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Cooke to retire with final exhibition

Gordon Cooke, director of The Fine Art Society, has announced he will retire later this year. He has worked in the art world for more than 40 years.

Before joining the gallery he was a partner at Garton & Cooke and founded the London Original Print Fair in 1985. He worked as a private dealer from 1988-97, presenting his first show at FAS, Graham Sutherland’s early etchings, in 1993.


Gordon Cooke of The Fine Art Society.

Organiser of more than 80 exhibitions during his 20 years at the New Bond Street gallery, he has sold more than 200 works by Samuel Palmer, 350 by JM Whistler and 500 by Walter Sickert.

Before leaving the gallery Cooke will curate a final show, Lasting Impressions, comprised of 50 prints and other works by these three artists. The show runs from October 30-November 21.

Law firms boost art market expertise

Law firm Lee & Thompson has launched an art practice after buying niche firm Montgomery Barker.

Sarah Barker, who ran a gallery before founding Montgomery Barker in 2011, will become head of the firm’s art group.

Meanwhile, Clyde & Co has appointed Tim Crockford as a partner in its professional and financial disputes (PFD) group. He joins from Gowling WLG where he acted for clients across the international art market.

He will work alongside Tony Baumgartner, deputy chair of the Spoliation Advisory Panel which advises the UK government on claims for cultural property looted during the Nazi era.

Shedding light on Wright of Derby

An 18th century oil previously ʻattributed to’ Joseph Wright (1734-97) has been declared an autograph work days before going under the hammer in Bourton-on-the-Water.


'Italian Landscape Viewed through a Cavern by Moonlight' has been declared an autograph work by Joseph Wright of Derby.

Prof Brian Allen, specialist in 17th and 18th century British art and chairman of London dealership Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, authenticated the picture on offer at Tayler & Fletcher on October 19.

Dated c.1775, Italian Landscape Viewed through a Cavern by Moonlight has many hallmarks of a classic capriccio by Wright of Derby.

The estimate was immediately more than doubled to £30,000-50,000.

The picture was included in the private collection of a Derby antiques dealer from the 1960s and has been passed down by family descent.

‘Symes’ marble returns to Lebanon

An ancient marble fragment will be returned to Lebanon after the owners were shown proof that it had been stolen from storage during the 1981 Lebanese civil war.

A bull’s head sculpture from c.300BC, it had been on loan to the Met until seized by the authorities in July.

The Colorado collectors, Lynda and William Beierwaltes, had argued that they bought it in good faith from the British antiquities dealer Robin Symes for more than $1m in 1996. They have now dropped the case.

The Lebanese authorities are hoping to repatriate a marble torso of a calf bearer, also from Eshmun, that was acquired by the collectors from Symes for $4.5m.

District attorney Cyrus Vance Jr said: “The art world must acknowledge that stolen antiquities are not simply commercial property, but evidence of cultural crimes committed around the world.”

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2 Will this Chinese vase become the first million-pound lot in Scotland?

3 Christie’s to offer Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi in New York at $100m

4 Government begins ivory trade consultation

5 LAPADA seeks new chief executive as Davies returns to contemporary art

Company seeks to replace silver

The Blacksmiths Livery Company is hoping to replace a number of silver items lost or stolen earlier this year.

The box of missing silver included the top of a beadle’s staff and a recent copy of the Christopher Pym Cup, made for the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths in 1655.

The latter is one of a number made in the 20th century and the company would be interested in acquiring a replacement.

If you can help, contact: johnbarber@lmkendon.co.uk

Positions restored

Three recent appointments are set to support the next generation of UK conservationists.

West Dean College has signed two new subject leaders. Malcolm Archer, previously of the British Museum and Temple Newsam House, is to become subject leader in clocks. Goldsmith and metals conservator Maickel van Bellegem will be subject leader for metalwork. He has worked at the Rijksmuseum, the BM and the V&A.

Meanwhile, the British Antique Furniture Restorers Association (BAFRA) has made James Broughton of Alexander George Fine Antique Furniture its new chairman.


New BAFRA chairman James Broughton.

Apprenticed as a cabinet maker at 16, Broughton worked at Witney Antiques, later setting up his own restoration studio. He has been on the BAFRA executive committee for the past four years.

Rare Rolex makes £230,000

The market for vintage ‘tool’ watches continues to burn hot. Lockdales in Martlesham Heath, near Ipswich set a house record on October 11 when this rare Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner sold at £230,000 (plus premium).

The watch, brought to a valuation day by the East Anglian owner who had purchased it in 1965, is a rare variant with orange numerals to the black dial. It came with the original box and papers.

Estimated at £7000-8000, it attracted more than 100 online bidders and 10 phones but was secured in the room by an Italian buyer.


A Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner that sold for £230,000 at Lockdales.

In Numbers


The number of questions in Defra’s consulation into a proposed ivory ban