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Magic fountains, Picasso’s pottery and wetting the Dauphin’s head – Sèvres-style

23 January 2002

FRANCE: A gilded and bleu céleste Louis XVI Sèvres cup and saucer, right, 51/2in (14cm) tall and known as the Gobelet Dauphin, sold over estimate for Fr260,000 (£24,800) at Piasa in Paris on December 7.

Ruling a major blow to US antiquities trade

21 January 2002

A court decision to proceed with a case against a member of the trade is expected to deal a major blow to the United States’ antiquities business.

Finelot ‘will thrive’ – Bly

21 January 2002

Finelot chairman John Bly reassured investors last week that the on-line dealership, which made a loss of £1.44m last year, should make a profit by 2004.

King James Bible in a restoration binding sells for $380,000 in the ‘Perryville’ Doheny auction

16 January 2002

In October 1987, Christie’s embarked on a series of six sales to dispose of the Doheny library, a spectacular series of auctions that ended in May 1989 and raised a grand total of $38m – a sum that remains to this day a record for any library sold at auction.

Court martial that led on to treason

16 January 2002

ONE of only 50 copies of Proceedings of a General Court Martial.... for the Trial of Major General Arnold that came up for sale in a Swanns Americana sale of November 29 was ex-library, bound in later half morocco with assorted stamps and various defects, but this Philadelphia imprint of 1780 is an extremely rare and historically significant item and attracted a lot of interest.

Johnson medals set new world record

16 January 2002

A new world record was set at Spink’s sale of Medals, Orders and Decorations (ODM) on December 10. The group of medals won by Air Vice-Marshal (as he became) “Johnnie” Johnson were sold for £241,500 (including premium).

Steiff competition as solid as ever

16 January 2002

The third sale in Christie's South Kensington’s December toy triumvirate was their teddy bear and soft toy sale held on the 3rd of the month. The second of their biannual sales in this category, this was a sizeable offering at 319 lots and was well attended by a mix of collectors and dealers.

Tarzan’s outhouse and Synthetic Men from Mars – an ERB special

16 January 2002

ED GILBERT, a Californian book dealer, became a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs when he read The Gods of Mars in 1925, aged just 12 years. Shortly thereafter he was introduced to ERB by his elder sister, Florence, who in 1935 became the writer’s wife.

The one-day, one-stop shop

16 January 2002

The decorative approach to antique buying has been given a firm nod of acknowledgment by Christie’s. In New York next month they launch the first of a new category of “one-stop shopping” sales, where they will be offering property from a wide range of collecting fields with an equally broad price range aimed at “lifestyle clients looking for the perfect object to decorate their homes”.

The beauty of Bellfield

16 January 2002

FOR a long time now, Kent antique prints dealer Ingrid Nilson, who is a member of and director of LAPADA, has been a well-known figure in the antiques trade, but in recent years her highly decorative stock has been sought after by interior designers.

Second Saturday proves new firm’s point

16 January 2002

THIS was the second sale for the West Midlands firm Fieldings Auctioneers who got off to a tough start by holding their first sale in October when the market was reacting to the September 11 attacks.

Artcurial Briest sale

16 January 2002

PARIS: American buyers were to the forefront at the ArtCurial-Briest sales on December 17 and 18, held in the stylish Hôtel Dassault halfway down the Champs-Elysées, and preceded by an elegantly hung four-day viewing.

Old Masters

16 January 2002

The Tower of Babel was a popular subject with Flemish artists, and with the Louvain-born Lucas van Valkenborch (c.1530-97) in particular. He painted at least four versions, to be found in Munich, Mainz, the Louvre, and in the Beaussant-Lefèvre saleroom at Drouot on December 14, when an oil on panel Tower dated 1587, 28 x 35in (71 x 90cm), spiralled six times over estimate to Fr8.2m (£781,000), establishing an auction record for the artist.

Photographs

16 January 2002

PARIS: An ensemble of nine photographs by Gustave Le Gray, all albumen paper prints from collodion or paper negatives from the collection of chemist Paul-Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran (who discovered the metal gallium), surfaced at Millon & Associés on December 3.

Tropical centre table

15 January 2002

Just the thing to lift the spirits in the cold, dark, stock-deprived days of winter, this spectacular whorl of a tropical centre table received a warm reception at the Salisbury salerooms of Woolley and Wallis on January 8.

Minton boxed – Doulton sell museum collection

15 January 2002

Bonhams are to sell the impressive collection of Minton ceramics from the Minton Museum, Stoke-on-Trent in their New Bond Street rooms this year. The collection will be dispersed in two instalments, with the first 400-lot dispersal scheduled for April 30.

Half of the earliest English nursery rhyme book rates £40,000 in Knightsbridge

14 January 2002

Blackamoor, Taunymoor, Suck a Bubby; Your Father’s a Cuckold, Your Mother told me ....not the most familiar of nursery rhymes, nor indeed one likely to find much favour in the present century, but that rhyme, illustrated right, is only one of 37 found in the second volume of Tom Thumb’s Pretty Song Book, many of which are much more familiar, if not always in quite the same form as we know them now.

Taubman to appeal for retrial

14 January 2002

Alfred Taubman has tendered his widely expected appeal against his price-fixing conviction. The 76-year-old former chairman of Sotheby’s, who could face up to three years in jail when he comes up for sentencing on April 2, has objected to the use of a quotation from 18th century Scottish economist Adam Smith.

Beware Data Protection offer warns Government

14 January 2002

UK: THE Government have issued a warning to the trade about agencies attempting to cash in on the 1998 Data Protection Act at dealers’ expense.

The People’s Commissariat and the Imperial family jewels

14 January 2002

A jewellery sale held by Sotheby’s on November 27 included a few exhibition and sale catalogues, plus a very rare and important work published in Moscow in 1925 by the People’s Commissariat of Finances.

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