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.

Venus breaks record for antiquities in London fest

19 June 2002

A new auction record for any antiquity was set at Christie’s last week on June 13 when the 5ft 3in (1.6m) high ancient Roman marble statue of Venus, pictured right, sold for £7.2m.

The ladies take the honours

19 June 2002

Back on April 9 and 10 Bonhams (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) Bond Street rooms offered a double helping of portrait miniatures on consecutive days: a 165-lot single owner and a 133-lot mixed-vendor sale, both of which saw around three-quarters of their contents get away.

Cheaper items have their day too

19 June 2002

On the same day that Christie’s King Street rooms were offering pieces from the upper-crust end of the portrait miniatures and vertu market, their South Kensington (17/510% buyer’s premium) rooms had a more bread-and-butter selection of the same material.

Return of the Goulden boy

19 June 2002

Jean Goulden (1878-1947) was another name restored to pre-eminence at the Tajan sale on 28 May. Goulden belonged to the Groupe Dunand–Goulden–Jouve–Schmied and himself underwrote the exhibitions the group staged annually at the Galerie Georges-Petit in Paris from 1921 to 1933.

£360,000 Osborne backs claims of Irish Sellers

19 June 2002

IRISH auctioneers have long been adamant that Irish pictures sell better in Ireland and certainly the 71 per cent sold by lot achieved at James Adam (15% buyer’s premium) in Dublin on May 29 was only just shy of the 76 per cent by lot selling rate taken at Christie’s Irish sale in London on May 17.

One of six playbills printed in the Arctic in 1851-52

19 June 2002

Predating Shackleton’s famous experiments in polar printing by nearly 60 years, this is one of a group of six playbills printed in the Arctic in 1851-52, during the voyages of the Resolute and Intrepid in search of Sir John Franklin.

Drouot sets up a company to run itself after losing all offers

18 June 2002

THE Hôtel Drouot, traditional home of Parisian auctions, will not now be sold, it has been announced. Following the withdrawal of all four bids after none could surmount difficulties in negotiating a sale, the auctioneers who own the Drouot have raised €71m (approx £45m) and set up a management company, Drouot Holding, to run it – although not its finances – with seven of their number on the board.

Quality, age and original condition provide the right mix

14 June 2002

This rare Elizabethan oak draw leaf refectory table proved to be the chief atttraction at the sale of the late Clive Sherwood’s Collection offered by Sotheby’s Olympia (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) on May 22, when it sold for a mid-estimate £55,000 to a London dealer.

Riding the Marcel wave…

14 June 2002

Marcel Breuer is one of the major names in furniture associated with the Bauhaus design school. When examples of his distinctive take on modernist furniture design come up for auction they regularly make substantial sums, but it is rare for an entire collection to find its way under the hammer especially a collection of specially commissioned pieces from a named provenance.

Davenports are out of favour – but Jerusalem adds the golden touch

14 June 2002

William Blake did not manage to persuade his non-conformist followers to build Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land, but a Victorian carpenter came close with this davenport, right. Consigned to the May 22-23 sale held at Winterton’s (10% buyer’s premium) in Lichfield, the davenport belongs to an interesting group of 19th century olivewood furniture bearing the logo Jerusalem, written in English or Hebrew.

Winners at Lake Lugano and Brooklands

14 June 2002

The German painter Hans Purrmann (1880-1966) is described by Bénézit as an artist who was heavily influenced by Matisse (with whom he had contact in Paris from 1906-1914), but who lacked the greater artist’s “sense de lumière et de la couleur”.

Deep thoughts

14 June 2002

If maritime artefacts are your thing, set sail for Christie’s South Kensington. There’s a positive marina’s worth of material on offer on June 19 in the first of their two annual sales held in London devoted to all manner of marine artefacts and paintings.

London wins international battle for £75,000 China trade pair

14 June 2002

Nanking means to most people the rape of that city by the Japanese; to ceramics collectors it conjures up memories of the Nanking Cargo, but in the specialist picture market it is the place where the 1842 treaty was signed opening up five ports to British merchants “without (molestation or restraint”.

Portrait miniature makes £200,000

13 June 2002

This portrait miniature of a 30-year-old lady by Nicholas Hilliard, dated 1582, set a new auction record for the artist at Sotheby’s Olympia rooms on June 6 when it sold to a private collector bidding on the phone against the room for £200,000 (plus premium).

Dublin unveils unknown hoard of works by Joyce

12 June 2002

THE National Library of Ireland has acquired a sprawling collection of manuscripts by James Joyce, which remained hidden for nearly 60 years after being concealed from the Nazis.They include a total of some 700 pages in six notebooks, 16 drafts from Ulysses and typescripts and proofs of Finnegans Wake.

Taubman starts sell-off process

12 June 2002

ALFRED Taubman, who has just announced an appeal against his collusion conviction, has started the ball rolling in his bid to sell his controlling stake in Sotheby’s.

Auctioneer sues vendor after settling buyer’s claim over painting

12 June 2002

A VENDOR has been ordered to pay more than £10,000 legal costs after a picture he sold at auction proved not to be by the famous German artist to whom it was attributed.

Complexities of styles and design

06 June 2002

TILES: Tiles seem to be the new hot collecting area in British decorative ceramics. Following on from a sellout exhibition at Richard Dennis’s shop in Kensington last year, Bonhams held a sale of ceramic design in January that featured a large collection of De Morgan tiles which were pursued by a determined band of private collectors to prices that rivalled those of the pottery’s striking hollowwares.

Prices hold up despite the shift to Paris of profitable French fields

06 June 2002

The smallest (but not the smallest grossing sale) in the London rooms last month was the 115-lot, £581,000 gathering of 20th century Decorative Arts offered by Christie’s King Street on May 15.

Poulain-Le Fur join Artcurial to end Sotheby’s deal

05 June 2002

After Modern art specialist Francis Briest and Claude Aguttes of suburban Neuilly, Hervé Poulain and Rémy Le Fur have become the latest auctioneers to join Artcurial.

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