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.

Bonhams realise an American dream

20 December 1999

UK: THE exceptional levels of demand recently seen for American pictures impacted on the London salerooms on the evening of December 14 when Bonhams achieved a record £1.4m for Richmond Hill in the Summer of 1862 by the Hudson River School painter Jasper Francis Cropsey (1823-1900).

Christie’s move in Paris

13 December 1999

FRANCE: CHRISTIE’S will move into their new Paris headquarters at 9 Avenue Matignon at the centre of the art and antiques district of the 8th arrondissement on January 3.

London doubles Impressionist takings

13 December 1999

The international market for Impressionist and Modern art saw further consolidation last week in London when Sotheby’s and Christie’s Part I and Part II sales turned over a combined total of £86.3m, some 45 per cent up on the £47.8m achieved at the equivalent sales last year.

Lowry sets new paintings record

06 December 1999

UK: THE Professional Football Association was the successful bidder for L.S. Lowry’s crowd scene Going to the Match at Sotheby’s London last Wednesday, setting the record for the highest auction price for a Modern British painting at £1.75m

Eames sculpture sets world record

06 December 1999

US: AT Christie’s East in New York on November 27, in a sale which reinforced 20th century design as a major market mover, this moulded plywood sculpture by Ray and Charles Eames, dated 1943 and 3ft 11/2in (95cm) high, established a world record price of $330,000 (£206,250) for the designers, selling to a specialist Eames collector.

Ancestor of the Internet

06 December 1999

UK: International bidders tuned into proceedings at Canterbury Auction Galleries on October 2, 1999 in the prospect of acquiring one of the earliest ship-to-shore receivers, illustrated right, manufactured in 1908 by the founding father of commercial radio communication – Guglielmo Marconi.

Christie’s deny plans to get rid of dealers

06 December 1999

UK: CHRISTIE’S have denied rumours that they plan to give notices to quit to their gallery leaseholders in Ryder and Bury Streets, St James’s, so that they can redevelop the premises.

Not just a lot of hot air

30 November 1999

UK: PARIS salons were well known for flatulence in conversation. After each manned flight of giant balloons from the gardens of Versailles during the late 18th and 19th centuries, young men who wished to sound like scientists would earnestly debate whether hydrogen gas or hot air allowed the better flight.

Silesian covered goblet fetches £98,000

30 November 1999

UK: AN international mix of private collectors, dealers and institutions turned out to bid for an old and celebrated collection of European glass formed by the late Dr. Otto Dettmers of Bremen when it went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London last week on November 23.

Phillips now part of luxury brand group

22 November 1999

WIDESPREAD rumours of the imminent takeover of London auctioneers Phillips were confirmed last week as Bernard Arnault’s luxury goods group Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) paid a reported £70m for the whole of the Phillips Auction Group.

For babies or bottles?

22 November 1999

UK: IT MAY have been a mahogany wine cooler, but did its massive proportions and one-time residence in St Alban’s Cathedral suggest that it had formerly been used as a christening bath for babies rather than for beverages?

Christie’s rethink online auctions

15 November 1999

CHRISTIE'S International has had a radical rethink of its Internet strategy, disbanding its Internet Auctions division, which it created in May as a separate entity, and shelving plans to sell online.

Silk loom has Mr Babbage analysing the possibilties

15 November 1999

UK: THE LINK between the woven silk portrait illustrated right and the modern world of computing may not be instantly apparent, but this 6in x 4in (16 x 11cm) silk panel, albeit a curiosity rather than a key scientific document, had a successful part to play in the Weinreb Computer Collection, which was sold by Bloomsbury Book Auctions in London on October 28.

Compensation on a pedestal

15 November 1999

UK: BRIEF as any report dating back to September 28 must be, it is worth recording some successes at the Birmingham rooms of Fellow & Sons (10 per cent buyer’s premium).

NY provides solid Impression

15 November 1999

US: THE MARKET for Impressionist and Modern art saw further consolidation last week when Sotheby’s and Christie’s turned over a premium inclusive $466m (£289.5m) for their November sales of works by the world’s most expensive artists.

Blue and white record

08 November 1999

HONG KONG: There were major series of sales in Hong Kong for Sotheby’s and Christie’s last week with both rooms offering selections of Chinese ceramics and works of art, jewellery and paintings.

Delft pill slab makes a heart-warming £53,000

08 November 1999

UK: A heart-shaped London delft pill slab of c.1660-70, 12 x 10in (30 x 25cm), painted in blue, ochre and turquoise with the arms of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries.

Phillips quiet on Arnault takeover

08 November 1999

Phillips were making no comment last week following confident assertions in the Financial Times that a French takeover of the last of the top three auctioneers under UK ownership was imminent.

Sotheby’s unveil their new-look Manhattan HQ over ten floors

01 November 1999

US: SOTHEBY’S have opened their new-look, custom-built Manhattan headquarters at 1334 York Avenue, New York, adding six new floors above the four which previously housed the auction house.

Photograph auction record broken twice

01 November 1999

UK: THE world record auction price for a photograph was broken twice at the Sotheby’s London sale of the Photographic Collection of Marie-Thérèse and André Jammes on October 27.

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