallery of Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert, 38 Bury Street, London SW1.

Auctioneer stung by fake £20 notes

11 August 2008

An unidentified culprit used counterfeit cash to purchase an item in an auction of general antiques at Peter Francis Auctioneers of West Wales on July 15.

Weird and Wonderful at the British Library

11 August 2008

Maurice Collins and the British Library are to hold a display of Weird and Wonderful Inventions and Gadgets, eccentric and ingenious contraptions produced between 1851 and 1951.


The Mouseman’s school days

09 August 2008

North Yorkshire auctioneers Tennants have cut a profitable niche selling the furniture of local craftsman Robert Thompson, but for their July sale they went one better.


Goya on paper is sales series winner

08 August 2008

TO the connoisseurial mind, it was not the paintings that lit up the Old Master series in London in early July but rather three rediscovered drawings by Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) offered in a dedicated Old Master and 19th century works on paper sale at Christie’s on July 8.


Thieves steal a collection built up over a lifetime

04 August 2008

A YORKSHIRE dealer lost a lifetime's collection in one night when thieves stole the bulk of his Clarice Cliff stock built up over the last 25 years. Art Deco dealer Muir Hewitt lost around 55 pieces of Clarice Cliff when the thieves targeted his shop in the Redbrick Mill in Batley in the early hours of July 26.


Classic Lalique brooch at £58,000

04 August 2008

THIS 2in (5cm) long brooch is textbook Lalique. Fashioned as a cicada, its main constituent is glass set into a gold frame. The insect’s body is formed from pâte de verre and the wings from plique à jour enamel, both favourite Lalique materials.

Muted end to the Colin Wilson monkeys saga

04 August 2008

The final chapter in the story of ‘The Colin Wilson Monkeys’ ended quietly on July 30 when they sold at auction for an unspectacular £25,000.