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 piece of porcelain fit for princes

19 February 2001

UK: JAPANESE porcelain does not come much rarer or more expensive than that produced by the private factory of the princes of Nabeshima, which is why auctioneer Nigel Kirk’s pulse quickened when he first glanced at this 8in (20cm) diameter dish, illustrated here, entered for the January sale of Mellors and Kirk.

Europeans dominate a shaky new surreal world

19 February 2001

UK: PRESIDING auctioneer Jussi Pylkkannen should surely have entered into the spirit of things by taking off his black bow tie and putting a bowler hat or a lobster on his head.

Jade chicken cup flies to £19,000

12 February 2001

UK: When a private UK vendor consigned a Chinese celadon jade cup to Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) at £400-600, he could not have hoped in his wildest dreams to sell it for almost 50 times the low estimate.

Ceramics take high ground in Devon floods

12 February 2001

Lambeth tugs and Staffordshire jug bring in bidders UK: THE Devon branch of Bonhams & Brooks were undoubtedly pleased to have disposed of their ‘Fine Furniture, Clocks and Objects’ before the floods, but in fact the weather did not seem to affect turnout for what looked more like an end-of-year clearance in December.

Instruments play second fiddle to bows

12 February 2001

THE Bath auctioneers Gardiner Houlgate (15 per cent buyer's premium), who have made musical instruments a widely and well-regarded specialist subject, saw a respectable 70 per cent take-up for their 317-lot event on 1 December.

De Villa Dei's Doctrinale and Audubon’s Birds of America...

12 February 2001

US: ALTHOUGH literary manuscripts and first editions of the 19th and 20th centuries rather dominated the Christie’s New York sale of December 14, other areas of the market were represented in the catalogue, and illustrated here is a specimen of Dutch prototypography which sold at $26,000 (£17,930).

Judge lenient on price-fixing fine

12 February 2001

US: THE THREE year investigation into the price-fixing conspiracy between Sotheby’s and Christie’s entered its closing stages at a federal court in Manhattan last week as a federal judge formally accepted the criminal guilt of both auctioneers and no legal objections were raised to the terms of the $512m settlement in the civil lawsuit.

The sweet smell of Poésie’s success

12 February 2001

UK: ALTHOUGH not the highest grossing section of the four-day International sale at Sotheby's South, Billingshurst, the works of art section held on January 30 still saw a number of strong prices for sculpture and bronzes with the top seller this alabaster bust, right entitled Poésie.

The magic of Rackham

12 February 2001

UK: IN 1905, the Leicester Galleries, regular show place for Arthur Rackham R.W.S. (1867-1939) introduced Rackham to J.M. Barrie and as they say, the rest is history.

Buyers warm to February art date

12 February 2001

UK: Last week London saw Sotheby’s and Christie’s first ever round of major Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary sales in February.

Riding in 50 years on

12 February 2001

UK: Fifty years in the same family, and for much of that time tucked away in a cupboard, this 6in (15cm) wooden Redcoat on a prancing horse was in perfectly preserved condition when offered at the Gloucestershire rooms of Wotton Auction Rooms (10 per cent buyer's premium) on January 23 & 24.

Clock clean reveals a fine feat of Clay

12 February 2001

UK: SOTHEBY'S Barometers and Clocks sale at Billingshurst on February 1 was one of the few areas where Joe Marshall’s treasures did not make a showing but expert-in-charge Jonathan Hills happily remarked on the current strength of the market across the board for horology.

An exotic blend for coffee

05 February 2001

UK: IT WAS standard case furniture: tables and other useful pieces of mahogany that made much of the running in the 224-lot sale of furniture held by Christie's South Kensington on January 10, topped at £12,000 by a good Georgian library bookcase from a private deceased estate.

Slay bells ring at arms and armour specialists

05 February 2001

UK: OTHER auctioneers may look for a seasonal angle but, as Birmingham arms and armour specialists Weller & Dufty (15 per cent buyer’s premium) are aware, the arms trade is not a natural beneficiary of the Christmas spirit. True, the two murderous six-shot pepperbox pistols, right, could have been carried by a passenger on one of those Christmas card coaches, but they were among the day’s top bids on December 6 for the less sentimental values of rarity and condition.

No post-festive blues here

05 February 2001

UK: BIDDERS trudged through the post-Christmas snowfall to the two-day 1623-lot sale at the Gloucestershire rooms of Wotton Auction Rooms Ltd (11.75 per cent buyer’s premium) on December 28-29 which yielded a number of successes across the board.

Early oak specialists touch base at £10,000

05 February 2001

UK: EARLY oak remains one of the most selective markets but when a piece is right, like this 17th century dresser base, right, offered at the Cheltenham branch of Mallams (15 per cent buyer’s premium) on December 14, it will bring specialists running.

US anti-trust ruling may mean UK suits

05 February 2001

Commission fixing charges may be brought against Christie’s and Sotheby’s in Britain following the dismissal of three lawsuits in America that sought compensation for purchases in London since 1992.

£14,000 tables to choosy bidders’ tastes

05 February 2001

UK: A SUBSTANTIAL offering of furniture, most of it 19th century and brown, received a mixed response from the Scottish and North of England trade at the last Phillips sale in Edinburgh before Christmas.

Church silver raises the roof at Mass

05 February 2001

Silverware from Quincy Church US: WHEN the United First Parish Church of Quincy, Mass., established as the Braintree Church in 1639, was forced to choose between keeping a roof overhead or selling ecclesiastical silver so valuable that it was rarely used, the congregation voted to sell the silver.

Closures encourage trend for smaller auction houses

01 February 2001

UK: PROVINCIAL auctions have come full circle with the increasing re-emergence of smaller auction houses from the shadow of the big four.

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