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

George Jones and Royal Worcester in keen demand

13 December 2001

George Jones majolica continues to be extraordinarily popular with buyers, both trade and private. Some damage to a George Jones cheese dish and cover offered in Birmingham at Biddle & Webb saw it estimated at £300-500 so it came as rather a surprise when it soared above this.

The last deal of Ernest Galinsky…

13 December 2001

A small part of the English trade’s history went under the hammer along with the last effects of Leicester dealer Ernest Galinksy at Warner Auctions sale on 31 October.

Cambridge blues, and reds, and yellows – books get the full colour treatment…

13 December 2001

The book section of a general antiques sale held by Cheffins of Cambridge on November 1 ran to only 58 lots, but this saleroom produces impressive, colour illustrated catalogues and no fewer that a dozen of those lots were illustrated, some of them at full page.

Pilkington pilgrimage to Edinburgh

05 December 2001

Collectors from Lancashire arrived at the Edinburgh sale of Decorative Arts held by Lyon and Turnbull (15/10% buyer’s premium) on November 7, excited by this silhouette, right, of their favourite ceramic factory.

Beer jug bid leaves seller anything but bitter

05 December 2001

While provincial auctions often struggle to find enough quality private antique furniture and works of art consignments for their sales, BBR Auctions breweriana sales are going from strength to strength at the South Yorkshire rooms near Barnsley.

Mystic Meg of the Middle Ages…

03 December 2001

This codified sequence of columns, dots and captions is what the superstitious folk of 16th century Italy consulted with more zealotry than a tabloid-reading lottery pundit in search of Mystic Meg.

Manchester gallery secures Light of the World after all

28 November 2001

Manchester City Art Gallery, the underbidder at auction for the lantern which was the original model for Holman Hunt’s The Light of the World, have secured the piece after all. The gallery underbid the lantern, pictured right, when it was sold to a private collector for £46,000 (plus 15% buyer’s premium) on November 1 at Bonhams Knightsbridge.

Stanley’s knife cuts £1500 dash

28 November 2001

‘Little mesters’ were the sub-contractors of the Sheffield cutlery industry – self-employed artisans who hired space in large factories to forge, grind and haft their blades, the factory owner receiving a substantial cut from their sale.

Top heavy price for pear-shaped vase

28 November 2001

Chinese sales at Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) can always be relied on to produce some good prices during Asia week. While the morning works of art session in their Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale, November 8, was quiet, business picked up in the afternoon for the ceramics section.

Wrought iron Armada chest

28 November 2001

This 17th century wrought iron Armada chest had stood unopened in the attic of an English country house for 180 years until it was finally unsealed earlier this year and found to contain a mass of papers relating to Dr William Harvey and his brother Eliab which had been deposited there by his descendants in 1821.

New galleries and free entry at the V&A

28 November 2001

The long-awaited opening of the new British Galleries at the V&A last week has restored to the museum and its visitors many of its finest and best loved exhibits in an appropriate yet innovative environment.

£80,000 double for T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf in the Frederick B. Adams sale

22 November 2001

The Frederick B. Adams Jnr. library of English & American Literature was sold by Sotheby’s on November 6 and 7. The second day was devoted entirely to Adams’ magnificent Thomas Hardy collection, but among the highlights of the general sale was an inscribed presentation copy of the 1923, first English edition of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, illustrated right, that sold at a higher than expected £80,000 to Peter Harrington.

Ruskin adds his name to those protesting the arrival of railways

22 November 2001

Robert Somervell’s A Protest against the Extension of Railways in the Lake District, published in Windermere in 1876, contains “articles thereon reprinted from the Saturday Review etc.”, and a nine page preface by one of those who objected to the intrusion of the railways into the Lake District – John Ruskin.

London is hit by USA knock-on effect

22 November 2001

A major name, high quality, freshness to the market and a reasonable estimate are meant to be the all-important keys to success for a picture at auction. At least they used to before the terrorist attacks of September 11.

Exceptional Ruhlmann piece that proved the exception to the rule

21 November 2001

DECO & MODERNIST FURNITURE: While much of higher-end Deco struggled to find buyers prepared to match the bullish levels seen in recent seasons, there was still some interest in this field, and the odd exception to buck the trend.

Birds help a Pearson charger to take flight

21 November 2001

John Pearson is to the Newlyn School what Margaret Gilmour is to the Glasgow School – an Arts and Crafts metalworker who specialised in repousee work of naturalistic style.

Teapot enthusiasts are catered for at two sales

21 November 2001

Like tea caddies in furniture sales, teapots have their own following in ceramics sales like the one at Phillips Leeds, where the 51/2in (14cm) Minton majolica Japanese Actor model, above right, date-coded 1874, made a within-estimate £1100 which took into account some damage to finial and spout.

The Arts and Crafts of Christmas-stocking

21 November 2001

Although there has been talk of the furniture trade holding back at auction, dealers may now be looking to buy stock in the run-up to Christmas and the trade secured almost all of the top furniture entries in Michael J. Bowman’s 489-lot sale on 13 October.

From Naked Ape to auctioneer…

21 November 2001

DESMOND Morris is perhaps best known for his books and TV series exploring the behavioural patterns of humans and other animals. Not so well known is his fondness for collecting Ancient Cypriot Art, objects that reach back in time to an age when the society he so avidly studies was in its infancy.

Spotlight falls on Circus range

21 November 2001

WILKINSON’S/ CLARICE CLIFF: One might have expected Clarice Cliff pottery, with its very large UK collecting base, to be one of the areas of the market more resistant to economic concerns or the lack of confidence triggered by America’s low buying profile. But the jittery mood seems to have rubbed on the two most recent auctions to feature large quantities of Clarice material: that held by Christie’s South Kensington on November 2 and the Applied Arts sale at Sotheby’s Olympia.

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