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27 years ago, January 1990

Testing time approaches for artworld turned upside down

IN terms of the art market, the late 1980s will be remembered as a period of unprecedented inflation in the value of Impressionist and Modern paintings.

In 1985 the record auction price for any work of art was around £7.5m, jointly held – depending on whether one takes a hammer or a premium-inclusive price – by the 12th century Gospel Book of Henry the Lion (£7.4m (+10%) Sotheby’s, 6/12/83, and Mantegna’s Adoration of the Magi (£7.5m (+8%), Christie’s, 18/4/85.

In March 1987, the auction world was turned upside down when Van Gogh’s Sunflowers sold at Christie’s to a Japanese buyer for a staggering £22.5m (+10%).


The seismic change in art world records in the late 1980s reported in this ATG review has not repeated itself. Impressionist and Modern art remains at the top of the auction table with Picasso at no 1 and Modigliani at no 2.


7 years ago, January 2010

Watercolours fair sees variety of colours

AS at most fairs, fortunes were mixed among the 60 dealers showing at the 11th watercolours fair, now known as The Watercolours + Works on Paper Fair.

But the new venue at the Science Museum in South Kensington proved a popular choice and finding it is much to the credit of fair organiser Richard Hodgson.

But that was not all the Exhibitors had to thank Mr Hodgson for, they did manage some good sales and quite a few of the galleries left very happy.


This longstanding popular event, now known as the Works on Paper Art Fair, continues to draw the crowds with the next staging from February 9-12. The fair takes place round the corner from the Science Museum in the Royal Geographical Society in Exhibition Road.