UK

The United Kingdom accounts for more than one fifth of the global art market sales and is the second biggest art market after the US.

Through auctioneers, dealers, fairs and markets - and a burgeoning online sector - buyers, collectors and sellers of art and antiques can easily access a vibrant network of intermediaries and events around the country. The UK's museums also house a wealth of impressive collections

Hepworth doubles hopes

23 October 2002

Over the last 10 to 15 years, the market has undergone a slow but steady shift towards 20th century painting in particular the Post-War abstraction of the St Ives school whose geometric shapes and pure blocks of colour are wholly in tune with contemporary tastes.

Girl’s revealing tassel

23 October 2002

“Marvellously dotty” was how Peyton Skipwith of The Fine Art Society chose to describe this 14 by 12in (36 x 30cm) oil on panel by Rex Whistler (1905-1944). Entitled Miss Muffet, the panel depicts the moment when, sat upon her tuffet eating her curds and wey, a spider sits down beside the well-known nursery rhyme character.

New business fires ceramics duo’s ambitions

23 October 2002

AMONG a number of more positive signs for the trade this autumn, fewer are more enouraging than news of an auction house expanding to accommodate extra consigments. Such is the case at these Devon auctioneers, S.J.Hales, who, since they opened in May 2000, have held monthly auctions at the local Edgemoor Hotel where space has meant sales have not exceeded more than 800/900 almost all aimed at ceramics collectors.

Adam Revival occasional tables sell for £22,000 each

22 October 2002

The firm of Wright & Mansfield (1860-86) are often cited as the instigators of the Georgian Revival and, unlike many of their contemporaries who produced Victorian pastiches of earlier styles, are renowned for their craftsmanship, using high quality materials for accurate recreations of the Adam and Sheraton style – often difficult to distinguish from the 18th century originals.

Berlin sees second cool reception

22 October 2002

In the same week that their South Kensington rooms offered the first instalments from Margaret Cadman’s mammoth collection Christie’s King Street (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) rooms were busy selling the second part of the Dr KH Wadsack Collection of Berlin porcelain.

Duke’s uniform success

22 October 2002

This full dress uniform of an officer from the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding regiment, right, was an important diversion from the main proceedings at Duke’s auction in Dorchester. Under normal circumstances this would have been a standard lot of textile militaria for the trade, but this uniform actually belonged to the sixth Duke of Wellington and had passed by descent to the vendor.

London gears up for festival of Asian art

21 October 2002

FIFTY two internationally recognised specialists are gearing up for the fifth Asian Art in London from November 7-15. With Giuseppe Eskenazi as chairman, 46 highly experienced specialist dealers from overseas will join London’s respected art institutions to present the remarkable quality, variety and richness of Asian works of art. The festival has helped confirm London as a leading player in the field.

Breaking with Currie’s favour

17 October 2002

EDWINA CURRIE may be the hot flavour of the month in Fleet Street, but she is hardly the toast of the Tories at the moment, and that may be the reason one of her former stalwarts has decided to part with this personal political memento.

Nelson’s crest on a farewell wave

17 October 2002

Shot by a sniper when aboard HMS Victory at the crowning moment of his career, Admiral Lord Nelson is without doubt Britain’s finest maritime hero. When news of his death, after triumping at the Battle of Trafalgar, reached London George III made the decision to break with tradition and give Nelson a state funeral.

Cassone tops ‘best day in years’

17 October 2002

BRINGING a welcome change of climate into English salerooms from North Italy, this 18th century cassone, right, led what auctioneer Ben Gamble described as a day when “everything seemed to be selling well” at South & Stubbs (10% buyer’s premium) on September 27 at their Penkridge, Staffordshire salerooms.

Three into one will go

17 October 2002

THREE well-known and energetic dealerships whose trade is mainly with the trade have combined to form a major new outlet in the Midlands.

Cattle market proves ‘bullish’

15 October 2002

THERE were cows aplenty, but only one beef, at Sotheby’s Olympia on Thursday night, when 60 bovine belles did their bit for charity. The high-profile heifers, whom you may have seen grazing the streets of London through the summer, were the first tranche of the Cow Parade sale – another 90 are due to be offered soon on the Internet.

Huge single-owner sale is London’s first in euros

14 October 2002

Sotheby’s break mould in bid to lure Germans: A little piece of history was made on October 8 and 9 when Sotheby’s four-part dispersal of the Beck Collection of 20th Century German and Austrian art became the first major sale ever to be conducted in euros in a London auction room.

Coming up in Rugby...

11 October 2002

“A fine and rare Märklin gauge III spirit fired live steam locomotive with tender and two hand-painted coaches... presented to the Tsar Nicholas II on the occasion of the Russian royal family’s state visit to Paris in 1905...complete with unpublished photograph of the Tsar and Tsarevich in the hotel”.

Ploughed up and given away, sculpture sells for $600,000

11 October 2002

The extensive press coverage given over to the conflict in Afghanistan may have helped re-focus collectors’ attentions on the magnificent Gandharan sculpture produced in this troubled region in the second and third centuries AD.

Sitting pretty on the old front line

08 October 2002

FANS of television’s Sharpe will be well acquainted with the tough life of the trooper during the Peninsula War, and also with the grander life of the officers who managed to dine elegantly in their tents on the eve of battle.

Heirisson’s 1801 Swan River map sells for £160,000 as part of the £1.57m Freycinet Collection

08 October 2002

Bligh relics sold as part of the Travel Week at Christie’s, attracted national media headlines, but the most successful of this series of four sales was the Freycinet Collection, which on September 26 raised a premium-inclusive total of £1.57m.

Enamel brightens silver

08 October 2002

Novelty pieces and collector’s items like this Art Nouveau enamelled silver double-photograph locket, right, were the pieces mainly in demand at the silver and jewellery sale held by Fellows (15% buyer’s premium) at Birmingham on September 5.

A welcome sense of horror in the saleroom

08 October 2002

Vintage Film Posters: For some people there is nothing more enjoyable than watching a late-night horror movie alone in pitch darkness. The fascination with terror extends to the world of vintage film posters where horror is the most sought-after genre.

Star lot strikes too late, but sale is in chime with demand

08 October 2002

Clocks, Watches and Wristwatches: There was a solid performance for the 288 lots of Clocks, Watches and Wristwatches offered by Sotheby’s Olympia (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) on September 19 marred only by the failure of the potential best seller, the 18th century English musical and automaton clock attributed to James Cox, London.c.1775.

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