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

Arne’s co-opera(tive) ‘Love in a Village’

18 February 2002

BOOKS played a fairly minor part in the first Newbury antiques sale of the year at Dreweatt Neate on 30 January – one that raised in excess of £1.5m, a record for the Berkshire saleroom – but they did get the proceedings under way, and the very first lot in the catalogue, a misbound and now disbound and browned copy of Love in a Village, a comic opera as performed at The Theatre Royal, Covent Garden... showed the way in selling for a double estimate £200.

£1m expected for watercolours that Blake made for a “petty sneaking knave” and The Grave

18 February 2002

In 1805, William Blake was commissioned by Robert Harley Cromek to make a set of 40 drawings to illustrate Robert Blair’s poem The Grave, 20 of which Cromek proposed to have engraved by Blake.

Enduring appeal of eclecticism

18 February 2002

FRANCE: Pictured right is a restored 18th century two-part fountain basin, with a veined red marble shell topped by a white stone lion head, which sold over expectations for €25,000 (£15,500) at Tajan on January 30

The American touch of gold

15 February 2002

Anyone looking at this small 19th century still life painting, right, for the first time could be forgiven for rubbing their eyes with disbelief to hear that East Sussex auctioneers Gorringe’s (15% buyer’s premium) had allocated it an estimate of £20,000-30,000 at their January 29-31 sale in Lewes.

Winifred’s winner

15 February 2002

Rise of Winifred Nicholson goes on apace with amazing bid of £100,000 for portrait of Ben: Over the last two or three years Winifred Nicholson (1893-1981), the first wife of Ben Nicholson, has become an increasingly significant figure in the Modern British market, culminating in the record £52,000 paid last July at Phillips for one of her trademark window still lives.

Seventy years on, etchings rise again

15 February 2002

Buying art as an investment has always been a perilous business. Back in the 1920s during the so-called Etching Boom speculating collectors were prepared to pay hundreds of pounds – ie more than the price of an average London house – for single prints by ultra- fashionable artists such as Muirhead Bone, David Young Cameron and James McBey.

Fantasies of form and function

14 February 2002

Pictured right is one of Twelve Angels, 9ft 10in (3m) high towering chairs made of dried branches that look like sinuous dancers. They are the work of Polish designer Dorota Koziara and three of these are among the more striking furniture forms to be found in CDA 2002, the 6th annual exhibition of Contemporary Decorative Arts and Design that opens at Sotheby’s Bond Street Galleries on February 20 and runs until March 1.

Decorator trade weaves it magic on prices for carpets

14 February 2002

The Wiltshire rooms Woolley & Wallis usually hold four specialist carpet sales a year but a fifth was squeezed in before the scheduled Valentine’s Day event, and with a 77 per cent rate and £77,000 total on the 284 lots on offer, the decision by specialists June Barrett and Ian Bennett was more than justified.

Jewels of the 1920s that transform a routine day

14 February 2002

A privately sourced collection of jewellery boosted this first dispersal of the year in these Hampshire rooms at George Kidner on 9 January – “the bulk of the rest of the material was just good stock pieces”, said auctioneer Andrew Reeves.

Ceramics lure buyers from NEC fair

14 February 2002

THIS first sale of the new year at the Staffordshire rooms Richard Winterton attracted a number of new buyers who were all in the area for the LAPADA fair at the nearby Birmingham NEC.

Bids on a roll with the help of realistic estimation

13 February 2002

London’s first costume and textile sale of the year took place at Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) at the end of January, the 318 lots netting just over £150,000 with an 87 per cent take-up by lottage, 89 in money.

Antique Furniture Index shows seven per cent rise for 2001

12 February 2002

THE Antique Collectors’ Club have published the results of their Annual Furniture Index, which shows a seven per cent rise for 2001. The index now stands at 3575, its highest point ever, from a base of 100 in 1968.

French constitution will water down Unidroit

12 February 2002

France has taken the first step towards adopting Unidroit, which enforces strict controls on the restitution of stolen art. On January 29 a first reading of the bill ratifying the convention was adopted by the Assemblée Nationale (lower-house).

Impressionist and Modern sales with a wow factor

12 February 2002

The London art market received a major lift in the salerooms last week when Sotheby’s and Christie’s attracted remarkably strong levels of international demand for their February round of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary auctions.

Soaring gold price shows the way

12 February 2002

THE collapse of Enron seems to have had a belated effect on the price of gold – but for the better. Gold rose by more than $23 (£16) per ounce this week, a positive move that was reflected by a slight rise in both silver and platinum, as buyers seek more tangible assets for investment.

Lawyers predict £100m-200m UK class action within weeks

11 February 2002

LAWYERS say that Sotheby’s and Christie’s can expect to face a £100m lawsuit over price-fixing at UK auctions within the next few weeks.

A horrid Hobbit and a glimpse of London shadows and swamps

07 February 2002

The estimate of £25-35 placed on a second impression copy of Tolkien’s The Hobbit was a reflection of its condition – “deplorable” being the cataloguer’s chosen epithet. There was no jacket and 20-30 leaves had been torn loose, one of which had been further torn into four (now three) pieces.

Stars and students in print

07 February 2002

IN 1954 the painter and printmaker, Philip Reeves (born 1931), being interviewed for a post as a lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art, produced a letter of reference from the artist Robert Austin (1895-1973).

International photo fans hail a Scouse Giza

07 February 2002

FRANCE: FRANCIS FRITH (1822-98) was the focus of attention of Beaussant-Lefèvre’s sale of 19th century photographs at Drouot on January 25, as expert Pierre-Marc Richard claimed a world record auction price of €23,000 (£14,400), almost double-estimate, for a Francis Frith photograph: an 1858 view of The Pyramids of El-Geezeh from the south-west (pictured).

Lawrence and Burton triumph

07 February 2002

THE LAST 450 or so lots of a two-day general antiques sale on 6 December at Cheffins, Cambridge comprised books, many of them multiples.

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