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1) Defra to crack down on marine ivory trade

The trade in most antique scrimshaw and narwhal tusks will effectively be banned in the UK in just over two months.


An early to mid-19th century scrimshaw-decorated sperm whale tooth depicting the sailing ship Fame, sold for £350 at Tennants in January 2024.

2) A portrait miniature of Irish revolutionary Robert Emmet rouses bidders at auction

The emergence of a rare c.1803 portrait miniature of Robert Emmet at Gorringe’s in Lewes proved to be an exciting discovery.

2649 NEDI Gorringes Robert Emmet 1

Robert Emmet (1778-1803) was an Irish Republican and patriot, orator and rebel leader executed for high treason in 1803. This ivory portrait miniature by an unknown artist was estimated £300-500 at Gorringe’s but made a final hammer £3600.

3) Hillier work hidden from the Nazis by a maid comes for sale

Tristram Hillier (1905-83) described the Surrealist pictures he created at Étretat, the picturesque town on the north-western coast of France, as “some of the best I have ever made”. It appeared in The Library Sale at Adam’s of Dublin on May 1.


Étretat, 1939 by Tristram Hillier, €75,000 (£87,000) at Adam’s.

4) Meteorites archive soars over estimate at Carlisle auction

Thomson Roddick Callan of Carlisle held a 270-lot sale of Antiquarian & Collectable Books and Related Items on June 6 where this meteorites archive shot off.

Meteorites 2649Nedic 17 06 2024

‘On Meteorites’, a detail of a meteorite in watercolour. The archive sold for £1200 at Thomson Roddick Callan.

5) Macau scenes set record for William Prinsep at Bonhams

Two watercolours of the Portuguese colony of Macao by the British colonial artist William Prinsep (1794-1874) sold for record sums in Bonhams’ latest Travel & Exploration sale.

William Prinsep watercolour

William Prinsep’s watercolour View across the inner harbour of Macau, £38,000 at Bonhams.

This list is based on pageviews for individual news stories over the period June 6-12, 2024.