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.

A look for an art lover’s lifestyle

14 March 2002

“…a show, not a place to live,” was how Lord Gowrie summed up David Sylvester’s approach to decorating his homes in a tribute previewing Sotheby’s sale of the art critic and curator’s collection last month.

Pukka provenance helps Cowdray Park pieces sell

14 March 2002

BETTER known for its polo club than its fine art, Cowdray Park in Midhurst, Sussex nevertheless provided Hampshire auctioneers Jacobs & Hunt with some talking points among a quantity of the “surplus to requirements” chattels the owners of the country pile had decided to get rid of.

Montague Dawson and Americana survive squalls

14 March 2002

NEW YORK: MARINE paintings are a specialist area which have received plenty of attention from auction houses eager to tap into the wealth of those rich enough to enjoy mucking around in boats.

The result of royal intrigue

13 March 2002

Perfect conditions were required for the production of 18th century soft paste porcelain, but work only began on this rare group, right, after three ships laden with 44 factory staff and 88 tons of equipment had been ferried from Italy to Spain.

Metal-jointed Percy is £17,000 Steiff star

07 March 2002

THE Taunton rooms of Greenslade Taylor Hunt (10 per cent buyer’s premium) were graced with the presence of a “minor media celebrity”, on St. Valentine’s day when this rare Steiff rod-jointed teddy bear, right, known as Percy, made an appearance.

Silver buyers show commercial sense

07 March 2002

SILVER: Good commercially appealing entries were what was finding favour with both trade and private buyers at Christie’s South Kensington’s second silver sale of the year, the 158-lot £136,123 gathering held on February 19.

Private vendors boost more lively furniture market

07 March 2002

THE auctioneers’ decision to place the first half of a sizeable consignment of furniture from a North Oxfordshire house in Mallams January sale paid dividends when the 87 lots provided half of the £130,000 total of the 277-lot sale.

David Sylvester collection nets £2.7m

07 March 2002

It was standing room only at Sotheby’s Bond Street on February 26 when the auctioneers sold the David Sylvester collection. In a room packed with dealers, collectors and friends of the late art critic, plus a phalanx of Sotheby’s staff manning a bank of telephones, the auctioneers offered 149 lots of paintings, drawings, sculpture, tribal art and antiquities, and as lot after lot outstripped the estimates, it was clear that their £1m projection was going to be dramatically exceeded.

Scene set for Dutch topography

07 March 2002

HOLLAND: IN honour of the Netherlands’ long tradition of landscapes and town scenes Christie’s Amsterdam (buyer’s premium 20.825 per cent) had a topographical theme to its pictures sale on January 22.

St Francis fires up Continental trade

07 March 2002

THE relative strength of Old Master paintings in comparison to other sectors of the market has been noted at a number of recent auctions, but this new-found strength, it seems, is not just restricted to top-end sales in London and New York.

Beauty before age

04 March 2002

Top seller at a brisk day’s bidding at the Cheltenham sale held by Mallams (15% premium) on January 31 was a pair of classical style gilt metal and lapis lazuli urns and covers, one shown right.

French auction turnover rises by 4.4pc for 2001

04 March 2002

FRANCE: Auction turnover in France, for sales by commissaires-priseurs, rose 4.4 per cent in 2001 to €1.9bn (£1.17bn). There were significant regional increases in Lyon & the South-East (up 14 per cent to £180m, with Lyon itself contributing over one-third of that figure) and Brittany-Anjou (up 17 per cent to £102m), whereas Normandy suffered a dip of 19 per cent with sales of £86m.

Syphoning off the profits

04 March 2002

Transferring fine vintage wines from the bottle to the decanter without disturbing the sediment has been an age-old concern of those who take their wine seriously. It was clearly a concern in the 18th century, as can be attested by this ingenious and now rare George II silver wine syphon, right, which came under the hammer at Christie’s South Kensington’s (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) February 19 sale of Selected Silver and Plate.

Longleat’s £15m fund-raiser

04 March 2002

CHRISTIE’S have announced that they have been instructed by the Marquess of Bath and his trustees to sell 400 lots of paintings and works of art from Longleat House. The aim is to raise over £15m to set up a maintenance fund for its preservation.

Fairyland flies to fore of Wedgwood

04 March 2002

USA: Wedgwood wares formed a significant slice of Skinner’s (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) 890-lot auction of English and Continental furniture and decorations on January 19. Of the 230-odd lots of ceramics that featured in the sale, two-thirds comprised works from that factory.

Lost Rubens could make as much as £20m

04 March 2002

Sotheby’s July 11 Old Master sale will include the re-discovered Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) oil on panel The Massacre of the Innocents, pictured right.

Bacon and Rothko works live up their reputations

04 March 2002

Post-War sales at Christie’s (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) tend to be more predictable, less mercurial events than their cool contemporary outings and the established reputations of the artists invariably guarantee a procession of solid six-figure results.

Navigation Warehouse

04 March 2002

TWO maps of the Americas, as predicted, brought the highest bids in this Sussex sale at Rupert Toovey on 13 February. A copy of William Heather’s New General Chart of the West Indies... of 1809, backed on (contemporary) paper and with some light soiling and a few small tears to the blank margins, was sold at £900, while for Heather’s New Chart of the Coast of America from Philadelphia to the Gulf of Florida..., a corrected and improved edition of 1812, bidding rose to £1450.

All change as Arnault sells Phillips to de Pury team

25 February 2002

French billionaire quits battle over auction market: Backed by a dotcom businesswoman and an investment bank, two auctioneers last week bought the majority stake in Phillips de Pury Luxembourg from luxury goods group LVMH.

Local associations boost bids on 17th century chair

25 February 2002

THE policy of these Cheshire auctioneers, Maxwells, to hold a decent sale in January rather than in the crowded period before Christmas generally pays off, and did so this year although, that said, the local associations of the top seller would probably have resulted in a good price at any period.

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