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.

Phillips’ plans centre on a move up-market

12 April 1999

Blenheim St to Bond St UK: PHILLIPS’ London headquarters are to be transformed as part of a long-term strategic plan to take the company’s core business up-market.

Travelling set fit for a general

12 April 1999

UK: PROBABLY commissioned by General Charles Churchill – whose arms it bears – for his European campaigns after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, this William and Mary silver-gilt travelling set came up at Mellors & Kirk of Nottingham on March 25-26 where it sold privately at £48,000 (plus 10 per cent premium).

The cat’s whiskers

12 April 1999

US: How do you titillate an ocelot? You oscillate its tit a lot. Kenny Everett’s immortal insight into the sexual life of one of the obscurer members of the cat family is usually quite difficult to drag into an auction report. But how can titillation be resisted when someone is prepared to pay $525,000 (£324,075) for this painting of an ocelot at Sotheby’s New York (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium).

Frans Masereel and the woodcut novel

12 April 1999

US: ONE of 167 illustrations which make up Frans Masereel’s My Book of Hours, one of the woodcut novels pioneered by the Belgian political cartoonist in the early part of this century.

Holtzbecker’s reputation restored with a bid of £500,000

12 April 1999

UK: THE highlight of the Natural History sale held by Christie’s on March 17 – a lot which had its own separate catalogue – was the Moller Florilegium.

Mysterious Maria

12 April 1999

UK: Maria Szantho (b. 1898-?) was a Hungarian artist who specialised in glamour girl nudes which crop up with some regularity in the salerooms, generally at prices between £500-3000.

Blast from the past...

12 April 1999

UK: “PLACE the flattened end of the flagstaff in the socket made for it, then raise the hammer until it catches the base of the flag socket and remains upright: place a cap in the capholder and mount the soldiers along the trench.

A first glimpse of the Holy Land

12 April 1999

UK: ON March 23, Sotheby’s held their first ever sale devoted entirely to the Holy Land.

Merger aimed at Scottish sales gap

12 April 1999

UK: A NEW joint venture is hoping to fill the gap left by the closure of Christie’s Glasgow salerooms and Lyon and Turnbull’s Edinburgh auction business.

Jewel-studded stockbroker belt with an armorial silver star

12 April 1999

UK: WHEREAS auctioneers in less densely populated areas of the UK such as Scotland, Wales and the West Country, consistently lament the dearth of good quality consignments, this is not a common complaint at Hamptons’ Surrey saleroom.

Provenance of high order...

12 April 1999

US: THE BOOKS and manuscripts sold as part of a March 16 ‘Judaica’ sale held by Sotheby’s included material from the library of the late Alfred Rubens (1903-98), a distinguished historian and collector whose Jewish Iconography of 1954 became the ‘bible’ for scholars of Jewish prints.

Illuminated manuscript of religious meditations

05 April 1999

UK: “THE richness of the language in which this manuscript is written speaks redolently of the period, and of the writer himself,” said the Phillips cataloguer of an illuminated manuscript of religious meditations which sold at £4400 to Quaritch.

Bidders go Wilde

05 April 1999

UK: SIGNED cabinet photographs of Oscar and Constance Wilde flank one of their younger son, Vivian, which has been inscribed and dated 1891 to the reverse – although the well known portrait of Oscar is known to date from 1889.

Toll board charges ahead

05 April 1999

Works of Art at Sotheby's South

From Zanzibar to the Cotswolds

05 April 1999

UK: FURNITURE from the East Coast of Africa is hardly common currency within the Cotswolds antiques trade but it was given unusual prominence last month with the appearance of this substantial 18th century hardwood chest with brass studwork decoration at the Gloucestershire rooms of Wotton Auction Rooms on March 23-24.

A madness for King George...

05 April 1999

Georgian grandeur helps break the £1m barrier UK: THE reign of George III is a popular collecting theme and so it is worthwhile reporting on Spink’s (10 per cent buyer’s premium) specialist sale of the Herman Selig collection on March 2.

Byron auction catalogue raises the bidding high

05 April 1999

UK: ONE OF THE principal successes in the printed portion of this sale was a copy of the 1827 Evans auction catalogue of the Library of the Late Lord Byron....

Sotheby’s revamp Sussex operation...

05 April 1999

UK: SOTHEBY’S are to re-brand their Sussex operation – renaming the Billingshurst saleroom and introducing a number of significant changes to the current saleroom portfolio.

£3100 for mirror with nautical air

05 April 1999

UK: THIS Victorian gilt overmantel mirror, right, was the unexpected highlight of Plymouth Auction Rooms (buyer’s premium 10 per cent) February 24.

Web update for Bonhams and Phillips

05 April 1999

PHILLIPS have assigned exclusive live broadcast rights for their auctions to The Auction Channel ... just as Bonhams announce that they have beaten the other three leading auction houses to offer real time bidding via the Internet – again with The Auction Channel.

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