Big-selling Asian art lots continued to be popular with web-readers in 2016.
Charles Hanson led the way with a dramatic rostrum performance – broadcast live on thesaleroom.com and preserved on antiquestradegazette.com – as he sold a Qianlong vase for a house-record £650,000.
Controversy in its multifarious forms also brought large numbers of views, whether relating to possible Old Master fakes, UK dealers being told to destroy ivory antiques when attempting to import them into the US (see below), or eBay stopping the sale of an ancient coin due to its mark being deemed ‘hateful or discriminatory’ (see below).
Key moves and start-ups attracted readers in 2016, such as the key former members of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions all leaving to join a new auction firm.
Online giant eBay halted the sale of a 4th or 5th century BC Thracian coin due to its “Nazi-like” symbol.
Famous names at fashion sales were one area that generated wide interest from internet users.
Plenty of news relating to ivory antiques broke across 2016. Looking ahead, 2017 is likely be no different.
With its well-known experts and intriguing discoveries, the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow maintains high viewing figures in its Sunday evening slot. Its wide interest is reflected by the ATG’s online readership with a number popular stories this year. They included the sad passing of the militaria specialist Graham Lay who, as well as the Roadshow’s militaria expert, was also the one-time Arms & Armour correspondent of ATG.
Car-boot finds are perennial web gold dust: an Indian miniature consigned by a London taxi driver to Roseberys made £75,000 and a £10 enamel vase that turned out to be Chinese rarity at Woolley & Wallis (see below), both attracted plenty of online hits.
Another Antiques Roadshow-related story drawing plenty of hits related to a portrait by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema on which picture expert Rupert Maas placed a £200,000-300,000 valuation.
One of the car-boot fair finds of the year, a Chinese work of art bought for £10 that went on to sell for £50,000.