Auctioneers

The auction process is a key part of the secondary art and antiques market.

Firms of auctioneers usually specialise in a number of fields such as jewellery, ceramics, paintings, Asian art or coins but many also hold general sales where the goods available are not defined by a particular genre and are usually lower in value.

Auctioneers often provide other services such as probate and insurance valuations.

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Three contrasting ways to be big in Japan

29 June 2020

Two very different Japanese works on paper performed with equal gusto at Sworders’ (25% buyer’s premium) recent Asian art sale, both making 10-times-estimate sums for a vendor from Hertfordshire.

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Jewels of the Egyptian 12th Dynasty emerge in Cambridge sale

29 June 2020

Archaeological discoveries were a continuous source of inspiration for jewellery in the 19th century. Ancient goldsmithing techniques were studied and relearned. Jewels found during excavations of Roman, Egyptian, Hellenistic and particularly Etruscan sites were copied or reinterpreted.

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Fringe benefits for Bromley diamonds

29 June 2020

Among the many successful online-only jewellery auctions that took place during the lockdown was that held by Bromley-based saleroom Catherine Southon (18% buyer’s premium), writes John Benjamin.

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Dietrich’s flower study blooms in Munich

29 June 2020

It is thought that the German artist Adelheid Dietrich (1827-91), renowned for her incredibly detailed still-lifes of fruit and flowers, completed only 50 paintings during her career.

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Peach of a scroll bears fruit in an Asian selection

29 June 2020

A Qing dynasty (1644-1911) embroidered silk hanging scroll topped Sworders’ (25% buyer’s premium) Asian art sale on May 28, selling online for £21,000.

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Coecke van Aelst sends right note to Old Masters market

29 June 2020

Vienna saleroom Dorotheum (28/25/22/18% buyer’s premium) was hoping to send a positive signal for the art market from its latest Old Master sale.

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Cartier brings colour to the Depression

29 June 2020

A recent sale at Dorotheum (28/25/22% buyer’s premium) in Vienna was topped by this spectacular diamond and aquamarine tiara-necklace by Cartier London.

Nobel Prize and bindings combine to impress

29 June 2020

Christie’s (25/20/13.5% buyer’s premium) recent sale in Paris of books and manuscripts was led at €125,000 (£113,635) by a Nobel Prize for Literature medal awarded in 1947, just four years before his death, to the essayist, critic, novelist and dramatist André Gide.

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Life after lockdown in the art and antiques world - in pictures

27 June 2020

Auction houses, dealers and antiques centres have begun to reopen their premises to the public. All have taken steps to ensure buildings are ‘Covid-secure’ with new layouts, hygiene regimes and occupancy restrictions.

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Stanley Gibbons unveils refurbished Strand showroom

26 June 2020

Stanley Gibbons Group, which runs philately auctioneer-dealer Stanley Gibbons, numismatic dealership Baldwin’s and auction joint venture Baldwin’s of St James’s, will shortly reopen its newly refurbished shop and head office at 399 Strand in central London.

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Overall total at Christie’s Classic Week falls as sales pushed back until the autumn

25 June 2020

The postponement of three top-end paintings and objects sales meant that the overall total generated by Christie’s latest ‘Classic Week’ in New York was well down on previous years.

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German auction house Nagel begins insolvency process but remains operating as coronavirus hits trade

23 June 2020

Nagel in Stuttgart, which has been trading since 1922, has been so severely affected by the coronavirus lockdown that it has begun an insolvency process.

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Dod Procter's high brow oil takes £26,500 in Cornwall art auction

22 June 2020

The stand-out lot at David Lay’s latest Cornish art sale was an oil by Dod Procter (1891-1972), a leading member of the colony of avant garde artists working in Cornwall in the 1920s-30s.

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Allow access to antiquities files, says Christie’s

22 June 2020

Following the removal of four lots from a New York sale, Christie’s has expressed frustration at being denied access to key information on possible looted antiquities.

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Inscribed first edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone makes £100,000

22 June 2020

One of the few first-edition copies of 'Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone' inscribed and signed by JK Rowling has sold at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh for £100,000 (plus 25% premium).

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How trading life looks after lockdown

22 June 2020

Auction houses, dealers and antiques centres in England began to reopen their premises to the public on June 15. All have taken steps to ensure buildings are ‘Covid-secure’ with new layouts, hygiene regimes and occupancy restrictions.

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Reticulated rediscovery coming to Hong Kong auction

22 June 2020

Sotheby’s July Hong Kong series will include ‘a lost masterpiece’ of Qianlong yangcai porcelain recently found in a Dutch country house.

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Militaria: Bismarck’s visor cap leads auction selection of military uniforms

22 June 2020

Military uniforms reached their ornamental peak in the 19th century Western Europe – with the leaders of the day sharing in their ostentation

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Dealer Katz defined and refined

22 June 2020

London auction of dealer's works follows similar 2013 sale and Rafael Valls offering held this April

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Pick of the week: Meet the fakir who likes his sheep raw

22 June 2020

The highlight of Bonhams’ rescheduled sale of Indian and Islamic art held on June 11 was a group of a nine Company School watercolours with an unbroken provenance back to 1812.

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