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.


Pygmy mosaics prove popular hunting ground

13 July 2004

SHEER decorative exuberance helped this Roman mosaic panel, c.2nd century AD, right, sell to an American private collector for $260,000 (£141,305), almost triple the upper estimate at Sotheby’s New York (20/12% buyer's premium) sale of June 9.


Monkeys in fashion

13 July 2004

DAVID Teniers the Younger’s whimsical 6 x 8 1/2in (16 x 22cm), oil on copper view of Monkeys Playing Cards, sold to a private buyer against the London trade for a double-estimate €220,000 (£146,665) at Tajan on June 24.


Charging over estimate in Paris

07 July 2004

THE Paris firm of Bourgey was founded in Paris in 1895. Now under the direction of the granddaughter of the founder, Sabine Bourgey, it is still going strong if the recent sale on June 3 is anything to go by.

The best of Sweden

07 July 2004

SWEDEN’s top summer fair Antik 2004 has its 42nd annual staging from July 27 to August 1 at the Olympia Hall in the town of Helsingborg.


Benin bronzes prove the prize catch

07 July 2004

THE highlight of Christie's (20.93/11.96% buyer's premium) sale on June 14 was this 16in (40cm) high Benin bronze plaque (c.1580-1620), right, featuring a warrior chief, brandishing a sceptre in his right hand and a short eben sword in his left. The plaque, formerly owned by Edgar Dimsey, a surgeon on the British punitive expedition to Benin in February 1897, retained sharp detailing and sold to a European collector for a hefty €450,000 (£300,000) against an estimate of €150,000-200,000.


Griffin becomes the guardian of the bargain

07 July 2004

ANY sale overseen by Alain Weil has the potential to be interesting. His sale at the Hôtel Bergère, Paris, on June 18 was no exception. The items on offer in this 455-lot sale ranged from classical times to the distinctive medals of the Art Deco.

Palm Beach! now an alternative to Maastricht exclaim organisers

06 July 2004

FLORIDA-based organisers International Fine Art Expositions have surprised the international antiques world by announcing a change of name for their flagship fair in West Palm Beach. From its next staging in February 2005 it will be renamed Palm Beach! America’s International Fine Art & Antique Fair and the organisers are emphasising that this event is now an alternative to the great, long-established European fairs.


Holmes and the Sussex Vampire

29 June 2004

AS a follow-up to last week’s report on the Conan Doyle collection sold at King Street in May, I bring belated news of The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire.


Dealers see $10m potential in portrait ‘sleeper’

29 June 2004

THE Old Master trade loves a sleeper and at least two dealers were convinced they were on to a major discovery when a woefully under-catalogued “Painter standing beside a canvas depicting cupid, oil on canvas, 45 x 37.5in (1.14m x 95cm)” came under the hammer without any form of attribution or estimate at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire rooms of North East Auctions (15/10% buyer’s premium) on May 23.

New Thyssen gift to Madrid

22 June 2004

THE widow of Baron Heini von Thyssen, the billionaire art collector, has loaned a huge new collection to the museum he founded in Madrid, the Thyssen Bornemisza.


…and goodbye to Berlin too!

22 June 2004

SEVERAL times a year Teutoburger Münzauktion have a long sale, mostly containing fairly low-priced items of great diversity. Much of it is of Germanic interest. On May 21 and 22 they offered 4921 lots.


Garzoni on mental illness

22 June 2004

TOP read in a May 20 sale held by Freemans of Philadelphia was one of 90 sets of the 37-vol. ‘Memorial’ edition of the writings of Mark Twain published by Harpers in 1929, which, in original three-quarter crushed green levant morocco gilt and marbled boards, sold at $12,000 (£6820).


Frankenstein and the fireproof book

22 June 2004

A TYPED first draft of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer in which he uses real names of characters and places, not the pseudonyms of the finished book, carried a $100,000-150,000 estimate in a May 27 modern literature sale held in San Francisco by PBA Galleries but it joined a long list of unsold lots.


A true treat for Custer buffs...

22 June 2004

AN autograph sale held by Swanns on April 29 included 11 lots from the George Armstrong Custer collection formed by the late Dr. Elizabeth Atwood, a vet and well-known Custer buff. Seen right is a copy print of a larger image by Timothy O’Sullivan, inscribed “Truly yours G.A. Custer”, which sold for $14,000 (£7955).


A little girl in the attic awakes to find herself surrounded by admirers

17 June 2004

FOUND lying face down in the attic of a local house, apparently unloved, the pastel portrait of a young girl reading a book seen right was the sleeper that awoke to a six-figure bid in an April 3 sale that gave Dennis Auction Service of Stewartsville, New Jersey, their first ever $1m sale total.


Andrea del Sarto(ish)

17 June 2004

PICTURES in a May 19 sale held by Doyles of New York included a very large (6ft 4 1/2in x 4ft 1in (1.93 x 125m) oil on panel after Andrea del Sarto's Porta Pinti Madonna.

Prototype pistols lead $5.3m firearms sale

17 June 2004

SPECIALIST firearms saleroom, Rock Island Auctions of Moline, Illinois, sold over 2800 lots for a total of $5.3m (£3m) in their April 17-19 event. Among the higher priced weapons were three prototype or experimental pistols by Mauser and Walther.


Moon rock and an historic toothbrush

17 June 2004

IN the 18th century, it was widely believed that meteorites found on Earth were pieces of the moon that had been blasted into space by volcanic eruption. We now know that almost all meteorites come from the asteroid belt and that it was the pummelling that the moon received in the early years of the formation of our solar system that allowed some chunks of moon rock to escape the moon’s gravitational influence and, periodically, find their way to Earth.


Château sales from different vintages

16 June 2004

CONTENTS sales dominated the early May auction action in Belgium, and there were two more held in France later in the month. These were very different affairs – one offering an array of recently acquired furniture and objets d’art, the other being more in the “family heirloom” category.


Fraktur record well and truly broken by $330,000 nightingale

16 June 2004

DECORATED manuscripts known as fraktur, made in various parts of America but primarily associated with Pennsylvania’s German communities, are something very little known in Britain, but on the home auction scene they are big money spinners indeed, as the example from an April 24 Americana sale held by Freemans of Philadelphia shows.