West Midlands


Instead of a buzz, it’s blizzards at fine-looking Forum fair...

13 February 2004

JUST about six weeks into the new year and on the antiques fair front things are much like last year. Fairs so far have neither really flourished nor foundered. At best they tick over with some dealers doing very well. At worse they end with no exhibitors having enjoyed any real success. We are still waiting for the blockbuster fair.

An unsigned Old Master is £13,000 star of new rooms

13 February 2004

Although it might have been small beer by the standards of the New York Old Master sales reported last week, the presence of a £13,000 Italian still-life painting gave a welcome financial boost to Brightwells’ (15% buyer’s premium) inaugural auction at their new purpose-built Easters Court saleroom on the eastern outskirts of Leominster on January 15.

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Low estimates will stimulate major bidding

06 February 2004

There is no doubt that a weak dollar has contributed to a weaker UK majolica market – and yet low estimates for good pieces continue to stimulate bidding.

Brightwells set foundation for move

02 February 2004

Brightwells Fine Art, the Leominster based saleroom covering the Marches, Wales and the West Midlands announced their turnover for the year ended December 2003, which, including premium, was £3.16m.

New year, new start for Birmingham…

23 January 2004

FAR from mourning the demise of the January LAPADA fair, which ran for 13 years at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, the trade seem to have embraced its successor, The National Fine Art and Antiques Fair, which will be launched at this favoured venue from January 28 to February 1.

Tennants post record results

12 January 2004

Despite the unpredictable trading conditions of the last 12 months, Tennants posted record trading figures for 2003. Aided by a bumper £1.62m autumn catalogue sale, total sales at The Auction Centre, Leyburn from January to December 2003 were £8.44m (not including premium), a substantial improvement upon the previous year when the North Yorkshire operation posted hammer sales of £7.4m.

Great names from the golden age

08 January 2004

Over recent years the market for classic railway engine nameplates has shown itself to be as solid and reliable as the great engines they once adorned. It is 40 years since the Beeching Report condemned a third of the British rail network to the axe and effectively ended the glorious age of steam, but even then there were enthusiasts who cared enough to preserve what they could.

Familiar ground for Fran

08 January 2004

THERE is a deal of trade excitement at the latest initiative of that accomplished organiser Fran Foster, who from January 28 to February 1 launches the National Fine Art and Antiques Fair at The National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.

Brightwells on the move

15 December 2003

UK: Brightwells are moving their operations from Ryelands Road in Leominster to a new and purpose-built building at Easters Court, at the northern end of the A49 bypass. The new building is nearly three times the size of the present premises where space had become a problem.

Raise a glass to decanters

09 December 2003

DECANTERS of all types from the 18th century to the present are the subject of an exhibition running at the Broadfield House Glass Museum, Dudley, until April 18 next year.

Watson is far from elementary

13 November 2003

Samuel Watson (1649-1710) is not perhaps as well-known as his contemporaries East, Knibb, Graham or Tompion but he is one of the blue chip names of late 17th century London clockmaking – good enough to enjoy the patronage of both Charles II and Sir Isaac Newton.

Malvern changes continue in bid for better service

24 October 2003

CHANGES are afoot over the next few months at the popular Malvern International Antiques & Collectors Fair, held every month at Worcestershire’s Three Counties Showground.

Quality control stays the course

17 October 2003

RUNNING at the racetrack since 1988, Caroline Penman’s Chester Antiques & Fine Art Show is a favourite with both local collectors and the 60 or so dealers who regularly exhibit. It will be held, as usual, at the County Grandstand, Chester Racecourse from October 23 to 25 and, also as usual at this event, most stock will be pre-1920.

Art Deco Italian style, where sex appeal is the extra ingredient

31 July 2003

THE response to the Art Deco style in Italy was different from that of the other Northern European countries – often humorous, sometimes surreal and occasionally bordering on the kitsch. These are certainly characteristics of the earthenware figures of Enrico and Elena Scavini’s Lenci factory that playfully combine hippo-riding brunettes with coquettish blondes climbing skyscrapers.

Leominster has the next big event sewn up

15 July 2003

IT seems the Herefordshire town of Leominster has quite a buzzing antiques trade with the accent on the decorative. In particular it is strong on textiles and one of the local dealers in this field is going to bring her speciality to a wider audience.

Halls change in bid to woo private buyers

14 July 2003

Halls Fine Art of Shrewsbury are to change their regular antiques sales from a Friday to a Wednesday from September. The firm’s Welsh Bridge salerooms will open for a pre-sale public viewing on Saturday mornings for its fine art and antiques sales in a bid to attract a wider public audience.

Wormington: Rowley’s legacy for sale

30 June 2003

On July 21 and 22, Sotheby’s will be holding a house contents sale at Wormington Manor near Broadway. This was the Worcestershire home of interior decorator, Christopher Rowley whose shop in Lower Sloane Street, Belgravia was a familiar meeting point for his large circle of friends and clients until his death in April this year.

Uttoxeter office for Sotheby’s

24 June 2003

In August Sotheby’s will open a new regional office near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, headed by Mark Newstead. The Staffordshire office will serve clients in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, as well as North Wales.

Trade uncover con by runners across the South

23 June 2003

Four police forces in the south of England are investigating a series of deceptions that have hit at least half a dozen dealers for high-value items. Thames Valley, Kent, Hertfordshire and Metropolitan Police are now convinced that what first looked like a series of isolated incidents is in fact part of a systematic con being perpetrated by three runners using a number of modus operandi.

19th century armorial figure of a greyhound

10 June 2003

Among the highlights of the collection of the late John Stewart Parry sold by Bruton Knowles at the Tithe Barn, Southam from May 19-23 was this carved and painted wood armorial figure of a greyhound. Standing 211/2in (55cm) high and retaining its original paintwork, the 19th century piece received plenty of interest from the trade before it was knocked down to a London dealer for £3600 (plus 15% buyer’s premium).

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