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

That Mozart moment when high comedy is transmuted into poignancy and self-realisation...

22 February 2002

The music sale held by Sotheby’s on December 7 contained two exceptional manuscripts – both of them presenting examples of the composer’s best loved works.

William Fitzpatrick’s 1793 mission to Nepal

22 February 2002

THE COPY of Colonel William Fitzpatrick’s Account of the Kingdom of Nepaul... that sold for £380 in this Somerset sale at Greenslade Taylor Hunt on 13 December was not a great one.

Lower estimates key to sticky sales

21 February 2002

While it is almost impossible to sell some routine furniture at present, Keys specialist Paul Goodley echoed the traditional view that attractively pitched guidelines are the key to success.

Baldwyn's art flying high among Royal Worcester collectors

21 February 2002

Topping this 740-lot sale on 25-26 January at Raymond Inman's was a pair of Royal Worcester two-handled vases painted by Charles Baldwyn, one of the most distinguished Worcester designers, with images of swans on a river with raised water reeds to one side and flying swans to the other.

Surreal days as Dali brings disappointment and delight

21 February 2002

Against the background of the London Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary sales both the major auction players held specialist Surrealist evening sales – Christie’s (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) on February 4 and Sotheby’s (20/15/10% buyer’s premium) on the following evening of February 5.

A spin-off from the PoW industry

21 February 2002

NOT the priciest offering at Exeter auctioneers Hampton & Littlewood (15% buyer’s premium) on January 30, but undoubtedly the most interesting was this early 19th century automaton right, made from bone.

Rare set of five lithograph posters from 1917 by Burkhard Mangold

21 February 2002

Christie’s South Kensington’s Ski sale, held annually in February, was doubly topical this year, coinciding with the Winter Olympics.

Glass peaks and design book troughs

21 February 2002

There were peaks and troughs in Christie’s South Kensington’s (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) annual 166-lot Art Nouveau sale, February 12, but little appears to have changed since their last auction foray into this field, in April 2001.

Schultz found guilty in antiquities case

18 February 2002

The conviction of New York antiquities dealer Frederick Schultz on charges of conspiracy and trading in stolen and smuggled artefacts has sent shockwaves through the trade.

£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.

Big Apple, huge price

18 February 2002

USA: The annual general sale of good quality classical coins (446 lots) hosted by the triumvirate of Baldwins (London), Markov (New York) and M&M (Washington DC) took place in the Big Apple on January 17.

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.

Ssssmokin’! Tobaccology sale sends strong signals

18 February 2002

FRANCE: TOBACCOLOGY may not be the word on everybody’s lips in these smoke-free days but it was the official theme of the offbeat sale held by Rieunier-Bailly-Pommery at Drouot on January 28.

Cracking the 20th century ceramics

18 February 2002

FRANCE: Camard reported “strong progress” in demand among trade and private buyers for 20th century ceramics last year. They returned to the field this year when they offered a “panorama of 100 years of history of ceramics” at Drouot on January 25.

High Court ruling could redefine rules on attribution

18 February 2002

THE judgment in the £1.5m claim against Mayfair art dealers Agnew’s could have important repercussions for the rules and conventions on attribution in UK art sales.

Sotheby’s play down UK class action

18 February 2002

Sotheby’s have responded to the threat of legal action over alleged price fixing at UK auctions, playing down the claims of legal firm Class Law.

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

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.

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.

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.

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