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.

Worcester wine funnel doubles estimate

01 June 1999

UK: A WORCESTER porcelain wine funnel c.1770 – of a particularly large size at 51/2in (14cm) high – printed in underglaze blue with butterflies and sprays of flowers.

Halls take over Chester business

24 May 1999

UK: HALLS of Shrewsbury have acquired Boothmans in the heart of Chester. The saleroom and fine art business belonging to Peter and Sally Williams once housed Sotheby’s Chester branch – where Richard Allen of Halls was director.

Chests of drawers break Billingshurst record

24 May 1999

THE first of the new-format International Sales at Sotheby’s Sussex rooms could hardly have got off to a more successful launch – not only a premium-inclusive total of £750,000 from the 513 lots of ceramics and furniture on day one but also the highest price ever recorded for furniture at Billingshurst, when they sold at more than five times high estimate to a London dealer for £62,000 plus 15/10 per cent buyer’s premium.

Going shell, going well

17 May 1999

UK: THOSE decorative pieces worked by amateurs using seashells have always come low down in the art world pecking order but of late their attractions have become more and more appreciated as seen when an Irish pair of shellwork botanical studies took £26,000 at Mallams, Oxford, on February 3.

Dutch undeterred by strong sterling

17 May 1999

UK: OVERTLY Continental pieces of furniture are not the most commercial proposition in the current trading environment (the strength of sterling have limited the overseas presence for many months now), but Bellman’s West Sussex rooms had no difficulty in selling a fine example of Dutch/Flemish cabinetmaking at their April sale.

Coincidence that came just two days too late

10 May 1999

UK: CHRISTIE’S narrowly missed out on what would have been one of the great marketing coups of the year when news broke that the body of Everest expedition leader George Mallory had been found.

£150,000 for a pair of George III card tables

10 May 1999

UK: WEST Country auctioneers Lawrence’s of Crewkerne posted a house record on May 6 when they sold this pair of George III marquetry inlaid rosewood and satinwood card tables to a New York dealer for £150,000 (plus 12.75 per cent premium).

Sotheby’s told they can release Rossi lots

03 May 1999

ITALY: SOTHEBY’S have been informed that they can release to their purchasers the 23 lots on which the Italian authorities had requested a review of export licences immediately prior to the three-day sale of the Rossi Collection which ended on March 12.

Rare Ming bowl sets world auction record

03 May 1999

HONG KONG: A WORLD auction price was set for Chinese porcelain when this extremely rare doucai chicken cup, from the Ming Dynasty, with the six-character mark and period of Chenghua, 1465-78, from the collection of Mrs Leopold Dreyfus, sold to Eskenazi Ltd of London for HK$25.4m (£2m) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on April 27.

£23,000 tables play their cards right to star in sale

03 May 1999

UK: THIS review of two of the higher-profile sales conducted by Bonhams from their Northern foothold in Stockport begins (in reverse chronological order) with an April catalogue comprising the contents of two Yorkshire manor houses.

Tax deal struck for Mariana

26 April 1999

UK: CHRISTIE’S and Agnew’s have confirmed that they have successfully negotiated the sale of the Millais masterpiece Mariana in the Moated Grange to the nation in lieu of tax.

With cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row…

26 April 1999

Decorative Furniture The five annual selected sales at Christie’s South Kensington (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) always offer a broad variety of furnishings and objects that includes a generous supply of more decorative pieces of various ages.

A sleeper in Sussex

26 April 1999

UK: A George III Chippendale style giltwood wall mirror with a swan neck and cartouche pediment, 7ft 10in high by 3ft 5in wide (2.39 x 1.04m) was consigned to Gorringes’ sale in Lewes on April 21 with expectations of £2500-3000 and sold to a telephone bidder at £22,000 plus 10 per cent premium.

Lowboy tops day

26 April 1999

UK: A ROUTINE dispersal at the Ladybank salerooms was led by a Georgian oak lowboy of typical composition which attracted £13504.

Eclectic mix complemented by Percy Cook collection

26 April 1999

Furniture & Works of Art Usually Sotheby’s (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) offer a sale of English furniture at around the same time as Christie’s, but the Bond Street auctioneers’ next comparable event will not take place until June 4.

£17,000 majolica discovery

26 April 1999

UK: DURING a routine house call to a mid-Victorian terrace in Grantham, auctioneer Colin Young unearthed half of a pair of Victorian comports which were destined to establish a house record for ceramics at the Grantham Auction Rooms.

Bonham’s charming stopgap

26 April 1999

UK: IN common with a number of other London auctioneers, Bonhams (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium), were reserving their best quality Old Master consignments for July, but their April 13 sale in Knightsbridge did at least include the decorative charms of this 3ft 21/2in by 2ft 43/4in (98 x 73cm) canvas, illustrated here, of a young woman tending a bouquet of flowers, signed by the Italian-based still life specialist Abraham Brueghel (1631-1697).

Bullish US bear market

19 April 1999

UK: CONSIGNED by a Stockport couple who had been keen skiers during the 1950s, this late 19th century Black Forest carved hall seat, left, proved the unexpected highlight of Bonham’s (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) sale of general antiques in Manchester on March 24.

Short’s Stygian Poison

19 April 1999

Bearnes, Exeter, March 23 Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent UK: HIGHLIGHTS of this sale included Thomas Short’s Comparative History of the Increase and Decrease of Mankind in England... and also a Meteorological Discourse, 1767, which, in the process of assembling historical and medical information, advocates early marriage and denounces alcohol as ‘a Stygian poison’. It sold at £100.

Hindlip’s best sale ever

19 April 1999

UK: CHRISTIE’S chairman Lord Hindlip has declared himself more excited about the prospect of selling the £20m plus collection of Nathaniel and Albert von Rothschild on July 8 than about any other sale in his 36 years at the auction house.

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