This time, a celestial globe was stolen from a shop on New Kings Road in Fulham.
The raid took place on January 22 at around 3.30am from the Old Talisman building. The thieves forced entry gates and smashed the shop window.
The 2ft (60cm) c.1825 free-standing Newton’s celestial globe was one of a pair being offered by the dealer (the other being a terrestrial globe). The pair together in good condition had been on offer for £180,000 prior to the theft.
Owner of the globes, Charles Wallrock of Wick Antiques, notified the police. He told ATG: “It seems very odd the celestial not the terrestrial globe was taken. Why did they not take both? They also took it on its stand and put it in the back of their van so it may well have been damaged like this.”
He said the value of the globe on its own is a fraction of what it is worth with its pair and it will be nearly impossible for this item to be sold on legitimately.
A series of such thefts were reported at the end of last year (ATG No 2472).
Some believe that premises being closed has limited shoplifters’ options and they are instead resorting to smash and grab tactics, breaking windows to steal valuable items.
In view of last year's spate of book and map thefts, dealer Tim Bryars has just installed security shutters in his Cecil Court bookshop. “In the past, at fairs and on the shop floor, we've mostly had to guard against shoplifting, not smash and grab,” he said.
“No dealers want to buy stolen material. Thankfully, most antiquarian books and maps are readily identifiable and initiatives such as the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association's stolen books database have made it all but impossible to openly resell anything which is reported missing - even internationally.
“My colleagues in the trade are as baffled as I am. The thieves might be very good at smashing and grabbing, but we can't think of a way they can turn their haul into money, unless of course they have a sideline in installing security shutters!”
Anyone with information should call 101 quoting the Metropolitan Police crime reference number 6001210/21 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The British Antique Dealers' Association has also circulated information about the theft.
Details of the globe can be found here.