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.

The Lady of the Seashells?

19 December 2001

Sold for £90,000 as part of the November 15 Natural History & Travel sale at Sotheby’s was an album of 162 conchological watercolours put together c.1764-82 by Mlle. J.C. Xavery, a miniaturist of Dutch descent and probably the sister of the flower and landscape painter Jacob Xavery, who was working in Paris around the same time.

Christie’s to market new type of New York sale…

18 December 2001

Christie’s will launch a new series of sales in the New Year aimed at creating a “one stop shopping experience” for dealers, decorators and particularly private buyers.

Sotheby’s start talks on sale of Taubman shares

18 December 2001

Sotheby’s board of directors has told its managers to meet with representatives of Alfred Taubman to discuss the possible sale of his controlling stake in the company.

Ramsden’s loving spoonful

13 December 2001

THE best seller at Tennants’ sale on November 22-23 in the Yorkshire Dales was consigned by a Yorkshire family with connections to the famous silversmith who made it.

William Billingsley painted campana vase

13 December 2001

This unrecorded, William Billingsley painted campana vase appeared at Woolley and Wallis’s sale in Salisbury on November 28, and not without great controversy.

Highlights on metal at CDA 2002

13 December 2001

Contemporary Decorative Arts, Sotheby’s selling showcase of work by European designers, has become a popular annual fixture in the auctioneers’ calendar.

George Jones and Royal Worcester in keen demand

13 December 2001

George Jones majolica continues to be extraordinarily popular with buyers, both trade and private. Some damage to a George Jones cheese dish and cover offered in Birmingham at Biddle & Webb saw it estimated at £300-500 so it came as rather a surprise when it soared above this.

Parker & Stalker’s very rare Treatise on Japanning and Varnishing

13 December 2001

The earliest book in English on the subject, and described by H.D. Molesworth in his introduction to a 1960 reprint as “a work of art in its own right... as readily accepted for its literary content as for its technical information”, George Parker and John Stalker’s Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing... was the book that effectively introduced the process to Western craftsmen and one that had, as a consequence, a dramatic effect on decorative styles and fashions.

Cambridge blues, and reds, and yellows – books get the full colour treatment…

13 December 2001

The book section of a general antiques sale held by Cheffins of Cambridge on November 1 ran to only 58 lots, but this saleroom produces impressive, colour illustrated catalogues and no fewer that a dozen of those lots were illustrated, some of them at full page.

Brooks aims for February 1 for revamp

12 December 2001

Robert Brooks, who is in the middle of negotiations concerning the restructuring of Bonhams, says he is working to a target date of February 1 to complete his plans.

Christie’s take their Parisian turn

12 December 2001

Less than a week after Sotheby’s became the first foreign auctioneers to sell in France, Christie’s brought down the hammer on their inaugural French sale – the first session of the Charles-Otto Zieseniss collection.

Trade await European ruling over price fixing

11 December 2001

Pending appeals leave compensation in limbo: With the conviction of Sotheby’s chief shareholder, Alfred Taubman, on price-fixing charges, attention now turns to the outstanding matters concerning compensation.

Lost and found in the salerooms

05 December 2001

When Sotheby’s sold Joan Stephens’ collection of samplers and needlework in New York in 1997, the second most expensive lot, at $90,000, was an English needlework picture initialled EP, and dated 1746.

Not only here for the beer

05 December 2001

Whitbread archives provide Knowle with a trophy consignment: The Midlands branch of the Bonhams empire, the former Phillips salerooms at Knowle, has not previously been known for regular breweriana sales but their reputation for selling collectables saw them win a 356-lot consignment from the Whitbread archives.

Pilkington pilgrimage to Edinburgh

05 December 2001

Collectors from Lancashire arrived at the Edinburgh sale of Decorative Arts held by Lyon and Turnbull (15/10% buyer’s premium) on November 7, excited by this silhouette, right, of their favourite ceramic factory.

Modern British best on paper

05 December 2001

“There was a certain amount of watching. People were there to see what was happening, which was why it was slightly less active than last year, particularly for the nice, but less fashionable 19th century watercolours.”

Bath tile with all the qualities to justify a £6000 pricetag…

05 December 2001

Two weeks after Christie’s and Bonhams’ Knightsbridge sales, Bonhams’ (15/10% buyer’s premium) offered a small 110-lot selection of antiquities along with a dozen lots of icons in their Bond Street rooms on November 27.

Reynolds sells for £9.4m

03 December 2001

A new world auction record for Sir Joshua Reynolds was achieved at Sotheby’s on November 29 when the oil on canvas Portrait of Omai sold for £9,400,500 (plus 20/15/10 per cent buyer’s premium).

Mystic Meg of the Middle Ages…

03 December 2001

This codified sequence of columns, dots and captions is what the superstitious folk of 16th century Italy consulted with more zealotry than a tabloid-reading lottery pundit in search of Mystic Meg.

Taubman not fully in control of Sotheby’s say witnesses

03 December 2001

Former Sotheby’s chairman Alfred Taubman fell asleep during board meetings and was more concerned with getting his lunch than running his company, a New York jury was told last week.

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