International

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.

Buyers count the cost as State pre-empts entire château sale

01 June 1999

FRANCE: THE FRENCH government’s apparent disregard for their art market, reflected by the repeated postponement of the auction reform (see above), was further illustrated by the dramatic last-minute cancellation of the sale of the contents of the former royal château at Randan in the Auvergne.

French auction reform – the bill is altered

01 June 1999

FRANCE: A NEW date of June 10 has been set for the first parliamentary reading of the long-delayed bill reforming French auction system.

Mixed fortunes for New York art

24 May 1999

US: THE bonanza of Impressionist and 19th century art sales in New York, headlined by the record $55m (£33.5m) hammer price paid for a Cézanne still life, has highlighted various trends in the market, not least the dominance of Post Impressionist works.

Reminder of an inevitable fate...

17 May 1999

SWITZERLAND: WORKING for posterity with a fast-approaching deadline? Unconcerned about leaving those vital documents unfinished? Then perhaps you need the inspiration of this automaton – a perfect memento mori for the millennial slacker.

VAT row – how the EU fudged it

17 May 1999

EU: THE publication on the Internet of the report compiled for the European Commission on the effect of doubling VAT on works of art imported for sale from outside the EC has exposed huge flaws in the Commission’s argument for pressing ahead with the increased tax, say leading members of the trade.

Sotheby’s told they can release Rossi lots

03 May 1999

ITALY: SOTHEBY’S have been informed that they can release to their purchasers the 23 lots on which the Italian authorities had requested a review of export licences immediately prior to the three-day sale of the Rossi Collection which ended on March 12.

Time to pontificate

03 May 1999

France: WAS it or wasn’t it? – This richly decorated skullcap, above, which appeared at Neuilly on April 15, was at the very least an outstanding piece of episcopal headgear.

Rare Ming bowl sets world auction record

03 May 1999

HONG KONG: A WORLD auction price was set for Chinese porcelain when this extremely rare doucai chicken cup, from the Ming Dynasty, with the six-character mark and period of Chenghua, 1465-78, from the collection of Mrs Leopold Dreyfus, sold to Eskenazi Ltd of London for HK$25.4m (£2m) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on April 27.

Basel goes on... without TEFAF

26 April 1999

SWITZERLAND: TEFAF Basel, the sister fair to Maastricht, has broken all official ties with its founders TEFAF (The European Fine Art Foundation) who have handed over the organisation to Messe Basel, the exhibition hall which has hosted the fair since it was launched in 1995.

Zeppelins’ guide on stairway to Heaven

26 April 1999

UK: JUST as rocket fuel was essential to the stratospheric aims of the V1 and V2 missiles towards the end of WW2, so the altigraph was mandatory to the success of Germany’s highest flying secret of WW1.

No copy... it’s the real thing

19 April 1999

US: ON August 15 1876, nearly ten years after his fellow American inventor Christopher Scholes had offered the world its first ever typewriter, Thomas Edison patented an electric method for the small businessman to print and copy several documents.

Amos French collection beats hopes

19 April 1999

FRANCE: THE dispersal of the Paul Amos collection of French medals, under the auspices of expert Sabine Bourgey at Piasa (10.854 per cent buyer’s premium) in Paris on March 8 represents an event for which we have to go back some years to find anything comparable.

Military museum to sell off its collection

19 April 1999

GERMANY: SOME of the most unusual and fascinating military vehicles ever built are to be auctioned on May 15 when the contents of the Historical and Technical Museum of Nümbrecht are sold off.

The cat’s whiskers

12 April 1999

US: How do you titillate an ocelot? You oscillate its tit a lot. Kenny Everett’s immortal insight into the sexual life of one of the obscurer members of the cat family is usually quite difficult to drag into an auction report. But how can titillation be resisted when someone is prepared to pay $525,000 (£324,075) for this painting of an ocelot at Sotheby’s New York (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium).

A provenance of no distinction

12 April 1999

US Round-Up (February-March Pt.II) THE FIRST 350 lots of the February 15-16 sale held by Pacific Auction Galleries comprised books from the library of the Zamorano Club, a society of book lovers, founded in 1928, which takes its name from the first known printer in California, Augustin Vicente Zamorano, who set up a press in Monterey in 1834.

Toll board charges ahead

05 April 1999

Works of Art at Sotheby's South

It's official: wine is good for you...

05 April 1999

...but it's still bad for you US: HOT news from health-conscious America. After years of campaigning from pro-winers, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has agreed to allow the words DO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT THE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF DRINKING WINE to be added to the back label, as well as the statutory health warning. So now it’s official. Not only is wine bad for you, but it’s good for you as well.

Ovid, Euclid and the Kôs

05 April 1999

Sales in Switzerland A SCARCE first edition, in a ‘curious’ binding, of the Marquis de Sade’s Justine which proved a surprise star turn of a Galerie Koller auction held in Zurich on February 8, selling for a premium inclusive SFr51,168 (£22,745), was illustrated and described in an earlier issue of the Antiques Trade Gazette, but illustrated and described here are a few more of the highlights.

How £29,000 pleased vendor – and £239,000 delighted buyer

05 April 1999

SWITZERLAND: NOWADAYS the trade makes much of its living out of putting pictures through the salerooms, but there can be few more spectacular profits in recent months than the £200,000 St James’s dealer David Mason made out of this Albert Anker (1831-1910) oil, right, Strickendes Mädchen which sold for SFr550,000 (£239,130) at Christie’s Zurich (15/13/7.5 per cent buyer’s premium) on March 23.

Redouté means money in the language of flowers

30 March 1999

US: A ‘FINE & RARE’ sale held by Pacific Book Auctions on February 25 saw strong bidding for botanical plate collections, with a very rare first edition of Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivés dans le jardin de J.M.Cels selling at $22,500 (£13,390).

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