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.

Shots from the front line

09 April 2001

UK: Collectors and dealers will get a rare chance to bid for prints by pioneering photographers Roger Fenton and James Robertson, who made their names during the Crimean War, at an auction on behalf of a photographers’ charity on April 26 in central London.

1858 first issue of Coral Island

09 April 2001

UK: AS well as a quantity of letters, journals and sketch albums written or compiled by R.M. Ballantyne – among them an album containing sketches made on excursions to Scotland and fishing trips to Norway in the 1850s, which sold at £1000 to David Miles – the Bonhams (Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent) sale contained an 1858 first issue of Coral Island, the publisher’s decorative blue cloth binding slightly worn but generally good, which made £4000 (Heritage).

Elegy on Captain Cook

02 April 2001

US: IT MAY be 25 years since a copy of the Elegy on Captain Cook, as “composed and and publickly recited before the Royal Academy of Florence” by Michelangelo Gianetti, was last seen at auction, and this 1785 Florentine first edition, engraved throughout and bound in contemporary calf, would also appear to be the dedication copy.

E is for Eboracum … and V is Victorious

02 April 2001

The catalogue for the Dix Noonan Webb sale of March 21 makes known a recent discovery before it gets into the learned journals. It is an incidental use of sale catalogues that these things can be given prompt announcement. This is the nice example of a Charles I half-crown struck at York.

Barry’s fireworks make a record bang

02 April 2001

UK: LEVELS of demand at Bonhams & Brooks’ (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) March 22 sale of Modern and Contemporary British and Continental Art were less impressive than the Phillips event of March 20.

Decorative longcase is sign of the times selling at £12,000

02 April 2001

UK: STANDING head and shoulders above all other entries to this monthly sale in Sussex was a fine quality c. 1760 mahogany longcase clock by James Clarke of London.

Barfoot Viking heads Norse to Valhalla

02 April 2001

UK: THE subject matter of the Viking collection sold at Spink on March 14 speaks for itself. Not something to appeal to most Antiques Trade Gazette readers it is worth reporting briefly, mainly to demonstrate the skill that resides in London.

Wodehouse collection

02 April 2001

The Bonhams Knightsbridge sale (see above, Henty – the great adventure begins with A Secret for Success) also included a P.G. Wodehouse collection (from a different source) and among the more successful of those lots were these two shown here.

Henty – the great adventure begins with A Secret for Success

02 April 2001

UK: G.A. HENTY fans, trade and private, gathered at Bonhams (Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent) on March 13 for the disposal of a superb collection of his many books.

Score cards that just don’t make sense

02 April 2001

UK: FOR some odd reason, the books in the golf memorabilia sale held by Christie’s South Kensington (Buyer’s premium: 17.5/10 per cent) on February 28 were mostly offered as job lots – and it would seem that a number of those lots contained books that should, and in sales past, certainly would have been offered separately.

Capt. Cook’s Last Voyage to the Pacific Ocean

02 April 2001

US: THIS etched and engraved writing sheet, published by Edward Langley c.1790 and featuring coloured vignettes of scenes from Capt. Cook’s Last Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, was a a rare item which sold at $6000 (£4140).

Christie’s may move King Street and CSK to Somerset House

02 April 2001

UK: Christie’s are set for a dramatic shake-up of their UK operations with the announcement that they are “exploring a number of options for our future in London including consolidation into a single site”.

Battle of Waterloo table

02 April 2001

US interest in famous English aristocrats has often propelled the value of the furniture to unforeseen heights, and at Dreweatt Neate’s Donnington Priory salerooms on March 28 it was the turn of this Regency mahogany and chinoiserie lacquer writing table, estimated at £6000-8000.

Kipling makes an exceedingly good showing

02 April 2001

UK: THE FINAL LOT in this Sussex sale of books from a Scottish estate, ‘Hallrule’, was a 35-volume ‘Sussex’ edition of the works of Rudyard Kipling. One of the 525 sets issued in 1937-39, it was signed and, according to the catalogue, “full bound”. It reached £10,500.

A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean

02 April 2001

US: THE geographical surveys undertaken by George Vancouver, who had also served on Cook’s first and second Pacific voyages, were among the more arduous and significant ever accomplished under a British flag, and though Vancouver himself died on route, his brother John, with the assistance of Captain Peter Puget, oversaw the publication of A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and Round the World... in 1798.

Collection of Meiji is an attraction in Lincolnshire

02 April 2001

UK: ORIENTAL antiques rarely make the strongest contribution to provincial sales – although they have provided a few hugely gratifying if rather embarrassing sleepers before today – but the first day of this Lincolnshire sale featured a private collection of Meiji works of art that attracted strong bidding from the specialist trade.

Leonhard Fuch’s De Historia Stirpium...

02 April 2001

UK: LEONHARD Fuch’s De Historia Stirpium..., first issued in Basel in 1542, contains over 500 full-page botanical woodcuts, one shown bottom right, but while it is not unusual to find a portrait of the author in any book, this work also contains portraits of the artists, Heinrich Füllmaurer and Albert Meyer, and the man who made the woodblocks from their originals, Veit Rudolphe Speckle.

Ritual wine vessel is blessed at $8.4m

26 March 2001

US: HIGHLIGHT of Asia week in New York was this 2ft 1in (63cm) high bronze ritual wine vessel of the late Shang/early Western Zhou period offered at Christie’s on March 20, where it became the most expensive oriental work of art ever sold at auction.

Euclid’s Elementa

26 March 2001

In a beautifully preserved contemporary, and possibly Austrian binding of blind-stamped calf with brass fittings, this copy of Erhard Ratdolt’s 1482, first printing of Euclid’s Elementa, shows some slight waterstaining to the lower margins, but it remains one of the largest and freshest copies in existence – taller than even the Doheny, Honeyman-Garden and Haskell F. Norman copies.

Thucydides and a King James Bible

26 March 2001

A superb example of “the quintessential Italian Renaissance book”, a 1545 first of the first Italian translation of Thucydides in a fine Apollo & Pegasus binding made for the famous library of G.B. Grimaldi – a collection of some 200 key works formed under the supervision of the Roman humanist Tolomei. It sold for $140,000 (£96,550).

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