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

Via Crucis

26 February 2001

UK: ONE of the scarcer plate collections in the Phillips sale was Via Crucis, novellamente eretta nell’ Atrio del Santissimo Crocifisso della chiesa parochiale, e collegiata di S.Polo. Engraved throughout, this small quarto Venetian volume of c.1780 comprises 16 full-page illustrations of the Stations of the Cross by Leonardis after Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, plus 29 pages of text.

New V&A director named

20 February 2001

LONDON: DESPITE there being no official announcement from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the papers have been full of the news that Mark Jones is to be the new director of the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Good times among the lower-value items

19 February 2001

UK: THE double January offering of two-day 1300-lot auctions at the Norfolk auctioneers followed the usual house pattern of a high volume of low-value entries interspersed with one or two gems, and saw consistent bidding throughout both auctions.

Bidding on unusual furniture offsets the Victorian casualty list

19 February 2001

UK: THE 122-lot furniture section at this Glasgow general sale was something of a double-edged claymore supplying, as it did, the biggest prices as well as the most casualties.

Collection heralds top prices

19 February 2001

UK: A 44-lot collection of books and manuscripts on heraldry was a feature of the January 31 sale held by Dominic Winter.

Plucky bidders in a £10,500 battle

19 February 2001

UK: CONSIGNED by a private vendor who had played it regularly, this late 18th century harpsichord, right, by the prolific makers, Jacobus & Abraham Kirkham was the centre of attention at the Loughton, Essex rooms of Ambrose Auctioneers (15 per cent buyer's premium) on January 26.

Plucky bidders in a £10,500 battle

19 February 2001

UK: CONSIGNED by a private vendor who had played it regularly, this late 18th century harpsichord, right, by the prolific makers, Jacobus & Abraham Kirkham was the centre of attention at the Loughton, Essex rooms of Ambrose Auctioneers (15 per cent buyer's premium) on January 26.

Blacksmith’s ironwork leads the field of golfing fans

19 February 2001

UK: GOLFING enthusiasts flocked to the six-monthly sale of items relating to the game – a field pioneered at Chester – where 500 lots from clubs to balls, programmes to ceramics and miscellaneous emphemera such as advertising merchandise, were offered.

Furniture buyers bid on only the better pieces

19 February 2001

American connection revolutionises a jug’s prospects UK: LOOKING at current trends in the furniture market, auctioneer Patrick Toynbee remarked on the reluctance among buyers for “run of the mill” pieces, with the preference now being for high-quality attractive pieces.

Revolutionary freesheets and a note from the King of Siam

19 February 2001

UK: ONE of a group of seven newspapers, plus a printed edict, issued in March 1917, at the outbreak of the Russian revolution, which sold for £400 (Hanson). They were apparently distributed free in the streets of Petrograd and these copies were acquired by Gertrude Hitchcock, who was there working for a British engineering company at the time.

The first Hobbits of the Year?

19 February 2001

UK: THE first serious outbreak of Hobbits of 2001 occurred in Hamptons’ Godalming salerooms on February 15, when a first edition set of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the three volumes of 1955-56 in first issue dust wrappers with some slight discolouration and chipping, sold at £11,000.

Wodehouse's The Pothunters

19 February 2001

UK: SERIALISED in Public School magazine before appearing in book form in 1902, The Pothunters was P.G. Wodehouse’s first book, and this first issue copy in royal blue cloth with silver gilt decoration made £720 (Marchpane) in Swindon.

Trade pushed to top bids by keen collectors

19 February 2001

UK: THE scarcity of good-quality, untouched country furniture, even in such rich fields as Oxfordshire, and the increasingly selective attitude of bidders – becoming “more selective by the sale”, according to Mallams auctioneer Ben Lloyd – are causes of concern for auctioneers across the country.

Dick Francis' Dead Cert

19 February 2001

UK: THE title page had a semi-circular portion excised from the outer margin, but this copy of the 1962 first of Dick Francis’ annual racing thrillers, Dead Cert, had a jacket and it sold for £2050 to Bromlea & Jonkers at Dominic Winter's sale held on January 31.

The Mysteries of Alchemy

19 February 2001

UK: THE English Literature and History sale held by Sotheby’s on December 19 opened in unexpectedly dramatic fashion when an English alchemical manuscript drawn up in 1624 by Leonard Smethley, miraculously transmuted an estimate of £6000-8000 into something just as welcome as the gold or silver that ancient practitioners hoped for – a huge bid of £180,000!

Andy Capp and Roosevelt

19 February 2001

UK: BOOKS were not really the main attraction in this sale, although it did contain a 1795 first edition of John Aikin’s illustrated Description of the Country... round Manchester. This was, however, an ex-library copy that had been rebound and had its share of stamps.

Early 19th century Italian marble and pietra dura table

12 February 2001

UK: Emblazoned with the full armorial of the Strutt and Galton families, this early 19th century Italian marble and pietra dura table stole the limelight at Short, Graham & Co.’s sale in Gloucester on January 23.

Jade chicken cup flies to £19,000

12 February 2001

UK: When a private UK vendor consigned a Chinese celadon jade cup to Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) at £400-600, he could not have hoped in his wildest dreams to sell it for almost 50 times the low estimate.

Ceramics take high ground in Devon floods

12 February 2001

Lambeth tugs and Staffordshire jug bring in bidders UK: THE Devon branch of Bonhams & Brooks were undoubtedly pleased to have disposed of their ‘Fine Furniture, Clocks and Objects’ before the floods, but in fact the weather did not seem to affect turnout for what looked more like an end-of-year clearance in December.

Instruments play second fiddle to bows

12 February 2001

THE Bath auctioneers Gardiner Houlgate (15 per cent buyer's premium), who have made musical instruments a widely and well-regarded specialist subject, saw a respectable 70 per cent take-up for their 317-lot event on 1 December.

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