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Conditions of sale

Cotswold auction house Moore Allen & Innocent set the cat among the pigeons with the news that it is trialling methods to encourage more people to attend its saleroom.

Among the changes is a £10 charge for condition reports for lots that are estimated at less than £100.

The policy prompted several concerned letters to the ATG inbox, but Moore Allen & Innocent partner Philip Allwood surely spoke for many long-suffering regional auctioneers when he said: “It is no longer possible to make money on the lower-end goods that we once relied on for our bread and butter.”

Memorably he added: “The bread has gone stale and the butter is rancid. In terms of our overheads, it costs us around £30 per lot, so those that are less than £50 are costing us money to store, photograph and catalogue.”

From last week (December 12) the firm pledged not to sell boxed lots and lower-value items online. Instead these lots will be offered as the first 200 lots of each auction in the room only, catalogued with a single line and no photo.

Putting your money where…

As if he was a contestant on one of his own TV shows, former Flog It! presenter Paul Martin, announced he is opening a new art and antiques gallery in Corsham.

Martin has worked as a dealer while presenting shows – his latest offering is Make Me A Dealer. He ran a stall on Portobello Road and previously traded as The Table Gallery in Marlborough.

The new gallery in Corsham, also to be called The Table Gallery, will launch with a guest appearance by pop artist Sir Peter Blake in late February. Martin will also begin filming for a second new show, Curiosity, in January. This is described as a cross between an antiques show and Crystal Maze and will be co-hosted with a Bassett hound called Baxter.

ATG looks forward to receiving as many letters on this new show as it has for Make Me A Dealer

Key sales


‘Mother and Child’, a watercolour drawing by Henry Moore – £16,000 at Chiswick Auctions.

This small pencil, wax crayon and watercolour drawing by Henry Moore (1898-1986) sold for £16,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) at Chiswick Auctions on December 12.

Mother and Child, 7 x 5in (18 x 14cm) signed and dated 1942, remained in the artist’s studio until it was gifted to the Italian actor and journalist Sandro Paternostro in 1973 and had remained with the family.


South German quarter striking astronomical table clock with alarm c.1570 – $220,000 (£170,000) at Bonhams New York.

The December 6 Art of Time at Bonhams New York was led at $220,000/£170,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) by this south German quarter striking astronomical table clock with alarm c.1570.

This clock is the most recent addition to a group of late 16th century German horizontal table clocks known as the Orpheus clocks. While none of these clocks are identical (and the maker has not been identified), all share a case with a finely cast frieze depicting the legend of Orpheus and Euridice.