Art and antiques news from 2009

The most successful edition of the Grosvenor House fair in London took place in 2009. It was the event’s 75th anniversary year but soon after the owners of the hotel said the fair would not be staged the following year. It was quickly replaced by Masterpiece at a different venue.

Also in 2009, dealer association LAPADA launched a new fair in a marquee in Berkeley Square in London's Mayfair and the buying power of Chinese nationals became a major force at auctions around the world.


Adding lustre to a Moorcroft classic

17 October 2009

It was Moorcroft’s take on flambé glazes that produced the highest price at Bonhams’ latest Ceramic Design sale.


Roman treasure – Bonhams unveil rival to British Museum’s Portland Vase

13 October 2009

SPECIALISTS at Bonhams have just announced that they have identified a magnificent Roman cameo glass vase, which may be the most important of its kind in the world.


Fingerprint points to $19,000 portrait being revalued as £100m work by Leonardo da Vinci

12 October 2009

ATG correspondent SIMON HEWITT gains exclusive access to the evidence used to unveil what the world's leading scholars say is the first major Leonardo Da Vinci find for 100 years.

Four big London fairs set for June 2010 as now Haughtons join fray

12 October 2009

LONDON-based international fair organisers Brian and Anna Haughton have announced that they will launch a new fair in London next summer, taking advantage of the opportunity offered by the demise of Grosvenor House.


‘Diseased’ Australian banknotes make £350,000

12 October 2009

FROM May 1913, the first distinctive Commonwealth of Australia banknotes were issued. They were controversial in that no portrait of the reigning monarch, George V, was included in the design.

Dealer goes back to court over Royal Mail compensation

12 October 2009

MORE than a year after his county court victory against Royal Mail, coins and banknotes dealer Bruce Goulborn is taking them to court again.


Metastasis – a winning hand transformed

12 October 2009

METASTASIS, to most people, is a word with rather grim connotations – referring as it does to the spread of cancer. Applied to a set of playing cards, however, it has an altogether different and more attractive meaning.

New fair for Atlantic City

12 October 2009

A NEW antiques fair in Atlantic City is to be launched in March. It replaces the long-running Atlantique City Antiques Show – a once leading US fair that was axed by organisers F&W Publications in September.

Dreweatts set up separate company to handle clients' money

05 October 2009

LEADING UK fine art auctioneers Dreweatts have established a separate company governed by independent directors to handle clients’ money.


Online bidder wins unique medal group at £88,000

05 October 2009

THE first Conspicuous Gallantry Cross group to appear at auction also became the highest-priced lot to sell via ATG's live bidding platform when it was hammered down for £88,000 at Dix Noonan Webb on September 18.

Sotheby’s deal puts an end to Bonhams’ partnership Down Under

05 October 2009

IT’S all change among Australia’s leading auctioneers as Goodmans, linked to Bonhams since 2003, are to adopt the Sotheby’s brand instead.


Märklin tops Kaufman sale in New Jersey

05 October 2009

THIS rare c.1912 Märklin fire engine toy topped the sale of the second part of the Donald Kaufman toy collection at specialist saleroom Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, New Jersey, on September 25-26.


A travel album par excellence

05 October 2009

BORN a wealthy European aristocrat and court painter to a Turkish Sultan, the Maltese count Vittorio Amadeo Preziosi (1816-1882) was nevertheless a familiar figure among the back streets of Istanbul.


Old Father Thames stolen in Cordoba

05 October 2009

PICTURED here is an artist’s impression of one of a cache of easily identifiable antiques stolen from the Spanish home of two retired British antiques dealers.

Richard Green rebuilds Bond Street premises

05 October 2009

LEADING London art dealer Richard Green is in the process of demolishing his Old Masters gallery at 33 New Bond Street, prior to completely rebuilding a new five-storey gallery.


Green campaign on a roll

05 October 2009

THE Antiques are Green campaign, launched by Beaconsfield dealer Nigel Worboys earlier this year, is gaining momentum. Now we want as many people to back it as possible.

Vendors remain unpaid as Scottish saleroom ‘downsizes’

28 September 2009

SCOTTISH auctioneers Loves Auction Rooms of Perth appear to have ceased trading, leaving vendors unpaid.


Jupe’s great invention in miniature

28 September 2009

THIS diminutive table seen at Cambridge auctioneers Cheffins on the second day of their September 23-24 sale was a miniature version of the famous circular expanding dining table designed by Robert Jupe of Welbeck Street, London.

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Valuing the Staffordshire gold hoard

28 September 2009

IT was the talk of the week in the print and broadcast media. The Staffordshire Hoard is being billed as the biggest collection found in England and the most important since the celebrated Sutton Hoo discovery of 1939.


It’s business as usual, says Freeport, as EU brings law change in Geneva

28 September 2009

THE Geneva Freeport (Port Franc) have insisted that a recent change to Swiss customs laws will not affect the city’s reputation as the art warehouse of Europe.