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Latest art and antiques news from Antiques Trade Gazette. Browse by topics such as art finance, auctions, insurance and recruitment.

Coin trade baffled by sale conundrum

17 December 2002

HOW can coins being sold on the rostrum in New York be sitting safely locked up in London and elsewhere at the same time? That is the conundrum facing the coins and medals world following the publication of a catalogue and results from a sale organised in New York by Riccardo Paolucci, a Yorkshire-based Italian dealer.

Court hands lost work back to owner despite compensation deal

17 December 2002

It must be the dream insurance policy: compensation for loss and the return of the goods stolen. But for security giant Chubb, it was a claim too far when wealthy art lover Michael Clarke-Jervoise demanded he be handed back a 17th century Dutch masterpiece for which they had earlier paid him £125,000 in compensation.

£1.35m Munnings is clear winner

13 December 2002

Thanks to the combination of sporting subject matter and extremely slick technique, Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) continues to be one of the few early 20th century British painters to command a truly international following among the world’s richest private collectors.

A first hint of Spring...in West Sussex

13 December 2002

Coming up on December 11, 12 and 13 is Rupert Toovey & Co’s Sale of Antiques, Fine Art & Collectors’ Items, which will be the inaugural sale at their new Spring Gardens salerooms in Washington, West Sussex.

Do not lose your marbles…

13 December 2002

ONE of the most bizarre and unexpected results at Tennants’ sale in North Yorkshire on 21-22 December involved a collection of more than 200 19th century marbles, a selection of which are shown right.

Thumb’s up for grabs

13 December 2002

Pint-sized dealers might be interested in getting hold of this immaculate little suit in black wool and cream cotton, measuring just 2ft 1in (63cm) from collar to trouser bottom, which is being offered by Bonhams in Knowle on December 11.

A £260,000 quality assessment beneath two centuries of redecoration

11 December 2002

The table pictured right was very much the star entry in a 230-lot sale of English and Continental furniture and works of art held at Bonhams (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) Bond Street rooms on November 26. It singled handedly accounted for a third of the entire £787,620 auction total when it made £260,000. Nothing else came near this in price, the next most expensive entry being a £19,000 Louis XV period marquetry commode.

A Stack of coins…

11 December 2002

Attentive readers of the Antiques Trade Gazette will remember the sale of the Lawrence R. Stack collection of English medieval coins at Sotheby’s in April 1999. He also had a good collection of French coins from the time of Henri IV (1589-1610) to about Waterloo. These were dispersed by Hess-Divo (15% buyer’s premium) in Zurich on October 24 in 380 lots.

Kelso gypsies, Walt Whitman and a hidden Dr Johnson

11 December 2002

ONE of the more expensive lots in this Cumbrian sale at Thomson Roddick & Medcalf on 6 November was an 1881 [Philadelphia] limited edition of the Complete Poems and Prose of Walt Whitman. An ex-library copy in well worn cloth and bearing a typescript note that it was bought “...at the sale of the library of the late Lord Rosebery”, it made £920. Some copies are signed, but the catalogue referred only to a manuscript limitation statement.

Beano achieves the highest price ever paid for a British comic

11 December 2002

The Beano and Dandy were the first British comics to be published entirely in colour when they appeared within months of each other in 1938. With a cover price of two old pennies, this first edition Beano achieved the highest price ever paid for a British comic when bidding closed at Comic Book Postal Auctions in London last week.

Conference to debate future of fine arts education and professional qualifications

09 December 2002

Does the fine arts business warrant professional qualifications? What form should the education take? Should there be only one body representing the profession or several representing different aspects?

Trade warned not to miss deadline on price fixing claims

09 December 2002

THE British Antique Dealers Association are advising members who qualify for compensation in the wake of the Sotheby’s/Christie’s price fixing case not to miss the claims deadline.

Furniture star at jewel specialists

06 December 2002

Birmingham auctioneers Fellows & Sons (15% buyer’s premium) are particularly known for their silver and jewellery sales but on October 29 it was a piece of furniture which took the top honours. A William and Mary walnut and crossbanded chest on stand had made £3400 when it was auctioned in 1998 by James & Lister Lea of Birmingham as part of the estate of the Late Mrs Joyce Cadbury of the Bourneville-based chocolate dynasty. Here it was punchily estimated at £4500-5500.

Bringing in a guaranteed harvest in Home Counties stockbroker belt

06 December 2002

Over the last year or so there have been some worryingly disappointing results at London and New York auctions of 19th century British and Continental pictures. Bidding in London at Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) November 19 sale of 19th Century Paintings, however, exhibited some much-welcomed signs of renewed solidity, with 64 per cent of the 182 lots finding buyers.

Rubens will go on public display

06 December 2002

Rubens’ Massacre of the Innocents is to go on public display at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Lord Thomson of Fleet, who set a record for an Old Master painting at auction when he paid £45m for the work at Sotheby’s in London in July, announced that the painting would join nearly 2000 other works in his collection at the gallery after it completes a $315m renovation and expansion.

Fresh with the tangs of Citrus…

06 December 2002

There is still plenty of time to catch the Christmas show at the Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond St., who inform us that the exhibition in fact runs until December 21st and not the 11th as first reported in last month’s Decoration and Design.

New hope of tax relief could stem drain of art from historic properties

06 December 2002

THE prospect of tax relief for the maintenance of historic properties has come a step closer thanks to a new Government-backed study. If introduced, it could stem the disposal of works of art, whose sale currently funds 26 per cent of maintenance on such properties.

Where the most appealing ingredients mix, silver shows it can still shine

06 December 2002

November 19 was a very busy day for silver fanciers, obliged to make a decision about which of a trio of overlapping London sales they wished to attend in person. As well as King Sreet's main sale, there were more standard offerings at Christie’s South Kensington and Bonhams Knightsbridge (each 17.5/10% buyer’s premium).

Tea and sympathisers

06 December 2002

Historians have spent many enjoyable hours attempting to decipher the symbolism of pictures on the back of Georgian teaspoons such as those illustrated right. Like the club tie or the secret society handshake, the picture back teaspoon was an English gentleman’s discreet method of signalling loyalties to potential sympathisers when serving afternoon tea.

Russian buyers follow the trend when it comes to selectivity

06 December 2002

Russian Works of Art: ALTHOUGH like the silver sale that preceded it, the buying mood was selective for the 343 lots of Russian works of art offered by Sotheby’s Olympia on November 21, it still totalled a respectable £684,000 for the 215 lots that changed hands.

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