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.

Pleased to do their duty by Nelson

30 October 2002

Few historic characters are guaranteed to generate more interest than the one-armed, one-eyed figure of Britain’s most celebrated admiral, Lord Nelson. Sotheby’s (19.5/10% buyer’s premium), Bond Street, 93-lot auction of Nelson memorabilia from the Alexander Davison collection sold on Trafalgar Day (October 21) to a room so packed that buyers had to spill over into an adjacent gallery.

Horse head with everything in its favour sees bidding gallop ahead

30 October 2002

The second-eleven sale that followed on from Christie’s main Islamic auction, was held in their South Kensington rooms on October 18, with 324 of its 417 lots changing hands, and saw the highest take-up of all the sales in this autumn’s series.

Oh what a beautiful mourning

30 October 2002

The fastest growing area of the jewellery market, mourning apparel has become “hot property in the past 12 months”, says Jethro Marles of Bearne’s. Pointedly excepting the sort of heavy black jewellery produced in large quantities during the post-Albert period, he says that the material that has doubled in value over the past year is the earlier, more delicate mourning jewellery of the sort shown right.

Extensive buying base may store up trouble

30 October 2002

The COINEX week of sales was kicked off by Dix Noonan Webb with a 1928-lot sale on a long October 8. This marathon took ten hours to disperse, making a total of £483,639; this, exults Chris Webb, was their best ever sale.

Bligh relics acquired by National Maritime Museum, but it is not all plain sailing and there were other…

30 October 2002

Pick of the Bligh relics sold at Christies King Street last month was the cup that he used to hold his meagre rations of bread and water, a coconut shell that bears his incised initials, the date April 1789 and, inscribed in ink around the rim, the words “The Cup I eat my miserable allowance of”.

Hepworth doubles hopes

23 October 2002

Over the last 10 to 15 years, the market has undergone a slow but steady shift towards 20th century painting in particular the Post-War abstraction of the St Ives school whose geometric shapes and pure blocks of colour are wholly in tune with contemporary tastes.

The cat that got the crème de cacao

23 October 2002

Glittering personalities from the world of arts, they were the toast of Paris in the late 1960s. Capote and Sagan, Karajan and Nureyev, Callas and Saint-Laurent – their presence at soirées was coveted by the self-regarding hostesses across town, but they all paid homage to the ultimate hostess trolley when they arrived for dinner at 10 rue de Dragon.

Adam Revival occasional tables sell for £22,000 each

22 October 2002

The firm of Wright & Mansfield (1860-86) are often cited as the instigators of the Georgian Revival and, unlike many of their contemporaries who produced Victorian pastiches of earlier styles, are renowned for their craftsmanship, using high quality materials for accurate recreations of the Adam and Sheraton style – often difficult to distinguish from the 18th century originals.

Berlin sees second cool reception

22 October 2002

In the same week that their South Kensington rooms offered the first instalments from Margaret Cadman’s mammoth collection Christie’s King Street (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) rooms were busy selling the second part of the Dr KH Wadsack Collection of Berlin porcelain.

Duke’s uniform success

22 October 2002

This full dress uniform of an officer from the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding regiment, right, was an important diversion from the main proceedings at Duke’s auction in Dorchester. Under normal circumstances this would have been a standard lot of textile militaria for the trade, but this uniform actually belonged to the sixth Duke of Wellington and had passed by descent to the vendor.

The History of Quantum Theory and the Theory of Relativity

17 October 2002

On October 4, Christie’s New York sold the Harvey Plotnick Library on ‘The History of Quantum Physics and the Theory of Relativity’ for a premium-inclusive total of $1.78m (£1.15m).

Nelson’s crest on a farewell wave

17 October 2002

Shot by a sniper when aboard HMS Victory at the crowning moment of his career, Admiral Lord Nelson is without doubt Britain’s finest maritime hero. When news of his death, after triumping at the Battle of Trafalgar, reached London George III made the decision to break with tradition and give Nelson a state funeral.

Cattle market proves ‘bullish’

15 October 2002

THERE were cows aplenty, but only one beef, at Sotheby’s Olympia on Thursday night, when 60 bovine belles did their bit for charity. The high-profile heifers, whom you may have seen grazing the streets of London through the summer, were the first tranche of the Cow Parade sale – another 90 are due to be offered soon on the Internet.

Huge single-owner sale is London’s first in euros

14 October 2002

Sotheby’s break mould in bid to lure Germans: A little piece of history was made on October 8 and 9 when Sotheby’s four-part dispersal of the Beck Collection of 20th Century German and Austrian art became the first major sale ever to be conducted in euros in a London auction room.

Double whammy for astute vendor

11 October 2002

After the spectacular HK$37m (£3,394,495) price bid for the Yongzheng (1723-35) peach vase in Sotheby’s Hong Kong May 7 sale, their New York rooms had high hopes for this yellow ground famille rose double gourd vase, Qianlong period (1736-95), consigned by the same private US vendor, in their Chinese outing on September 19. They were not disappointed by the outcome.

Ploughed up and given away, sculpture sells for $600,000

11 October 2002

The extensive press coverage given over to the conflict in Afghanistan may have helped re-focus collectors’ attentions on the magnificent Gandharan sculpture produced in this troubled region in the second and third centuries AD.

Victory for function over style

11 October 2002

Chinese Classic Furniture – The Dr S.Y. Yip Collection: It may come as a surprise to some to learn that the Ming dynasty’s minimalist huanghuali furniture has traditionally been more prized in the West than it has been in the East.

Heirisson’s 1801 Swan River map sells for £160,000 as part of the £1.57m Freycinet Collection

08 October 2002

Bligh relics sold as part of the Travel Week at Christie’s, attracted national media headlines, but the most successful of this series of four sales was the Freycinet Collection, which on September 26 raised a premium-inclusive total of £1.57m.

Enamel brightens silver

08 October 2002

Novelty pieces and collector’s items like this Art Nouveau enamelled silver double-photograph locket, right, were the pieces mainly in demand at the silver and jewellery sale held by Fellows (15% buyer’s premium) at Birmingham on September 5.

Philip Marlowe & Nero Wolfe

08 October 2002

RAYMOND CHANDLER’S Philip Marlowe first appeared in The Big Sleep of 1939, and the copy seen above right, in a slightly chipped and torn jacket, sold for $8000 (£5160) in Pt. II of the ‘Detective Fiction Library of Richard M.Lackritz’, sold by Christie’s New York on September 24, but Chandler was not the writer who enjoyed the greatest success.

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