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Hole in one for Scottish gallery

24 July 2002

JUST as the world’s top golfers were teeing off for The Open at Muirfield last week, Scotland was celebrating another hole in one. Grants totalling more than £2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Arts Collection Fund, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews and private benefactors meant that the Scottish National Portrait Gallery could acquire the nation’s most important golfing painting, Charles Lees’ (1800-1880) oil on canvas, The Golfers (1847).

London wins international battle for £75,000 China trade pair

14 June 2002

Nanking means to most people the rape of that city by the Japanese; to ceramics collectors it conjures up memories of the Nanking Cargo, but in the specialist picture market it is the place where the 1842 treaty was signed opening up five ports to British merchants “without (molestation or restraint”.

Rug rings up £11,200 bonus

06 June 2002

A BONUS of the bona fide house clearance is the family rug – usually in a dishevelled condition but market-fresh, which surprises auctioneer and local trade alike by taking the top price of a sale from a mysterious overseas buyer.

Stars and students in print

07 February 2002

IN 1954 the painter and printmaker, Philip Reeves (born 1931), being interviewed for a post as a lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art, produced a letter of reference from the artist Robert Austin (1895-1973).

From Dürer to Ackroyd, the magic touches

07 February 2002

Exhibitions outside London: Specialist print dealer Elizabeth Harvey-Lee (1 West Cottage, Middle Aston Road, North Aston, Oxon OX25 5QB. Tel: 01869 34 7164) has built up an impressive reputation for producing informative, well-illustrated stock catalogues.

Sweet Charity...

06 February 2002

New men at the rostrum bow in with aristocratic vendors and trade buyers: Short of a fine sale of antiques, a charity auction on 18 January was probably the best way that Bonhams could celebrate their takeover of Phillips’ old rooms in the capital.

Beilby and Berlin bring dealers over border

09 January 2002

This Edinburgh sale of ceramics and glass on 30 November was notably well attended from the South of England, with dealers from London, Nottingham and Gloucestershire on the floor of the saleroom.

Pilkington pilgrimage to Edinburgh

05 December 2001

Collectors from Lancashire arrived at the Edinburgh sale of Decorative Arts held by Lyon and Turnbull (15/10% buyer’s premium) on November 7, excited by this silhouette, right, of their favourite ceramic factory.

£1500 Edinburgh rock

22 October 2001

One of the prettier pieces among the 300 jewellery and silver lots put up at Edinburgh by Phillips (15/10% buyer’s premium) on September 21 was this diamond, rock crystal and nephret lily-of-the-valley brooch, right. Estimated at up to £1000, it sold at £1500.

Local favourites bring in harvest

10 September 2001

AS in Edinburgh, strong private bidding for local favourites dominated the picture section of Andrew Hartley’s (10% buyer’s premium) August 15 sale in well-heeled Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

£5800 University Grant

20 August 2001

The estate of the widow of Professor H.B. Acton, a former Professor of Philosophy at Edinburgh University, provided the Scottish and Cumbrian auctioneers Thomson Roddick & Medcalf (15% buyer’s premium) with an attractive group of 20 Modern British lots to put before bidders at The Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh on July 25.

Sewing table makes £6400 in Tunbridgeware surprise

19 July 2001

While Lyon & Turnbull enjoyed the lion’s share of the audience for the two sales in Edinburgh at the end of June, Phillips (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) at least had the most surprising result in the form of this Tunbridgeware sewing/writing table by Fenner and Co., estimated at £300-500.

Furniture buy of the Day

24 May 2001

Robin Day shot to fame as the winner of MoMA’s international low-cost furniture competition in 1948, but the bidding for a pair of Forum Lounge chairs, one shown, in the Post-War section of the sale at Phillips Edinburgh (15% buyer’s premium) on April 27 was anything but subdued.

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Why gin costs so much more when it’s Scotch

08 May 2001

Silver spirit labels (‘Holland’ refers to Dutch Gin) are not quite two a penny, but they are among the cheapest drinking trinkets available.

Specialists still seek out samplers

09 April 2001

UK: SALES catering for specific collectors’ markets are steadily increasing in the provincial rooms with the Scottish arm of the LVMH empire.

City Streets-North and South

05 March 2001

UK: ILLUSTRATED here is a plan of Aberdeen, one of 47 double-page engraved or litho plans (some folding) from a copy of John Wood’s Town Atlas of Scotland of 1818-26, rebound in modern boards, which sold for £2800 in the Lyon & Turnbull sale of February 17.

No amount of cooking rendered the Dodo palatable, just extinct...

05 March 2001

UK: THERE is a distinctly nervous look about the Dodo pictured here, as befits a creature staring extinction in the beak. This “Facsimile of [Roelandt] Savery’s picture of the Dodo in the Royal Gallery at Berlin” is a plate from H.E. Strickland & A.G. Melville’s The Dodo and its Kindred; or the History, Affinities and Osteology of the Dodo, Solitaire and other Extinct Birds of the islands Mauritius, Rodriguez and Bourbon.

Broadcast bid for Seven Pillars…

26 February 2001

UK: THE copy of T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom offered by Lyon & Turnbull of Edinburgh on February 17 was one of the 170 or so signed, “complete” copies of the privately printed, subscribers’ edition of 1926 and in the original brown morocco binding, illustrated here.

£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.

Scotland’s finest goes to England

22 January 2001

UK: LOCAL bidders accounted for most of the Oriental and European ceramics and works of art offered at Edinburgh where 306 lots totalled £75,000 but the top seller went to an English bidder.