About 80% of the global art market by value takes place outside the UK. The largest art market in the world is the US with China in third place (after the UK) followed by France, Germany and Switzerland.

Many more nations have a rich art and antiques heritage with active auction, dealer, fair, gallery and museum sectors even if their market size by value is smaller.

Read the top stories and latest art and antiques news from all these countries.

William Randolph Hearst and his Bavarian connections...

05 May 2004

RECENT auctions held by Pacific Book Auctions have tended to be driven to a large extent by absentee bidding and by those using the ‘Real-Time Bidder’ internet option, but for a March 25 sale devoted to one man’s collection of letters, photographs, drawings and other mementoes relating to the life of William Randolph Hearst, those old fashioned habits of turning up in the room or even just picking up a telephone were dusted off.

Athlete to star in Australia

05 May 2004

ACQUIRED for £52,000 by the Australian businessman John Schaeffer at Christie’s, London in June 1996, this striking oil on canvas, right, A Dancing Athlete with an Olive Branch, by Frederic Leighton (1830-1896), comes under the hammer again on May 15.

Hit US show for Mayfair

05 May 2004

ONE of the most acclaimed exhibitions of the late March Asian Art Week in New York was London dealers’ Rossi & Rossi’s show Styles from the Steppes: Silk Costumes and Textiles from the Liao and Yuan Periods.

Thoroughly modern but patchy…

28 April 2004

BUSINESS was patchy at the 8th Pavillon des Antiquaires et des Beaux Arts that ran from March 27-April 4 in the Jardin des Tuileries, featuring 80 galleries, all but seven from France. New York’s Barry Friedman, participating for the first time, headed the small foreign contingent along with Michel Soskine Inc., showing drawings by the German-born Horst Janssen (1927-95).

How the Allied landings affected the market

28 April 2004

THE Paris expert Alain Weill makes a habit of holding sales which are rather more interesting than those of many of his colleagues. For sure they have a strong Gallic slant, but then sales in London are strongly biased towards the British series.

A date at the chateau… Fair Preview

28 April 2004

SPECIALIST ceramics dealers will, once again, be gathering at the historic chateau at Enghien, 20 miles south west of Brussels, this week for the fourth staging of the Salon Céramique Ancienne (Oude Keramiek).

Gershwin’s musical sketch book is a $100,000 hit in California

28 April 2004

ONE notable item from the Bonhams & Butterfields sale of March 23 was a rare copy of Jacques Gautier d’Agoty’s colour printed Anatomie de la Tête of 1748 that made $19,000 (£10,220) – but not the top price lot, a Gershwin sketchbook that made $100,000, or indeed several other interesting items.

A mixed picture at Belgian art sales

28 April 2004

THERE was some erratic bidding for the pictures which dominated Belgian auctions in March.

Live online bidding deal for Sotheby’s

27 April 2004

LIVEAUCTIONEERS.COM, the Manhattan-based company that provides real-time Internet bidding capability to many US auction houses, has signed an agreement with Sotheby’s New York branch to provide its services for selected Sotheby’s sales.

Head and shoulders above the rest at $650,000

22 April 2004

THE international Asian art community descended upon New York in March to secure the most enticing exhibits in Manhattan’s two major Asian art fairs and numerous dealers’ shows. They were also there to contest the best quality Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Southeast Asian fare in Sotheby’s and Christie’s five specialist auctions that took place between March 23 and 25.

Popularity of the radially expanding dining table

19 April 2004

The perennial and international popularity of the radially expanding dining table was underlined in South Africa when Stephan Welz & Co (in association with Sotheby’s) sold this William IV circular extending dining table by Johnstone, Jupe and Co for R950,000 (£84,820), plus 10 per cent premium, in Cape Town on March 30.

Law change creates headache for coin trade

15 April 2004

THE new money-laundering laws appear inadvertently to have created a problem for the coin trade.

Proyart to go

15 April 2004

JEAN-BAPTISTE de Proyart, vice president of Sotheby’s France, is to leave the company this summer to work as an independent art advisor in books and manuscripts, based in Paris. He joined Sotheby’s in 1993 and, as head of books and manuscripts in France, organised several sales since the firm were allowed to sell in Paris in 2001.

The Death of Munrow sold at Sotheby's New York

15 April 2004

The Death of Munrow, depicting the attack by a tiger on a certain Mr Munroe in 1793 when he was out on a hunting party on Saugar Island in West Bengal, is one of the most dramatic and celebrated subjects to be recorded in Staffordshire earthenware. As a result it usually commands a high price when it comes up for sale at auction but few could have predicted the $130,000 (£74,285) (plus buyer’s premium) realised for the example that appeared at Sotheby’s New York last week.

Cultura Basel is axed

06 April 2004

CULTURA Basel, Switzerland’s only international antiques fair, has been abandoned and there seems no likelihood of reviving the critically-acclaimed fixture.

Paris auction boss guilty of fraud

06 April 2004

PARIS auctioneer Jean-Claude Binoche has been given an eight-month suspended jail sentence, and fined €100,000, after a Paris court found him guilty of fraud.

A £40,000 star older than looks suggest...

01 April 2004

The 20in (52cm) high dinanderie vase by Jean Dunand, pictured, right, with original black patina and sleek Art Deco outlines belying its early date of 1913, zoomed to €60,000 (£40,000), five times the estimate, at the Tajan (20.33% buyer’s premium) sale of 20th century decorative arts on March 4.

Massive sale proves a staple guide to prices…

01 April 2004

THE massive catalogue of Küncker of Osnabrück (27.22/23 buyer’s premium) devoted to Classical, Byzantine and Islamic coins has fallen onto my desk.

Wynkyn de Worde’s indulgence and Thomas Bewick’s extra illustrations ...

23 March 2004

THE rarest and probably the earliest piece of printing in a February 26 sale held by Pacific Book Auctions of San Francisco, the papal indulgence from Wynkyn de Worde’s press seen right, was bid to $13,000 (£6890), but there were some other early items in the collection of editions of Aesop’s Fables formed by the late Dr Margaret Rose Quentin that opened the auction.

Late spring flowering for Milan antique fairs

23 March 2004

WHEN it comes to trade fairs it’s showtime all the year round in Milan, but antiques have their biggest flowering in the late spring with two major vetted fairs in the city taking place hot on each other’s heels.