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Art and antiques news from 2015

It was all change at the top in 2015 with Tad Smith replacing Bill Ruprecht as CEO of Sotheby's, Patricia Barbizet taking over from Stephen P Murphy as CEO of Christie's and Matthew Girling moving up to the role of global CEO at Bonhams.

Stephan Ludwig and Ian Goldbart, creators of the group of businesses that include Dreweatts, Baldwin's and Mallett, suddenly departed in the early autumn of 2015.

Dealer association BADA brought in an industry outsider as its new CEO - Marco Forgione, former head of events industry trade body EVCOM.

In other news, dealer Richard Green made his debut at Masterpiece in London, cementing the fair's place as a major event in the annual calendar.

The antiques industry waited nervously to see whether the newly elected Conservative government would carry out its manifesto pledge to "press for a total ban on ivory sales".

£3.7bn/$6bn auction total for Sotheby’s in 2014

20 January 2015

Sotheby’s, who have yet to publish full results for 2014, have announced headline figures for auction sales (up 18% at £3.7bn/$6bn), their highest ever total.

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TEFAF appoints new head

20 January 2015

After 17 years as managing director of TEFAF Maastricht, Paul Hustinx will step down shortly after this year’s fair to be replaced by new chief executive officer Patrick van Maris.

New stolen art database launched

19 January 2015

ArtClaim, a new database launched in London this week to track lost, disputed and stolen cultural objects, promises new ways of identifying and recording interests attached to works of art.

Last year in perspective: a view from the SOFAA

19 January 2015

Commenting on the wider marketplace in her capacity as chairman of the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers, Helen Carless, chairman and managing director of Lawrences of Crewkerne, gave ATG this brief summary of the feedback received from various SOFAA members.

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Global sales at Spink hit £29m in strong coins and stamps market

19 January 2015

Philatelic and numismatic specialists Spink have posted annual sales figures of just under £29m.

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Sotheby’s fend off Caravaggio claim

16 January 2015

A High Court judge has dismissed a claim made against Sotheby’s surrounding the sale of a disputed version of Caravaggio’s ‘The Card Sharps’.

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More Dambusters relics on offer in Dorset

16 January 2015

Sherborne auctioneers Charterhouse have been instructed to sell the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) pair awarded to a member of 617 Squadron, more commonly known as The Dambusters.

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Asian art and jewellery drive regional sales in 2014

16 January 2015

Annual auction totals hold steady across provincial salerooms.

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Delft discovery on show at upcoming New York fair

15 January 2015

Delftware experts Aronson of Amsterdam have recently reunited this pair of c.1690 Delft ‘bouquetière’ figures depicting William and Mary.

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Huge interest expected for Dambuster pieces

14 January 2015

Five truly remarkable items of British wartime history are being offered for sale at J.P. Humbert Auctioneers of Towcester.

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Brussels Art Fair: the exhibitor’s view

13 January 2015

Now celebrating 60 years as a Belgian art and antiques fair, the Brussels Art Fair (BRAFA) obviously has staying power and many exhibitors make the return year on year to stand here. ATG’s Anne Crane asked one longstanding exhibitor, Francis Maere of Francis Maere Fine Arts from Brussels, why the event ticks all the boxes for him.

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Record-breakers of the Tudor realm

13 January 2015

A recent sale in London saw the auction records for Tudor coins rewritten by two choice examples of a golden denomination.

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Anglo-Saxon controls may prove vital in shedding light on newfound hoard

12 January 2015

Strict rules governing the integrity of early English coinage could lead to the newly uncovered Aylesbury Hoard revising our perspective of the Anglo-Saxon period.

Huge hoard may hold key to early English coinage

12 January 2015

The discovery of Anglo-Saxon coins near Aylesbury in December is the largest find of its type in 175 years.

TEFAF Showcase dealers announced

07 January 2015

The list of five successful applicants for the 2015 TEFAF Maastricht ‘Showcase’ has been announced and, while it includes three Parisian galleries, unusually this year’s selection does not include any British dealers.

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Spink pin money on their silver dollar

07 January 2015

An example of the first of America’s iconic silver dollars will be on sale at Spink USA later this month.

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Safra’s Canaletto heads to Sotheby’s

06 January 2015

As part of Old Master Week in New York, Sotheby’s will sell paintings assembled by J.E. Safra on January 29.

LAPADA conference at The House of Lords

05 January 2015

This year’s LAPADA Conference will take place for a third time at The House of Lords, by courtesy of chairman, Lord Chadlington, on Tuesday, February 24. 

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Cameo crooks convicted over series of scams

05 January 2015

The bosses of a Berkshire auction house who defrauded customers of up to £250,000 have been found guilty of nine out of 11 charges.

Burglars target Christie’s King Street saleroom

05 January 2015

Police are investigating a theft that occurred at Christie’s King Street premises at the end of last year.