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

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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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Catherine Southon auction to offer late-16th century gaming board found in bombed-out London

03 February 2020

“As soon as the vendor pulled the board from her bag, I recognised something of serious interest.”

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Continuity for the venerable Bingley Hall fair

03 February 2020

Bingley Hall Antiques Fair at the Staffordshire County Showground will be managed by Continuity Fairs which has taken over the running of it from IACF.

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Movers and Shakers: Bonhams’ new west coast shows plus new faces at Rogers Jones and Sterling Vault

03 February 2020

An update from across the world of art and antiques in the US and UK.

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Five lots to watch at auction this week including a Liberty wool cape featured on BBC's Antiques Roadshow

03 February 2020

With estimates from £200-5000 here are five previews of upcoming items this week.

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Portrait of the ‘ablest man in the army’ makes over 60-times estimate at Hansons

03 February 2020

This 19th century half-length portrait right depicts the Anglo-Irish soldier and politician William Carr Beresford (1768-1854) who fought alongside The Duke of Wellington.

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Super-realist paintings on show in Cecil Court

03 February 2020

This acrylic on canvas, 8 Duncan Terrace (1977), by artist Graham Dean is on offer at Darnley Fine Art.

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Portrait miniature marking naval battle bravery sold in Yorkshire

03 February 2020

This early 19th century portrait miniature offered for sale at Tennants (20% buyer’s premium) in Leyburn is widely believed to depict the Irish naval officer Sir Henry D’Esterre Darby (1749-1823). To the reverse is a crystal retaining a lock of hair.

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Vietnamese bidding boosts Royal Worcester results

03 February 2020

A coffee service decorated in the round by William Powell was one of a quartet of early 20th century Royal Worcester offerings to go way above estimate, largely fuelled by bidding from Vietnam, at Fieldings (20% buyer’s premium).

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Vintage Valentine cards: a regular sight at ephemera fairs

03 February 2020

A clever piece of marketing from the oil company Shell and with slightly saucy automobile-referenced lines, this Valentine dates from a tradition of sending cards to Shell’s female customers who had accounts at their garages. This ran from 1938-75, apart from an interruption during the war years.

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Sickert shows his lighter side at Lawrences' auction

03 February 2020

Late work by the pivotal avant-garde painter belies the dark nature of earlier works

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The renowned teddy bear expert who has overcome an allergy to soft toys’ fur

03 February 2020

For a man who has built his career around teddy bears it is a strange quirk of fate that these inoffensive toys make him feel unwell.

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'Only known copy' of Blaeu's first pocket globe makes treble-estimate at Christie’s

03 February 2020

Willem Janszoon Blaeu is one of the more famous names in the history of map and globe making and at Christie’s (25/20/13.5/% buyer’s premium), the tiny pocket globe attributed to him shown here was sold for a treble-estimate £230,000.

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Global selection offered at Exeter sale

03 February 2020

With an Irish silver ‘seal salver’ gleaming at the first Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood (23% buyer’s premium) sale of the year (ATG No 2427), Italy, China and Russia provided other highlights.

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Simple but sophisticated chest boasts ingenious woodworking technique.

03 February 2020

Although outwardly simple objects, cedar ‘bent corner’ chests, still made today by the indigenous people of the Pacific North West, employ a number of sophisticated woodworking techniques.

Pushkin satire bites at auction

03 February 2020

Extraordinarily high prices paid for the works of the Russian writer Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev were noted in ATG No 2425, and there were many more lots of interest in the sale held by Christie’s (25/20/13.5% buyer’s premium) in which they were offered.

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Scottish art dealer detects quality of unidentified 19th century portrait at Suffolk auction

03 February 2020

A c.1900 half-length oil on canvas portrait of a girl with flowers caught the eye of bidders at Lacy Scott & Knight (24% inc VAT buyer’s premium) in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Donne ownership explains high price

03 February 2020

In ATG No 2427 we noted the sale at Sotheby’s on December 10, at a very much higher than expected £50,000, of a rare copy of the 1553 translation into ‘Scots English’ of Virgil’s Aeneid by Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld.

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US mayor's Patek Philippe watch on offer at Chester fair

03 February 2020

Time is of the essence in the story of Speed Menefee (1879-1968), the shortest-serving city mayor in US history – and original owner of a pocket watch offered at the Chester Decorative Antiques & Art Fair.

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English Golden Age longcase clock fails to meet great expectations

03 February 2020

Falling short of ambitious hopes but leading the day at Duke’s (25% buyer’s premium) first sale of 2020 was a fine English Golden Age longcase clock.

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