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.

French auction firm banned

26 May 2004

FRANCE'S national auction watchdog, the Conseil des Ventes, has banned the firm Rey & Associés from all auction activity, for repeatedly staging sales without adequate insurance cover.

Japanese panels take off in international bidding frenzy

20 May 2004

A SET of four late-18th century Japanese gold lacquered panels caused a flurry of international interest when they came up for sale at Rossini (19.94% buyer’s premium) back on April 2.

The quality of Mercy merits £300,000 bid

19 May 2004

THE Seven Works of Mercy by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, painted on a panel measuring 17 x 22in (42 x 56cm), raised €450,000 (£300,000) at the sale held by Van Ham (22% buyer’s premium) in Cologne on April 3. It had been estimated at €260,000.

Christie’s to continue Paris sales of pre-Columbian art

19 May 2004

ALTHOUGH they were one of three auctioneers forced to withdraw pre-Columbian works of art from sale last year over questions of provenance, Christie’s will continue to offer early South American items for auction in Paris.

Wrong-footed Somerset Maugham jacket design brings $42,500

19 May 2004

THE first part of the Maurice F. Neville collection of modern literature, which sold for a premium-inclusive $5.22m (£2.95m) at Sotheby’s New York on April 13, was primarily but certainly not wholly focused on the work of American writers. Seen here are two of the English books that brought strong results.

Dealers bound for Russia for Moscow fair debut

19 May 2004

A SELECT group of 22 dealers from seven countries, including a number of Maastricht veterans, will take part in Russia’s first ever international antiques fair, the Moscow World Fine Art Fair, from May 31-June 7.

Sewing seeds to court the Queen’s favour

13 May 2004

One of the more dramatic results seen at Sotheby’s (20/12% buyer's premium) English Country House sale on April 7 in New York was the $130,000 (£70,650) paid by a private collector for this English needlework portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, c.1580, 4 3/4 x 4 1/2in (12 x 11.4cm), which had been estimated at a modest $8000-12,000.

£70,000 Jensen silver raid at Denmark’s national gallery

11 May 2004

Pictured right is one of two major pieces of Georg Jensen silver stolen in a raid on Denmark’s National Art Gallery in the early hours of May 2. The thieves involved got away with an estimated £70,000 worth of silver that formed part of an exhibition featuring the work of the celebrated Danish silversmith.


Picasso knocks Van Gogh off the top spot with $93m portrait study

11 May 2004

AUCTION history was duly made at Sotheby’s New York on the evening of Wednesday, May 5 when Picasso’s iconic 1905 Rose Period canvas, Garçon à la Pipe, was knocked down for a hammer price of $93m (£54.7m), making it the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction.

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.

Murder mystery Jacobean style…

05 May 2004

JACOBEAN London was enthralled by the Overbury Murder case and the subsequent trial of the conspirators.

Far East bids up prices on Chinese lots

05 May 2004

FOR many collectors, the finest quality 18th century Qing dynasty mark and period porcelain is the holy grail of Chinese ceramics, but connoisseurs have long revered the understated aesthetic and classic simplicity of the Song dynasty’s (960-1279AD) monochrome glazed ceramics.

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.

Former art squad chiefs to run new recovery firm

05 May 2004

TWO specialist services in the world of tracking stolen art have joined forces to launch a new recovery service.

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.

A mixed picture at Belgian art sales

28 April 2004

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

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.

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.

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).

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).