London


Pest is a blessing in disguise

16 November 2001

Of greater general interest was Baldwin’s sale of Ancient and Modern coins that occupied October 9. There were 1403 lots looking for a new owner. This included the 322 lots devoted to the working library of the late Patrick Finn.

Lower estimates bring higher bids and a Parthénis record

08 November 2001

Just like the following week’s 20th Century Italian sales, Sotheby’s (20/15/10% buyer’s premium) October 18 inaugural theme sale exclusively devoted to Greek art notched up selling rates that belied the pessimism prevailing in so many other sectors of the market.

Skeleton clock that shows it has backbone

05 November 2001

There were two horological offerings last month at Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium). The auctioneers kicked off on October 3 with a mid-range clocks and barometer selection then followed it up on the 10th with a grander offering styled as Important Watches.

Brooks vows to retain all four London rooms

02 November 2001

Britain’s third and fourth largest auction firms, Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips, finally merged on November 1 to create an enlarged company, called simply Bonhams.

Ashendene Dante and More

01 November 2001

The Ashendene Dantes that sold for £7000 as part of the book section of this general antiques sale at Dreweatt Neate on 10 October were formerly in the library of Sir Frederick Handley Page, founder of the aeronautical firm, and sold at £3500 was his copy of the 1906 Ashendene edition of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia.

Sleeper hunters back hunches

01 November 2001

These days it is all too easy to assume that everything that passes through the London salerooms is a totally known quantity that can no longer hold any surprises for either the auctioneer or the trade. But, believe it or not, London sales can still contain significant sleepers, as was demonstrated twice in the space of five days at the main London houses’ secondary salerooms.

Bodhisattva’s body satisfies

01 November 2001

The show stopper at Christie’s Indian and Southeast auction on October 17 was this sublime grey schist Gandharan bodhisattva, 2/3rd century. The drapes of the robes falling about his body contrast with his powerfully carved bare chest, as he stands gazing ahead with a fixed stare.

Toys and dolls prove reliable if unspectacular sellers

31 October 2001

Two rather different toy sales went under the hammer early last month. October 4 saw Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) put some 465 lots predominantly devoted to dolls under the hammer while six days later Bonhams & Brooks (15/10% buyer’s premium) offered an even bigger, more general 630-lot mix of playthings ranging from Dinkys and lead figures to dolls, soft toys and tinplate.

Simply inspirational

22 October 2001

EVIDENCE of the growing affinity between the worlds of antiques and decoration was to the fore at the recent Decorex International, held at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea from September 23-26.

Developers put Bermondsey plan before council for approval

17 October 2001

THE long-awaited – and often controversial – scheme to redevelop Bermondsey Square is due to take a major step forward. Architects Arup Associates, who won the competition to design the new-look site, were due to submit their plans to Southwark Council for approval.

Penman to launch big new event in Chelsea

15 October 2001

LONDON: Long-established organiser Caroline Penman launches a new summer fair in London next year when The New Chelsea Antiques Show is held at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.

Sotheby’s spell out policy on backing Olympia fairs

15 October 2001

Staff briefed on avoiding conflicts of interest. Sotheby's have sent out a memo to leading members of the trade involved with fairs at Olympia to explain how they will support exhibitors.

Ship of good fortune sails in at £20,000

15 October 2001

Next month will see a crop of Oriental auctions as part of Asian Art in London, the capital’s celebration of the rich vein of commercial and non commercial treasures and expertise on offer in its galleries, salerooms and museums. For those hungry for goods in the meantime, Bonhams & Brooks (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) opted to go ahead of the general run and offer a large 420-lot oriental gathering on September 26.

Your last chance to see...

12 October 2001

It’s a case of two days only with Ryan Fine Art’s (74 Vanbrugh Park, Blackheath, SE3 7JQ. Tel: 020 8293 5300) exhibition of over 80 Victorian and European oils, watercolours and prints.

Why small is beautiful...

12 October 2001

“For the really top things there’s no shortage of buyers, but the middle ground is weaker,” affirmed Stephen Mould of Sotheby’s wine department. “If you’ve got large parcels that depend on the trade, then bidders are more cautious. But if you’ve got small quantities of the finest things there are plenty of private buyers prepared to pay good money.”

Its a Dinky collection but the prices are far from tiny

10 October 2001

Jean-Vital Remy was one of the most determined and assiduous Dinky toy collectors. Over a relatively short space of time – around 15 years from the mid-1980s – this Belgian enthusiast built up an enormous assemblage of French and English Dinkys spanning the entire production period. His desire for comprehensiveness and determination to acquire pieces with unusual colour or design variations made him a formidable adversary when it came to buying, whether at auctions or in shops or fairs.

Further delays in developing art database

10 October 2001

HOPES of finalising a draft of proposals for developing the new Home Office database for beating art crime by the beginning of October have not been realised. It now appears that it will be at least another two months before the proposals can be submitted to the parliamentary committee looking into them for assessment.

Has Rosoman a commercial lesson for buyers of contemporary British art?

04 October 2001

Leonard Rosoman (b.1913) is an artist whose technical skill and individuality of style has never quite captured the imagination of the art market in the way that more widely recognised contemporaries like Edward Burra have.

Opposing fortunes for Poole and Carlton Ware

02 October 2001

The September 20 auction of Doulton, Poole and Carlton ware at Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) was a three-part sale that gave two distinctly different performances.

Contemporary strengths

02 October 2001

An evening sale of contemporary ceramics, held by Phillips (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) on September 25 yielded a healthy set of overall statistics and some strong individual results. Just over three-quarters of the 200-odd lots changed hands (82 per cent in value terms) chalking up a net total of just under £390,000.

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