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

Riding in 50 years on

12 February 2001

UK: Fifty years in the same family, and for much of that time tucked away in a cupboard, this 6in (15cm) wooden Redcoat on a prancing horse was in perfectly preserved condition when offered at the Gloucestershire rooms of Wotton Auction Rooms (10 per cent buyer's premium) on January 23 & 24.

An exotic blend for coffee

05 February 2001

UK: IT WAS standard case furniture: tables and other useful pieces of mahogany that made much of the running in the 224-lot sale of furniture held by Christie's South Kensington on January 10, topped at £12,000 by a good Georgian library bookcase from a private deceased estate.

Slay bells ring at arms and armour specialists

05 February 2001

UK: OTHER auctioneers may look for a seasonal angle but, as Birmingham arms and armour specialists Weller & Dufty (15 per cent buyer’s premium) are aware, the arms trade is not a natural beneficiary of the Christmas spirit. True, the two murderous six-shot pepperbox pistols, right, could have been carried by a passenger on one of those Christmas card coaches, but they were among the day’s top bids on December 6 for the less sentimental values of rarity and condition.

Two eye-openers boost Surrey total

05 February 2001

UK: THERE was a time when any antique eyebath brought a gleam to the eyes of auctioneers, but one might have thought those days had passed. Not so, if the reaction to an example offered in the Dorking Halls sale is anything to go by.

No post-festive blues here

05 February 2001

UK: BIDDERS trudged through the post-Christmas snowfall to the two-day 1623-lot sale at the Gloucestershire rooms of Wotton Auction Rooms Ltd (11.75 per cent buyer’s premium) on December 28-29 which yielded a number of successes across the board.

Forgotten Minton blooms on sale day

05 February 2001

UK: EARLY 20th century ceramics were again very much in evidence at the Leicester rooms 500-lot pre-Christmas dispersal.

A businessman plumps for Lowry

05 February 2001

UK: THE current market for anything by L.S. Lowry (1887-1976) was highlighted on January 6 at Cranbrook Auction Rooms (10 per cent buyer’s premium) by this rather uncharacteristic signed crayon drawing, right, The Fat Man.

John Evelyn’s copy of Hungers Prevention comes back for £3400

05 February 2001

UK: THE general and specialist art sales held in Swindon in December are getting fairly short shrift here – 1350 lots were offered over two days – but before this report appeared, the Wiltshire firm had already held their first sales of the new year and the last of the old must necessarily be tidied away.

£14,000 tables to choosy bidders’ tastes

05 February 2001

UK: A SUBSTANTIAL offering of furniture, most of it 19th century and brown, received a mixed response from the Scottish and North of England trade at the last Phillips sale in Edinburgh before Christmas.

The French connection in the English tradition

05 February 2001

UK: TAKE a look at this meuble d’appui right, mounted with gilt, painted with flowers and inlaid with olive, plum, rosewood, purpleheart and ebony – a sumptuous piece of late 19th century Gallic furniture, n’est-ce pas?

Local strengths prove right strategy for wider appeal

05 February 2001

UK: MODESTLY billed as a sale of Victorian and Later Furniture and Household Effects, this smallish event in a Suffolk town probably best known for its many antiques shops n fact combined two of the strengths of provincial auctioneers – some decent fresh-to-market period furniture to attract wide trade interest and some material guaranteed to spark bids from local enthusiasts.

Martyred bishops fire collectors’ enthusiasm

05 February 2001

UK: THE Norfolk auctioneers end their year with a typical 1400-lot, something-for-everyone sale aimed at the budget-conscious end of the market.

Bidding farewell after 56 years

01 February 2001

UK: Veteran auctioneer Jim Collingridge of Christie’s South Kensington retired last month after a 56-year career at the rostrum.

Present in 1910, still going strong

29 January 2001

UK: QUITE possibly starting its long career as a Christmas present for a child, this Steiff teddy bear was the familiar target of collectors at the Horsham rooms of Latimers (15 per cent buyer’s premium) on December 14, the second of a two-day dispersal at this new addition to the Sussex auction world.

The more unusual, the better it went at Battersea

29 January 2001

UK: AFFIRMING its place as the London fair which reaches the parts other fairs do not reach, the winter version of the thrice-yearly Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair, held in its trademark marquee in Battersea Park, SW11 from January 16 to 21, once again made its distinctive mark among the first fairs of the year.

Lustres are Hove highlights

29 January 2001

UK: DECORATIVE pieces stood out at this 1000-lot £104,000 sale of 1000 basically general lots.

Blyton’s Famous Five give the Shire folk a run for their money

29 January 2001

UK: THE FIRST Tolkiens of 2001 combined to add £11,000 to the takings at this Bath sale.

Creases and stains are no bar to Bounty book hunters

29 January 2001

UK: ONE CHART was very creased and there was a stain on the frontispiece that penetrated to the title page and early leaves, but the copy of Bligh’s Narrative of the Mutiny on [the...] Bounty offered in Carlisle was a tightly bound copy of the 1790 first edition in a contemporary binding of quarter calf and marbled boards, and it sold at £3150.

A must for collectors

29 January 2001

The Catalogue of Silver in the Grosvenor Museum, Chester by Peter Boughton, published by Phillimore & Co, Chichester. Available from the museum on 01244 402008 fax: 01244 347587 or bookshops. ISBN 186077153X £19.95 pb.

Buoyant bids as determined buyers push through floods

22 January 2001

UK: SUPPLY the goods and, through hell or, in this case, high water, they will come. The new Chichester operation of Henry Adams underlined this article of auctioneering faith when at their second sale they were able to put up a good range of items sought by the middle and upper markets and, despite the serious local flooding (one would-be buyer marooned miles away phoned to complain that the sale should have been cancelled), they enjoyed a considerable success.