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

Not just a lot of hot air

30 November 1999

UK: PARIS salons were well known for flatulence in conversation. After each manned flight of giant balloons from the gardens of Versailles during the late 18th and 19th centuries, young men who wished to sound like scientists would earnestly debate whether hydrogen gas or hot air allowed the better flight.

Joan Crawford’s jewels discovered on stand

30 November 1999

UK: THE chance purchase of a book from a fellow exhibitor at Olympia has led to an exciting and profitable discovery for 20th Century at Olympia dealer Peter Edwards of Edwards Barany.

Botticelli scoop for Scottish gallery

30 November 1999

UK: A RARE catch indeed, the most important painting of its period in a British private collection, Botticelli’s Virgin Adoring the Christ Child, c.1490-1500, pictured right, has been acquired by the National Gallery of Scotland from the 10th Earl of Wemyss and March, who was about to sell it to America.

Silesian covered goblet fetches £98,000

30 November 1999

UK: AN international mix of private collectors, dealers and institutions turned out to bid for an old and celebrated collection of European glass formed by the late Dr. Otto Dettmers of Bremen when it went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London last week on November 23.

17th century proof from the 1930s

22 November 1999

UK: PHOTOGRAPHIC proof of provenance lends enormous wings to the object concerned, and lot 1 at Phillips’ (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) sale of English and Continental furniture in London on October 12 was just such a case.

For babies or bottles?

22 November 1999

UK: IT MAY have been a mahogany wine cooler, but did its massive proportions and one-time residence in St Alban’s Cathedral suggest that it had formerly been used as a christening bath for babies rather than for beverages?

Call to fight Kent Bill

22 November 1999

UK: CAMPAIGNERS want all dealers across the country to act now against the proposed Kent County Council Bill which could tie the trade up in red tape and discourage buyers.

Drouot’s MP blasts Euro art tax policies

22 November 1999

FRANCE: PIERRE Lellouche, député (MP) for the Drouot district of Paris, has called for the suppression of import VAT on art and a large cut in the rate of droit de suite, the artists’ resale levy.

Bidders spot design icon for what it’s worth

22 November 1999

UK: EXAMPLES of the laminated-birch long chair designed by Marcel Breuer for the Isokon Furniture Company in 1936 have become a fairly common sight at London sales of modern design icons but are perhaps less familiar in the provinces.

Christie’s rethink online auctions

15 November 1999

CHRISTIE'S International has had a radical rethink of its Internet strategy, disbanding its Internet Auctions division, which it created in May as a separate entity, and shelving plans to sell online.

Silk loom has Mr Babbage analysing the possibilties

15 November 1999

UK: THE LINK between the woven silk portrait illustrated right and the modern world of computing may not be instantly apparent, but this 6in x 4in (16 x 11cm) silk panel, albeit a curiosity rather than a key scientific document, had a successful part to play in the Weinreb Computer Collection, which was sold by Bloomsbury Book Auctions in London on October 28.

NY provides solid Impression

15 November 1999

US: THE MARKET for Impressionist and Modern art saw further consolidation last week when Sotheby’s and Christie’s turned over a premium inclusive $466m (£289.5m) for their November sales of works by the world’s most expensive artists.

Worldbookdealers.com

15 November 1999

LAUNCHED this week on the internet Worldbookdealers.com is a new concept in buying rare books and has the backing of many of the world’s top antiquarian booksellers.

Set of five Chippendale chairs

15 November 1999

UK: TWO from a set of five Chippendale mahogany dining chairs sold for £120,000 (plus 15 per cent premium) as part of the sale of objects from Hever Castle, Kent conducted ‘on the premises’ by Weller King on November 9.

Coach builder on the cutting edge

15 November 1999

UK: DELAYED news from tools specialist auctioneers David Stanley Auctions (buyer’s premium 10 per cent) focuses on this rare coach builder’s plough or grooving plane, right, constructed in ebony, brass and steel and probably made by Thomas Falconer around c.1840.

Hermitage collections for Somerset House

08 November 1999

UK: A PERMANENT exhibition space for objects from the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg is to be part of the continuing development of London’s Somerset House as an arts complex.

From blockhouse to army museum

08 November 1999

UK: THE unknown British soldier who embroidered the crude depiction of his lonely blockhouse on the South African veld almost a century ago, could hardly have expected his work to end up on the hallowed walls of the National Army Museum in Chelsea, having provoked intense competition from international bidders at Bosley’s auction of militaria in Marlow on October 12.

Delft pill slab makes a heart-warming £53,000

08 November 1999

UK: A heart-shaped London delft pill slab of c.1660-70, 12 x 10in (30 x 25cm), painted in blue, ochre and turquoise with the arms of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries.

£1750 for Nixon rarity

08 November 1999

UK: THERE remains some serious money available for the rarest of the Royal Doulton HN series figures as was seen at this Lincolnshire sale when one of the first of the Harry Nixon series was offered.

Phillips quiet on Arnault takeover

08 November 1999

Phillips were making no comment last week following confident assertions in the Financial Times that a French takeover of the last of the top three auctioneers under UK ownership was imminent.

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