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 recently rediscovered manuscript of William Gilpin’s book on Forest Scenery...

09 July 2001

UK: Sold for £48,000 to Quaritch at Christie’s on June 4& 6 was a recently rediscovered manuscript of William Gilpin’s book on Forest Scenery... (first published in 1791) that fills four volumes and contains 25 full and 20 half-page watercolour drawings by Gilpin, plus three pencil and wash drawings of animals by his brother Sawrey.

Selection of Hexandrian Plants

09 July 2001

An incomplete copy of one of the masterpieces of English botanical illustration of the 19th century, Mrs Edward Berry’s Selection of Hexandrian Plants (1831-34), offered at Christie’s on June 4 & 6 contained only 45 (of 51) of the younger Robert Havell’s partially colour-printed and hand-finished engraved and aquatinted plates, but it brought a bid of £60,000 from the Oppenheimer Gallery.

Moas, the Rodrigues Solitary and poor old Martha…

09 July 2001

BOUND in contemporary half morocco, one of 300 signed copies of the 1907 first edition of Rothschild’s Extinct Birds, containing 49, mostly chromo plates after Keulemans, Lodge, Grönvold, Smit and Frohawk, went at £3000 to a collector in the Sotheby’s sale of June 5.

Lalique surprises but majolica still rules

06 July 2001

A sale of more than 400 lots at Phillips, Leeds on June 5– of which 80 per cent sold bringing a total of £122,000 – gave dealers and collectors from as far away as America and Australia an opportunity to assess the middle range of collectable glass and ceramics.

Continental Imperialist weighs in with £4800

06 July 2001

The Foot and Mouth crisis put an end to the intended group selling of Imperial weights and measures belonging to the British Trading Standards Association. The weights have now been sold over a number of general antiques sales at the Burton-on-Trent rooms of Richard Winterton (10% buyer’s premium) the latest of which was held on May 23.

A home-grown market for bonsai

06 July 2001

Garden statuary is now an accepted part of the antiques market, but what about plants and trees? Auctioneers are prepared to sell anything that can remotely be classified as collectable these days, but there is a genuine case for admitting bonsai trees – works of art organic and antique – to the salerooms.

The road from Bath to Olympia busy after May sale’s success

06 July 2001

LIKE many other provincial auctioneers, the Bath operation of the Phillips empire – now the centre for collection points at Cardiff, Bristol and Sherborne, profited from the major fairs in June when their 332-lot sale on May 21 saw a take-up of 83 per cent and a predominance of trade buyers buying to sell on in London.

Attractions of Royal armorial

04 July 2001

For last November’s Asia series Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10 per cent buyer’s premium) switched from holding mammoth mixed Oriental offerings to more specialised separate Chinese and Japanese sales – an arrangement they continued for the summer Asian sales last month.

Royal exchange relic blazes away

04 July 2001

Now that we cannot take what is left of our public services for granted, it is worth remembering that municipal fire brigades have only existed nationwide since 1938. When private brigades were the norm, the residents of towns and cities had to rely on firemen employed by private insurance companies, resulting in the bizarre sight of Commercial Union/Sun Life/Phoenix firemen idling in front of a blazing building insured by a rival company.

Museum provenance adds attraction to Korean jar

04 July 2001

Bonhams & Brooks (15/10% buyer’s premium) held their Far Eastern Works of Art on May 30, a couple of weeks earlier than the other main auction houses.

Colour sketch for the painting Flaming June by Lord Frederic Leighton

04 July 2001

Illustrated is one of Lord Frederic Leighton’s most famous compositions Flaming June. This 41/2in by 41/4in colour sketch for the painting was understandably one of the sensations of Sotheby’s dispersal of the Leverhulme Collection at Thornton Manor, Merseyside, on June 26-28.

Sotheby’s (almost) in Paris

04 July 2001

FRANCE: A trio of Paris summer high season auctions which Sothebys are staging jointly with Paris auctioneers Poulain Le Fur got off to a Fr64m (£6.2m) start last week with the sale of the contents of the Monaco apartment of the Italian collectors and dealers M et Mme Luigi Laura on June 27.

Costume cuts dramatic dash

04 July 2001

This dramatic theatrical costume for a warrior in yellow satin with gilt thread and silk embroidery took the top price in a sale of Asian Costume and Textiles held by Christie’s South Kensington on June 21.

Arson threatens auction

03 July 2001

VANDALS are being blamed for a fire that threatened to engulf Eastbourne Auction Rooms last week.

Big names quell the market jitters

02 July 2001

The London art market breathed a general sigh of relief last week after Sotheby’s and Christie’s Part I Impressionist and Modern sales belied the atmosphere of economic uncertainty with a clutch of high prices for classic works by the major names of late 19th and early 20th century art.

A leaf from the Gutenberg Bible and other treasures

28 June 2001

A single leaf from a 1455 Gutenberg Bible, in a copy of Alfred E. Newton’s A Noble Fragment of 1921 sold at Bloomsbury Book Auctions on June 8 for £15,000 (+ 15 per cent buyer's premium).

A medieval lawyer’s pocketbook and Quevedo’s Seneca

28 June 2001

UK: WRITTEN shortly after 1290, perhaps for a practising lawyer and presumably by professional scribes – it exhibits a variety of neat English cursive and charter hands – the manuscript copy of Magna Carta and the Statutes of England illustrated right is a remarkable example of an English medieval secular book.

Where Eagles Dare and a little space oddity

28 June 2001

Dan Dare, pilot of the Future, makes his first appearance in the 1950 first issue of Eagle comic, alongside which is a 1953 Dan Dare Book of Jet Planes, with 3-D viewer. These were sold by Comic Book Postal Auctions, London, on June 12 for £248 & £130, respectively (+ 10 per cent buyer's premium).

Heron soars to £260,000

27 June 2001

UK: FOLLOWING on from the success of the International section of the Seeger Collection in New York last month, high quality and low estimates once again proved a winning combination for Sotheby’s (20/15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) when on June 14 they offered works by British artists collected by Stanley Seeger over the last 20 or so years.

Self service was the order of the day

27 June 2001

UK: THE most famous fortnight in lawn tennis is now upon us, and as a warm-up to the usual bazaar of champagne, strawberries and corporate hospitality, at Kempton Park on June 16 auctioneers Mullock and Madeley held aloft this Wimbledon trophy for the men’s doubles winners of 1919.

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