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Woman-Ochre by Willem de Kooning.

US dealer finds stolen de Kooning

A $160m painting by Willem de Kooning stolen from a US museum 30 years ago has been discovered in a New Mexico furniture shop.

The owner of Manzanita Ridge Furniture and Antiques, David Van Auker, was unaware he had Woman- Ochre in his stock until a customer asked if the abstract oil painting was a de Kooning.

Van Auker then researched online and found an image of the missing painting.

One of the famed Woman series from in the 1950s, the picture was the subject of a targeted robbery in 1985 from the University of Arizona Museum of Art.

Mould twice sold genuine Constable

A painting that dealer Philip Mould twice bought and sold more than 15 years ago has been attributed to John Constable – “the most forged artist of the 19th century” – in the first episode in the new series of the BBC’s Fake or Fortune?

On Sunday, August 20, the programme revealed that a painting sold to businessman Henry Reed for £35,000 was a compositional sketch by Constable of Willy Lott’s cottage, the same location that features in The Hay Wain.

After tracking the provenance of the painting in Constable’s native Suffolk, London, Scotland and Los Angeles, the painting was deemed to be “a genuine and authentic” sketch by specialists Sarah Cove and Anne Lyles, valuing it in excess of £2m.

A postcard from Jack the Ripper

A Victorian postcard linked to the Jack the Ripper Whitechapel killings will be offered for sale by Grand Auctions in Folkestone on October 9.

The card, which was sent to Ealing Police Station in 1888, reads my knife is still in good order and concludes I am Jack the Ripper.

It is one of many similar notes sent to the police during the long-running investigation. This one, however, has the distinction of having been sent in October shortly before the murder of Mary Kelly – one of the “canonical five” killings in the case.

Cromwell Place hires manager

The proposed Kensington gallery hub of Cromwell Place has hired a managing director to lead the project and attract tenants.

Preston Benson will oversee a scheme which will feature the redevelopment of five Grade II-listed townhouses into art galleries and exhibition space.

He has experience working with property, hospitality and technology businesses including ArtHouse, CityHub and VirtualHotel.

The hub, a joint venture between art dealer John Martin and three investors, received planning permission earlier this year and hopes to open by 2019.

Fund-raising for Ightham’s Sargent


A Game of Bowls by John Singer Sargent painted at Ightham Mote in Kent.

Medieval manor Ightham Mote, near Sevenoaks in Kent, has launched a fundraising appeal to buy a John Singer Sargent painting from Sotheby’s New York.

Sargent painted A Game of Bowls at the 14th century moated manor house in 1889. The scene depicts the family of railway baron General Jackson Palmer, who rented the house from 1887-90.

The painting is currently on loan to the National Trust property from Sotheby’s as part of an exhibition.

The trust has the chance to buy the painting and has already raised £32,000, with £68,000 outstanding. It has issued a public appeal.

Most read

The most clicked-on stories for week August 10-17 on antiquestradegazette.com

1 ‘I am Jack the Ripper’: Victorian postcard at auction

2 Antiques Roadshow dish heads to auction in Derbyshire

3 Fine Art Bourse falls foul of Facebook’s nudity rules

4 Mayfair art agent faces US trial

5 Stolen de Kooning painting resurfaces in New Mexico shop

In Numbers


The number of lots from the Yeats family that Sotheby’s will sell next month. Highlights – including the personal effects and sketchbooks of patriarch John Butler Yeats – will be unveiled in Dublin on September 14-16 ahead of the sale in London on September 27.