Pick of the Week


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Pick of the week: Recognise the face? Probably not, but striking selfie sets major record

04 May 2020

A self-portrait by the hitherto little-known Modern British artist Michael Gilbery (1913-2000) sold for a record £10,700 at auction in Lichfield last week.

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Pick of the week: Tiffany ‘orchidomania’ returns with auction of tiger orchid brooch

27 April 2020

Of all the sensational jewellery displayed by Tiffany at the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle the most memorable was a group of 24 enamelled orchid brooches.

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Pick of the week: Pastiche clock is the real deal for buyer

20 April 2020

This monumental English longcase clock sold in a Massachusetts auction is a remarkable exercise in antiquarianism.

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Pick of the week: Beatlemania: poster sets auction record

13 April 2020

For their first appearance at the 55,000-seater Shea Stadium in Queens, New York, in 1965, The Beatles needed no promotion. At the height of Beatlemania in the US, the venue sold out in minutes.

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Pick of the week: The Kashmir shawl of a former governor of India

06 April 2020

The recent auction held ‘live online’ by Aldridges of Bath included this spectacular hand-woven north Indian long shawl, or dochalla. It came with a colonial provenance.

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Pick of the week: Mah-jong set that counts for a lot

30 March 2020

The popular Chinese game of mah-jong is a relative newcomer.

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Pick of the week: Rare The Who poster – once in a Blue Moon chance for collectors

23 March 2020

The Blue Moon, a club above Burton’s on Cheltenham High Street, existed for less than two years from July 1965 to May 1967, but in that time the compact 250-capacity venue with a tiny stage hosted Elton John, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, The Yardbirds and (on February 11, 1967) Jimi Hendrix.

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Pick of the week: Buyer picks up a penguin from Terra Nova

16 March 2020

A taxidermy Adélie penguin collected by scientists during the Terra Nova Antarctic Expedition from 1910-13 drew strong interest at an auction in Essex last week.

Taxidermy penguin

Taxidermy penguin from Scott’s doomed Antarctica expedition attracts attention at Sworders

11 March 2020

A taxidermy Adélie penguin collected by scientists during the Terra Nova Antarctic Expedition from 1910-1913 drew strong interest at an auction in Essex this week.

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Pick of the week: House clearance chairs are £16,500 Voysey Arts & Crafts originals

09 March 2020

Arts & Crafts enthusiasts who hoped to buy a pair of Voysey chairs at something close to their £20-40 estimate at an auction in the Cotswolds were to be disappointed.

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Pick of the week: Exceptional shodana shows super details

02 March 2020

David Lay’s (18% buyer's premium) second stand-alone Asian art sale held in Penzance was topped at £65,500 (estimate £3000-5000) by this shodana made in Meiji period Japan, c.1890.

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Pick of the week: Bidder rides off with a £56,000 Ottoman saddle at Edinburgh auction

10 February 2020

The arts of the Ottoman court are performing strongly in the marketplace. The unexpected highlight of Lyon & Turnbull’s Five Centuries auction in Edinburgh on February 5 was an Ottoman saddle.

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Pick of the week: Purse strings open for a rare survivor

03 February 2020

An early 17th century Limoges enamel draw purse attracted a flurry of bids at Chorley’s Attic Sale in Gloucestershire. Set with period portraits of a lady on one side and a gentleman on the other, the accessory has remained intact for about 400 years – in most examples the fabric has deteriorated significantly.

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Pick of the week: Rusty Scottish Highland sword makes £30,000

27 January 2020

Claymores (the word comes from the Scottish Gaelic claidheamh-mor meaning ‘great sword’) were the weapon of choice in the ongoing warfare between Highland clans and border skirmishes with the English from c.1400-1700.

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Pick of the week: Medieval gaming piece depicting Aesop’s Fable sells for £40,000

20 January 2020

An unusual but welcome inclusion to the latest silver and vertu sale at Lawrences of Crewkerne was a medieval walrus ivory tableman or backgammon piece.

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Pick of the week: Embroidery panels point to six figures

06 January 2020

A sale of art and antiques from a Worcestershire manor house included the rare appearance at auction of two examples of Opus Anglicanum.

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Pick of the week: Faraday iron filings create a magnetic pull on bidders

23 December 2019

Michael Faraday’s laboratory notebook from 1851 includes a series of diagrams illustrating what he called ‘magnetic lines of force’ – the magnetic field lines that are central to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.

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Pick of the week: Gimson is top dog of Arts & Crafts

16 December 2019

Cotswolds steel masterworks bring £50,000.

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Pick of the week: Putting the Hours in brings reward

02 December 2019

Personal devotional prayer books, known as a Book of Hours, were popular among the wealthy and powerful in late medieval Europe. Illuminated with miniature paintings depicting the life of Christ, the Virgin Mary and saints, they were sometimes personalised for the patrons who commissioned them.

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Pick of the week: Star role for George Woodall cameo appearance at Bonhams

25 November 2019

A vase by the great cameo glass artist George Woodall (1850-1925) was offered at auction for the first time at Bonhams’ sale of Fine Glass and British Ceramics last week.

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