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

Autumn’s sudden supply ends summer doldrums

02 October 2001

“It never gets any easier, it only gets more difficult,” a dealer told Guy Schooling before Sworders’ autumn sale on 18 September. Certainly the Essex auctioneer was ready to assume the worst after a summer so quiet he had to cancel a general sale in August, but the market is also known for its unpredictability, and a frantic two weeks at the beginning of September brought more than 500 lots through the doors.

New invisible barcode system for tagging art

02 October 2001

PICTURE restorer Andrew Finlay has adapted a piece of techology designed for protecting motorbikes to help beat art theft.

Contemporary strengths

02 October 2001

An evening sale of contemporary ceramics, held by Phillips (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) on September 25 yielded a healthy set of overall statistics and some strong individual results. Just over three-quarters of the 200-odd lots changed hands (82 per cent in value terms) chalking up a net total of just under £390,000.

Meissen silver gilt mounted tankard

02 October 2001

This early Meissen silver gilt mounted tankard painted in the manner of Horoldt was spotted sitting on top of a radiator by auctioneer Mark Law during a routine valuation.

Clocks, Watches and Barometers sale

02 October 2001

Sotheby’s 236-lot Clocks, Watches and Barometers sale was the largest of the three held on September 20. Timed to capitalise on the recent opening of the Olympia saleroom, it brought £417,645 and was 73 per cent taken up by lot. This small olivewood marquetry longcase clock, c.1680, 7ft 6in (2.15m), by Joseph Knibb, stole the limelight.

‘The Man Who Drew Cats’ was unbalanced, both in his book-keeping and in his state of mind

28 September 2001

Fewer than half of the 128 lots that made up The Cat Sale at Bonhams & Brooks on September 12 found buyers, but while demand was distinctly patchy and only 10 of 22 works by one of the foremost contemporary exponents of feline portraiture, Anne Mortimer, found buyers, there was no stopping Louis Wain.

Time for review as clocks’ quality outrank their age

28 September 2001

THE first UK clocks and watches sale after the summer lull presented a good opportunity to examine the health of a market which is notoriously prone to ups and downs. From results at Gardiner Houlgate, Bath, it would seem that the trade in gentleman’s pocket watches remains buoyant, while ladies’ wristwatches are still hard to shift.

Oak and Arts and Crafts thrive in a new climate

28 September 2001

RELATIVELY quiet July and August sales caused a bit of a re-think at Gorringes: “After July we were a little bit worried,” said Lewes specialist Nick Muston. “There has been an adjustment in the market and we have adjusted prices accordingly.”

Benjamin Vulliamy travelling clock

28 September 2001

From the day it was delivered to Lord Yarborough in 1826, this Benjamin Vulliamy travelling clock had remained in the same family until it was sold at Hy Duke’s sale in Dorchester on September 20.

Diamond geezers

28 September 2001

Harlequin Unmasked: Commedia Dell’Arte and Porcelain Sculpture by Meredith Chilton, published by Yale University Press in association with the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Toronto. ISBN 0300090099 £45hb

Tooth work lacks bite

28 September 2001

Bretby Art Pottery: A Collector’s Guide, by Michael David Ash, published by David Ash Publishing, 165 Station Street, Castle Gresley, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 9JY. Tel: 01283 212390. www.bretbyartpottery.com ISBN 0954061306. £8pb plus £2.50 p&p.

Hope and a hunch

28 September 2001

When this walnut chair arrived at Shanklin Auction Rooms (10 per cent premium) on the Isle of Wight it was catalogued as Victorian and expected to fetch £400-600. However, specialist dealers who viewed it before the September 4 sale noted its clean, classical lines its ebony strung motifs and, most significantly, the wrap-around back.

Sheet metal workers

28 September 2001

The Loving Eye and the Skilful Hand: The Keswick School of Industrial Arts by Ian Bruce, published by Bookcase, 17 Castle Street, Carlisle CA3 8TP. Tel: 01228 544560. www.bookscumbria.com £30 hb (signed limited edition) £15 pb, both plus £ 2 p&p.

Adnet is no standard lamp

28 September 2001

One unexpected result enlivened an otherwise unexceptional sale of Continental decorative arts held by Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) on September 13.

Damage limitations are vanishing as Moorcroft rises

28 September 2001

THE degree of demand for any type of ceramics can be gauged by the amount of damage buyers will tolerate – once it was only the rarest of early pieces where condition was not paramount, then this began to be true of 19th century majolica and now, apparently it is beginning to be the case when it comes to Moorcroft.

Wells comes into Scottish spotlight

28 September 2001

Scottish painting is, as we know, one of the stronger sectors of the UK art market, but William Page Atkinson Wells (1872-1923) is not one of its better known names.

Changing places – and faces – in the French auction world

26 September 2001

FRANCE: New auction premises were inaugurated by Lelièvre-Maiche-Paris in Chartres, 55 miles south-west of Paris, at the start of September. Architect Philippe Redreau’s futuristic, hi-tech building, painted black to emphasize its sleek outlines, is situated in the suburb of Le Coudray, just off the Chartres rocade (ring-road) two miles south-west of the town centre.

New York tragedy affects whole US antiques community

26 September 2001

USA: THE EVENTS of September 11 in New York had repercussions well beyond the city and its environs as antiques and collectables became a low priority for most Americans. Although most fairs did go ahead, a number were postoned or cancelled in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks and the effects on show schedules could stretch well into October and beyond.

Sailing against the trade winds

26 September 2001

“One of their less distinguished sales. There were one or two decent things, but there was no heavyweight stuff...an example of too many auctions of marine things with not enough stock to go round.” Such was the assessment of one leading West End specialist dealer of Bonhams & Brooks (15/10% buyer’s premium) September 5 sale of Marine Works of Art.

Architectural Adornment

26 September 2001

ISAAC WARE’S Complete Body of Architecture, a calf bound 1768 edition illustrated, or rather “adorned” with engraved plates of “...plans and elevations from original designs... in which are interspersed some designs of Inigo Jones”, was one of a small group of architectural books that brought most of the higher bids in this Bearne's sale on 21 August.

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