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 glimpse of stocking excites novelty market

12 October 2001

While classic silver chugs along at prices scarcely unchanged since the ’70s boom, novelty pieces provide the market with a buoyant area. The 90-lot silver section offered at Crewkerne on September 13 by Lawrences (15% buyer’s premium) saw only nine fail to get away and no casualties among the novelty pieces from abroad.

New growth in Chicago

12 October 2001

The imminent cessation of all sales – including wine – at Sotheby’s Chicago has left a gap in the Mid-West market that newly-established wine auctioneers Edward Roberts International are keen to fill. Brainchild of Edward Robert Brooks, the much-travelled head of Christie’s and the short-lived Phillips’ North American wine departments, Edward Roberts will mount their first live sale of fine and rare wines at The Union League Club of Chicago on Saturday, November 10.

Why small is beautiful...

12 October 2001

“For the really top things there’s no shortage of buyers, but the middle ground is weaker,” affirmed Stephen Mould of Sotheby’s wine department. “If you’ve got large parcels that depend on the trade, then bidders are more cautious. But if you’ve got small quantities of the finest things there are plenty of private buyers prepared to pay good money.”

Eden in full colour...

12 October 2001

There were few plate books in this year’s Arts of India sale at Christie’s, held on September 27, but one notable result was provided by Emily Eden’s Portraits of the Princes & Peoples of India, published by J. Dickinson in 1844.

Briest beef up contemporary and modern

10 October 2001

FRANCE: Francis Briest, France’s leading auctioneer of modern and contemporary art, is to join up with the modern art dealers and booksellers Artcurial (acquired by Nicolas Orlowski from Oréal in 1999).

Vita’s work returns to the Observer

10 October 2001

At the end of the morning session of Sotheby’s Garden Statuary sale at Billingshurst, the National Trust took over the rostrum to offer such items for gardening enthusiasts as an avenue of 40 young limes from the Trust’s nursery in Cheshire, home visits from Trust gardening experts and so on, but the piece of trade interest was a scrapbook kept by Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst donated by her son Nigel Nicolson.

Newcastle and Clapton Orient each have their fans…

08 October 2001

Stanley Matthews’ 1953 FA Cup winner’s medal, sold for £20,000 to TV presenter and Stoke fan Nick Hancock, was the lot on which national media publicity focussed, but the Football Memorabilia sale held by Sotheby’s on September 21 – one of the first sales at the new Olympia salerooms – also contained some 150 lots of programmes, match cards, magazines and related ephemera.

Pine pair of bookcases bring puzzle over prices

02 October 2001

AUTUMN opened at Sotheby’s Sussex with a modest, but quite keenly bid for, furniture offering where the top sellers were two (7ft 6in (2.29m) William IV pine and oak bookcases.

Clocks, Watches and Barometers sale

02 October 2001

Sotheby’s 236-lot Clocks, Watches and Barometers sale was the largest of the three held on September 20. Timed to capitalise on the recent opening of the Olympia saleroom, it brought £417,645 and was 73 per cent taken up by lot. This small olivewood marquetry longcase clock, c.1680, 7ft 6in (2.15m), by Joseph Knibb, stole the limelight.

Designer label

02 October 2001

Gordon Russell, the Cotswolds School designer, is now famous for his austere designs of utility furniture. Unfortunately for Russell, this means that his work is often neglected and undersold by owners who do not realise his significance in the history of Arts and Crafts design.

Opposing fortunes for Poole and Carlton Ware

02 October 2001

The September 20 auction of Doulton, Poole and Carlton ware at Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) was a three-part sale that gave two distinctly different performances.

Autumn’s sudden supply ends summer doldrums

02 October 2001

“It never gets any easier, it only gets more difficult,” a dealer told Guy Schooling before Sworders’ autumn sale on 18 September. Certainly the Essex auctioneer was ready to assume the worst after a summer so quiet he had to cancel a general sale in August, but the market is also known for its unpredictability, and a frantic two weeks at the beginning of September brought more than 500 lots through the doors.

Canterbury rooms to re-open after facelift

02 October 2001

CANTERBURY Auction Galleries are celebrating the relaunch of their rooms after a £300,000 modernisation programme. The Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Councillor Fred Whitemore, will re-open the rooms on October 4, revealing, among other changes, a grand new slate staircase and entrance lobby, with new reception area.

Contemporary strengths

02 October 2001

An evening sale of contemporary ceramics, held by Phillips (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) on September 25 yielded a healthy set of overall statistics and some strong individual results. Just over three-quarters of the 200-odd lots changed hands (82 per cent in value terms) chalking up a net total of just under £390,000.

Season opens with just one lot unsold

02 October 2001

“THIS was a very good way to get the season rolling,” said auctioneer Ben Lloyd of this 371-lot sale at Mallams Oxford on 7 September from which only one lot remained unsold.

Oak and Arts and Crafts thrive in a new climate

28 September 2001

RELATIVELY quiet July and August sales caused a bit of a re-think at Gorringes: “After July we were a little bit worried,” said Lewes specialist Nick Muston. “There has been an adjustment in the market and we have adjusted prices accordingly.”

‘The Man Who Drew Cats’ was unbalanced, both in his book-keeping and in his state of mind

28 September 2001

Fewer than half of the 128 lots that made up The Cat Sale at Bonhams & Brooks on September 12 found buyers, but while demand was distinctly patchy and only 10 of 22 works by one of the foremost contemporary exponents of feline portraiture, Anne Mortimer, found buyers, there was no stopping Louis Wain.

Benjamin Vulliamy travelling clock

28 September 2001

From the day it was delivered to Lord Yarborough in 1826, this Benjamin Vulliamy travelling clock had remained in the same family until it was sold at Hy Duke’s sale in Dorchester on September 20.

Time for review as clocks’ quality outrank their age

28 September 2001

THE first UK clocks and watches sale after the summer lull presented a good opportunity to examine the health of a market which is notoriously prone to ups and downs. From results at Gardiner Houlgate, Bath, it would seem that the trade in gentleman’s pocket watches remains buoyant, while ladies’ wristwatches are still hard to shift.

Adnet is no standard lamp

28 September 2001

One unexpected result enlivened an otherwise unexceptional sale of Continental decorative arts held by Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) on September 13.

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