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Christie’s get back a trusted Porter

Christie’s has wooed back its former US president only months after he joined rival Sotheby’s.

After 25 years with the auction house, Marc Porter left at the end of 2015 and began work at Sotheby’s to great fanfare in January 2017 after a year of garden leave.

Christie’s said Porter’s new role as chairman of its operations in the Americas is an “expansion of his previous responsibilities” and will include a focus on private sales.

His start date is yet to be confirmed but he will report directly to chief executive Guillaume Cerutti, who said the appointment “complements the changes we made at the board and executive levels late last year”.

During his brief stint at Sotheby’s, Porter was co-chairman of its fine art division alongside Amy Cappellazzo and Allan

Schwartzman of Art Agency Partners, an advisory firm purchased by Sotheby’s for $50m in January 2016.

Asian art head moves to Phillips

Phillips has hired Christie’s Lilly Chan to become managing director of its Asia business.

Chan was previously global managing director for Asian art in Hong Kong at Christie’s and is the latest to join Phillips from the firm.

Phillips’ chief executive Ed Dolman said: “The importance of Asia to our overall international growth strategy cannot be overstated. The collecting of contemporary art, design objects, photographs and jewellery in Asia has been growing at an exponential rate and we are seeing more Asian collectors at our New York and London auctions.”

Dolman himself spent 27 years at Christie’s before arriving at Phillips in 2014. Earlier this year it made two senior appointments from Christie’s to its offices in the Americas.

Chan will join Phillips in May at its Hong Kong office.

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Pitt-Rivers provenance

A late 18th century Rajput miniature carrying an estimate of £4000-6000 at Mallams in Cheltenham on April 26-27 comes with an excellent provenance.

As indicated by a pencil inscription verso, it comes from the family of Henry Nottidge Moseley (1844-91), a celebrated British naturalist who sailed on the HMS Challenger survey exhibition of 1872-76.

Moseley was also a key figure in the Pitt-Rivers donation. After a decade of discussion, it was Moseley who, with anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor, oversaw the transfer of Lt Gen Augustus Pitt-Rivers’ collection of 22,000 objects from London to Oxford University in 1884.

The miniature, measuring 12 x 20in (30 x 50cm), depicts an an elaborate procession, perhaps of the Mughal emperor Muhammed Shah (1702-48).

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Rajput miniature from the family of Henry Nottidge Moseley

Contemporary investments pulled

Eighteen pictures and sculptures were withdrawn from Sotheby’s April 12 contemporary art sale in London.

All were consigned by the Artist Pension Trust (APT), an investment vehicle formed in 2004 that invites young contemporary artists to place their work into a pension pot.

The first sales from the collection, now numbering over 13,000 works under the watch of the Mutual Art Group, were made privately in 2016. Fears that the auction route could jeopardise reputations (through unsolds or low prices) led to the 11th-hour withdrawals from the Contemporary Curated sale.

“We had conversations with some of the artists, and the closer the auction got, the more the artists and their galleries said that auction was not in their best interests,” says Al Brenner, CEO of the Mutual Art Group told The Daily Telegraph.

In Numbers

931

The number of gold sovereigns and half sovereigns dating from 1847 to 1915 found hidden in a Broadwood piano last December when the instrument’s new owners had it retuned and repaired.

The hoard was declared treasure last week at Shrewsbury Coroner’s Court.

The tuner who found the hoard and Bishops Castle Community College, which now owns the piano, will share a reward.