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Sale of a 1760s table de milieu

09 April 2001

FRANCE: The French provinces continue to be a rich source of high-level goods as proved by the sale of this 1760s table de milieu with exuberant ormolu mounts attributed to the Roman bronzier Luigi Valadier, plus a marble top set with semi-precious stones, to the Paris trade for Fr6.4m (£610,000, plus 10.865 per cent buyer’s premium), in the sleepy town of Narbonne, south-west France, on April 1.

Two charged over theft of treaty that defeated Napoleon

09 April 2001

TWO men have been charged in the United States in a conspiracy to sell the 1814 Treaty of Fontainebleu, signed by Napoleon and stolen in 1988 from the French National Archives in Paris.

Three auctioneers link up to promote Scandinavian art

09 April 2001

THREE Scandinavian auction houses – one each from Denmark, Sweden and Norway – have clubbed together to set up a Web presence that they are billing as “the greatest knowledge of fine art in Northern Europe”.

1858 first issue of Coral Island

09 April 2001

UK: AS well as a quantity of letters, journals and sketch albums written or compiled by R.M. Ballantyne – among them an album containing sketches made on excursions to Scotland and fishing trips to Norway in the 1850s, which sold at £1000 to David Miles – the Bonhams (Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent) sale contained an 1858 first issue of Coral Island, the publisher’s decorative blue cloth binding slightly worn but generally good, which made £4000 (Heritage).

Trade braces itself for third month of Foot and Mouth

02 April 2001

UK: Dealers and auctioneers in the worst affected areas have told the Antiques Trade Gazette of their struggle as the trade braces itself for a third month of business blighted by the Foot and Mouth epidemic.

Elegy on Captain Cook

02 April 2001

US: IT MAY be 25 years since a copy of the Elegy on Captain Cook, as “composed and and publickly recited before the Royal Academy of Florence” by Michelangelo Gianetti, was last seen at auction, and this 1785 Florentine first edition, engraved throughout and bound in contemporary calf, would also appear to be the dedication copy.

Night Thoughts and a word or two on Grog

02 April 2001

UK: THE PRINTED word and picture, rather than the familiar manuscript and ephemeral material, were to the fore in this smaller than usual Chichester sale, and just edging to the front of the price lists was a copy of the famous 1797 edition of Young’s ...Night Thoughts, as illustrated by William Blake.

E is for Eboracum … and V is Victorious

02 April 2001

The catalogue for the Dix Noonan Webb sale of March 21 makes known a recent discovery before it gets into the learned journals. It is an incidental use of sale catalogues that these things can be given prompt announcement. This is the nice example of a Charles I half-crown struck at York.

Hard bargaining in front of the TV cameras

02 April 2001

UK: THE arrival of the BBC at the Somerset auctioneers to film Bargain Hunt attracted a larger than usual crowd to this 670-lot dispersal but it appears bargain hunters had a hard time of it.

Barry’s fireworks make a record bang

02 April 2001

UK: LEVELS of demand at Bonhams & Brooks’ (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) March 22 sale of Modern and Contemporary British and Continental Art were less impressive than the Phillips event of March 20.

Thomas Hardy and A Pair of Blue Eyes

02 April 2001

UK: JUST TO prove that “one can get a better... deal from the smaller boys”, John Cranwell, who trades in Oswestry as Bookworld and puts together two auctions a year for the local auctioneers, rang every Thomas Hardy specialist he could find in Sheppard's directory prior to this sale – determined that no-one with a declared interest should be unaware of the fact that a copy of Hardy’s third novel, A Pair of Blue Eyes, was to be offered in this 400-lot sale at the town’s Wynnstay Hotel.

Unfancied racehorses?

02 April 2001

THE BOOK section of this Worcester sale contained a good many equestrian titles, and while several seemed to be fairly modern and were job-lotted, what appears to have been the most important of these horse books was tacked onto a lot that led with an 1830 History of the Hundred of Carhampton in the County of Somerset by James Savage, and “three other books”.

Longer journeys, harder fights – but it’s worth it

02 April 2001

UK: IT’S not just rose-tinted nostalgia – the old days really were more pleasant and these really are some of the toughest times the trade has known. The fact is that more dealers are chasing fewer lots at auction than ever before. Gloucestershire auctioneer Philip Allen has noticed a dramatic increase in private buying at auction in the past decade, which has obviously denied the trade much business, but what he has to say about the activity of dealers is even more depressing.

Decorative longcase is sign of the times selling at £12,000

02 April 2001

UK: STANDING head and shoulders above all other entries to this monthly sale in Sussex was a fine quality c. 1760 mahogany longcase clock by James Clarke of London.

Portrait of Augustus

02 April 2001

Rightly described as ‘superbe’ this 28mm diameter portrait of Augustus made a slightly over-estimate E290 (£180).

Charging knight of Philip the Good

02 April 2001

This energetic charging knight of Philip the Good (1355-83) Count of Brabent (27mm diam.) could have been bought for E1250 (£775).

Wodehouse collection

02 April 2001

The Bonhams Knightsbridge sale (see above, Henty – the great adventure begins with A Secret for Success) also included a P.G. Wodehouse collection (from a different source) and among the more successful of those lots were these two shown here.

EBay test case over bid to drive up prices online

02 April 2001

THREE men have been charged with joining together to drive up prices for items they were selling on Internet auctions on EBay. The charges include one linked to a sale in which a Dutch user bid $135,000 for a fake Richard Diebenkorn painting.

Barfoot Viking heads Norse to Valhalla

02 April 2001

UK: THE subject matter of the Viking collection sold at Spink on March 14 speaks for itself. Not something to appeal to most Antiques Trade Gazette readers it is worth reporting briefly, mainly to demonstrate the skill that resides in London.

Bronze of Brundisii

02 April 2001

This 26mm diameter bronze of Brundisii (now Brindisi, and still a naval base in southern Italy) with, appropriately, a fine image of both Neptune and the boy on a dolphin, sold for E340 (£210).

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