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LAPADA looks for new fair director

LAPADA, The Association of Art and Antiques Dealers, is searching for a new fair and events director.

The role reports into new chief executive Patricia Stevenson. The application deadline is February 28. Current fairs director Mieka Sywak, who joined in 2011, is leaving the organisation.

The job involves planning and running, to budget, all aspects of its annual LAPADA Fair in Berkeley Square and the LAPADA Conference at the House of Lords. It will also include the introduction of new events.

LAPADA is also looking for a marketing and PR manager.

Glasgow School of Art key on offer

The key to The Glasgow School of Art, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, is to be offered at auction.

The key, which has not been seen in public since the opening ceremony on December 20, 1899, will be offered at Lyon & Turnbull’s specialist auction of Decorative Arts: Design Since 1860 on April 11 in Edinburgh.

It is estimated at £20,000-30,000.

Following the sale a donation will be made by both the owner of the key and L&T to The Macktintosh Campus Appeal. In 1899 the key was presented to Sir James King, the Lord Provost of Glasgow from 1886-89, by six-year-old Mary Newbery, daughter of Fra Newbery, director of the school of art. Sir James then performed the ceremony of unlocking the door.

The L&T sale coincides with the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh’s birth.

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Van Gogh still-life heads to Maastricht

London dealership Connaught Brown will be taking a still-life by Vincent van Gogh to TEFAF Maastricht next month.

Still Life with Bottles and a Cowrie Shell dates from the artist’s period at Nuenen, where he lived with his parents, and is one of a group of 13 still-life paintings created in the autumn of 1884. All but three of these works are now in museums.

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Connaught Brown is taking Vincent van Gogh’s 'Still Life with Bottles and a Cowrie Shell' to TEFAF Maastricht.

The still-life is priced in the region of €3.5m. It is offered with a provenance that can be traced back to van Gogh’s brother Theo, from whom it was acquired in 1904 by Henricus Petrus Bremmer. He was one of the few early admirers of van Gogh’s work and later helped the author of the artist’s first catalogue raisonné.

After then passing through several Belgian art collections, the painting came up at auction at Sotheby’s London in 1968 and has since stayed in private hands.

Costs force Chelsea saleroom to close

Chelsea auction house Francis Smith has closed after rising rent and business rates made the business unviable.

The lease expired at 107 Lots Road on January 12 and manager Norman Ashford closed the business. He told ATG: “All vendors are being paid out. No vendor will not be paid.”

Ashford said he will now work from home doing valuations but may consider opening another auction house in lower-cost premises in the future.

Customers can contact the business on info@francissmith.co.uk

Export bar on Cameron album

A photo album by Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-79), one of the most important and innovative photographers of the 19th century, has been temporarily barred from export in the hope a buyer in the UK can match the price of £3.7m.

Known as The ‘Norman Album’, it contains 75 photographs taken between 1864-69, selected by the photographer and presented to her daughter, Julia, and son-in-law, Charles Norman, in September 1869.

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Charles Darwin photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron.

Bound in red morocco and embossed on the cover with the title Mrs Cameron’s Photographs from the Life, the subjects of the photos include Charles Darwin and Alfred Tennyson.

A decision on the export licence application for the album will be deferred until May 5 and could be extended until September 5.

EBay drops PayPal in payment change

Across the next five years, eBay is to drop PayPal as partner in favour of a new online payment processor. The e-commerce giant says the decision to use Dutch firm Adyen to process future payments will benefit both sellers and buyers.

Its partnership should enable sellers to manage and track all transactions and customer interactions via eBay. It predicted processing costs would be lower.

Ebay has an operating agreement with PayPal (its subsidiary from 2002-15) until 2020, but said it will start the transition in payments processing later this year on a small scale in North America.

In Numbers

$6.5m

The premium-inclusive price for a painting by Keith Haring (1958-90) at a Sotheby’s auction in May 2017. Sotheby’s has claimed the buyer, Anatole Shagalov, failed to pay and its attempt to recover losses after later re-selling it for $4.4m was heard in New York state court last week. Shagalov has said that the auctioneers had orally agreed to an extended period to pay.