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

If you’re all sitting comfortably, I’ll begin…

18 December 2002

Just where were those bears made? The familiar stands, seats and other furnishings fashioned as realistically carved bears, usually from limewood, have traditionally been attributed to the Black Forest region of West Germany but recent researches suggest that Switzerland is a more likely source.

Golf lightens Scottish gloom

18 December 2002

WHILE the Irish picture market continues to boom, the Scottish market showed serious jitters at Bonhams Edinburgh (17.5% buyer’s premium) on the evening of December 5.

Sales stay low key as collectors hold on to their Old Masters

18 December 2002

A combination of vendors reluctant to consign the best quality goods and cautious bidding from the trade created a fairly low-key atmosphere at London’s traditional pre-Christmas round of Old Master picture sales.

Can Tatton Park get the year off to a happy start again?

18 December 2002

THE first quality fair of 2003 is one of Robert Bailey’s strongest events, the 11th Cheshire New Year Antiques and Fine Art Fair at Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire. It runs from January 3 to 5.

Toovey’s aim to expand their influence with new rooms

17 December 2002

LARS Tharp officially declared Rupert Toovey’s huge new Sussex saleroom open at last week’s public viewing. Mr Tharp, who is a consultant expert to the auctioneers, echoed Mr Toovey’s own sentiments that his firm’s commitment to such a large undertaking showed how much confidence they had in the future of provincial auctioneering.

£1.35m Munnings is clear winner

13 December 2002

Thanks to the combination of sporting subject matter and extremely slick technique, Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) continues to be one of the few early 20th century British painters to command a truly international following among the world’s richest private collectors.

A first hint of Spring...in West Sussex

13 December 2002

Coming up on December 11, 12 and 13 is Rupert Toovey & Co’s Sale of Antiques, Fine Art & Collectors’ Items, which will be the inaugural sale at their new Spring Gardens salerooms in Washington, West Sussex.

Do not lose your marbles…

13 December 2002

ONE of the most bizarre and unexpected results at Tennants’ sale in North Yorkshire on 21-22 December involved a collection of more than 200 19th century marbles, a selection of which are shown right.

Thumb’s up for grabs

13 December 2002

Pint-sized dealers might be interested in getting hold of this immaculate little suit in black wool and cream cotton, measuring just 2ft 1in (63cm) from collar to trouser bottom, which is being offered by Bonhams in Knowle on December 11.

Halls consolidate and create opening for new auction firm in Chester

11 December 2002

Shrewsbury–based Halls Fine Art have agreed to sell their Chester saleroom business to manager and auctioneer Adrian Byrne as a going concern. The decision was made as Halls’ lease on the saleroom came up for renewal. Halls Fine Art director Richard Allen said: “It was considered prudent to consolidate our existing expertise in areas where Halls already has regional offices, particularly in the Shropshire border towns and Central Wales.”

A £260,000 quality assessment beneath two centuries of redecoration

11 December 2002

The table pictured right was very much the star entry in a 230-lot sale of English and Continental furniture and works of art held at Bonhams (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) Bond Street rooms on November 26. It singled handedly accounted for a third of the entire £787,620 auction total when it made £260,000. Nothing else came near this in price, the next most expensive entry being a £19,000 Louis XV period marquetry commode.

Kelso gypsies, Walt Whitman and a hidden Dr Johnson

11 December 2002

ONE of the more expensive lots in this Cumbrian sale at Thomson Roddick & Medcalf on 6 November was an 1881 [Philadelphia] limited edition of the Complete Poems and Prose of Walt Whitman. An ex-library copy in well worn cloth and bearing a typescript note that it was bought “...at the sale of the library of the late Lord Rosebery”, it made £920. Some copies are signed, but the catalogue referred only to a manuscript limitation statement.

Beano achieves the highest price ever paid for a British comic

11 December 2002

The Beano and Dandy were the first British comics to be published entirely in colour when they appeared within months of each other in 1938. With a cover price of two old pennies, this first edition Beano achieved the highest price ever paid for a British comic when bidding closed at Comic Book Postal Auctions in London last week.

Furniture star at jewel specialists

06 December 2002

Birmingham auctioneers Fellows & Sons (15% buyer’s premium) are particularly known for their silver and jewellery sales but on October 29 it was a piece of furniture which took the top honours. A William and Mary walnut and crossbanded chest on stand had made £3400 when it was auctioned in 1998 by James & Lister Lea of Birmingham as part of the estate of the Late Mrs Joyce Cadbury of the Bourneville-based chocolate dynasty. Here it was punchily estimated at £4500-5500.

Bringing in a guaranteed harvest in Home Counties stockbroker belt

06 December 2002

Over the last year or so there have been some worryingly disappointing results at London and New York auctions of 19th century British and Continental pictures. Bidding in London at Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) November 19 sale of 19th Century Paintings, however, exhibited some much-welcomed signs of renewed solidity, with 64 per cent of the 182 lots finding buyers.

Not just the quality…feel the width!

06 December 2002

Antique dealers, interior designers or those with an eye to stylish decor in their own homes all need recourse to supplies of antique style furnishing fabrics whether it is to recover that Edwardian settee, recreate a 17th century tapestry-lined interior or give a period feel to those worn-out seats on a set of Regency chairs.

Fresh with the tangs of Citrus…

06 December 2002

There is still plenty of time to catch the Christmas show at the Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond St., who inform us that the exhibition in fact runs until December 21st and not the 11th as first reported in last month’s Decoration and Design.

Where the most appealing ingredients mix, silver shows it can still shine

06 December 2002

November 19 was a very busy day for silver fanciers, obliged to make a decision about which of a trio of overlapping London sales they wished to attend in person. As well as King Sreet's main sale, there were more standard offerings at Christie’s South Kensington and Bonhams Knightsbridge (each 17.5/10% buyer’s premium).

Tea and sympathisers

06 December 2002

Historians have spent many enjoyable hours attempting to decipher the symbolism of pictures on the back of Georgian teaspoons such as those illustrated right. Like the club tie or the secret society handshake, the picture back teaspoon was an English gentleman’s discreet method of signalling loyalties to potential sympathisers when serving afternoon tea.

Russian buyers follow the trend when it comes to selectivity

06 December 2002

Russian Works of Art: ALTHOUGH like the silver sale that preceded it, the buying mood was selective for the 343 lots of Russian works of art offered by Sotheby’s Olympia on November 21, it still totalled a respectable £684,000 for the 215 lots that changed hands.

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