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.


Has anybody seen urnother of these?

18 May 2005

Regular readers of ATG saleroom reports will be all too aware of the recent price explosion of Minton’s pâte sur pâte ceramics. This highly distinctive, almost cameo-like form of carved slip decoration was perfected by Louis-Marc Solon who had his own special iconography of nymphs and putti engaged in a bewildering array of quirky pursuits.


Life, but not as we know it

12 May 2005

A SNATCHED moment frozen in time thanks to the lucky presence of a camera... or was it?


Brancusi bird soars to $24.5m record

12 May 2005

Bird in Space, right, an unrecorded marble version of one of Constantin Brancusi’s most celebrated and iconic subjects, was the toast of Christie’s $126.8m Impressionist and Modern art sale last week in New York.


Etruscan rattles to a £36,000 tune

06 May 2005

Bonhams Bond StreetCLASSICAL sculpture also dominated Bonhams wide-ranging mixed-owner sale on April 21. Led by the Hever nymph and satyr, discussed on page 13, Roman marbles accounted for eight of the ten highest prices.


Snuff bottles spill onto market

06 May 2005

Christie's New York (10/12% Buyer's premium)SNUFF bottles vary enormously in quality and price but the J&J collection has to rank as one of the world’s foremost specialist holdings. Although these exquisitely made and highly decorative vessels have a following of strong international collectors, inevitably there are limited buyers for top-end imperial quality works.


Available at under £2000, the £82,000 desk...

06 May 2005

“IT was the power of the press that did it,“ said a red-faced, but delighted, auctioneer Michael Perry of Capes Dunn & Co. (15% buyer’s premium). News has only recently filtered down to the ATG of a spectacular result posted by the Manchester auctioneers back on February 22.


Resisting the satyr’s lustful pull

06 May 2005

THE piece with star billing at Bonhams’ April 21 Antiquities auction was the dramatic white marble group, shown here, even meriting its own separate hardback catalogue.


Indian pictures on the rise

06 May 2005

Sotheby's New York (20/12% Buyer's Premium) PRICES have steadily risen in recent years for paintings by India’s most established modern artists notably Maqbool Fida Husain (b.1915) and Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002).


Ancient faces benefit from new buyers

06 May 2005

Christie’s King StreetFaces from the Ancient WorldPATCHY interest for the small Greek and Roman bronzes and other academic material held down the selling rate at Christie’s single owner sale to less than three-quarters by volume. But outside of these entries, buyers paid a premium for the best quality provenanced works.


Handbags at dawn for Hermès fans

05 May 2005

It’s well known that diamonds are a girl’s best friend but handbags surely come a close second. The two combined can be a killer combination.


The sexy side of Italian colonial ambition

05 May 2005

The colourful stylish pottery produced by the Italian firm Lenci (and its competitor Essevi) is on something of a roll these days. The strength of this particular market was demonstrated at Christie’s South Kensington last week by this 21in (53cm) high figure designed by Sandro Vacchetti.


Anonymous Deco bracelet is jewellery star

28 April 2005

Twentieth century pieces proved to be the prize jewels at the 450-lot March 16 sale of silver and jewellery held by Leominster auctioneers Brightwells (15% buyer’s premium).


Pagan appeal at Bonhams

28 April 2005

OUT of the ashes of Glendinings, Bonhams (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) have established a series of general sales. The last occurred on April 5. John Millensted, who has worked at Glendinings for some years, has been promoted to head of the numismatic department.


A talismanic cabinet

28 April 2005

ON what was a mixed day for furniture sales at Lyon & Turnbull when one or two very elegant pieces failed to get away, there was a deal of interest at the Edinburgh salerooms in this rather unprepossessing George III mahogany writing cabinet on stand, right.


Compass finds its way to £45,000

28 April 2005

Christies South Kensington (20/12% buyer’s premium)ARGUABLY the strongest performance in the scientific instruments section of Christie’s South Kensington’s sale was provided by this pearwood table compass by John Harrison (1693-1776) pictured right.

Bidding duel takes pistols to ten times estimate

28 April 2005

Morphets, Harrogate, March 10. Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent A BIDDING duel by specialist arms and armour dealers was the highlight of Morphets’ 628-lot Yorkshire auction.


Latin verses by and for the scholarly bibliophile ...

28 April 2005

LAST week’s ATG included a short piece on a 1566 poem by Patrick Adamson, giving thanks for the birth of a son to Mary Queen of Scots, that made £3100 in a Dominic Winter sale of April 6.

Is end in sight for price-fixing settlement?

27 April 2005

The beginning of the end is in sight to the lengthy compensation payment process in the ‘international’ tranche of the Sotheby’s-Christie’s price-fixing case.

L&T change premium structure

27 April 2005

Edinburgh auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull have announced substantial changes to their buyer’s premium structure.

Blooming Bloomsbury

27 April 2005

Thanks to a lively book trade and the introduction of new departments, turnover at Bloomsbury Auctions has increased by 38 per cent in the first quarter of 2005 compared to the same period in 2004.