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Plea to track down lost Ravilious work

An appeal to find the ‘lost’ watercolours of modern British artist Eric Ravilious (1903-42) has been launched.

The call comes as work commences on a definitive catalogue of Ravilious’ watercolours. Around 250 are known already but some 40 are believed to be still undiscovered and uncatalogued.

“They might be held in private collections – even, possibly, public collections – in the UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand,” says James Russell, who curated the exhibition of Ravilious’ watercolours at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in 2015. He is now compiling the catalogue, authorised by the artist’s estate, published by the Hedingham Press in 2019.

Ravilious’ watercolours are his most sought-after works, with his Aldeburgh Bathing Machines setting an auction high in 2014 at JS Auctions.

You can contact the Hedingham Press by email at raviliouscatalogue@gmail.com. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.

Ex-Sotheby’s photo expert joins Phillips

Phillips has appointed Christopher Mahoney as senior international specialist, photographs, based in New York.

He started his auction career in the photographs department at Swann Galleries of New York in the early 1990s. He joined Sotheby’s in 1995, and served as head of the photographs department for the last two years of his tenure.

After his departure in 2016, he worked as a private consultant.

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Photographs expert Chris Mahoney has joined Phillips. Photo: Geoffrey Berliner – Penumbra Foundation).

Phillips has also announced that Maura Smith is now the firm’s regional director in Palm Beach, Florida.

Before joining Phillips, she worked as the US business development director for Paddle8, and before that, she spent nine years at Christie’s, most recently serving as a regional director, also in Palm Beach.

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Hancock promoted to culture secretary

Matt Hancock has been promoted to culture secretary in the New Year reshuffle.

Previously minister for digital at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), he replaces Karen Bradley, in post since 2016, who becomes Northern Ireland secretary.

John Glen leaves his role as arts minister to become economic secretary to the Treasury and City minister. He is expected to be replaced by Michael Ellis.

BADA marks 100 years of the big fair

BADA, the British Antique Dealers’ Association, will return to Duke of York Square in March for its BADA 2018 fair.

To mark its 100th anniversary it has partnered with two designers, Joanna Wood and Paolo Moschino, to create a series of room sets incorporating items from BADA members’ collections.

New members exhibiting at the fair for the first time include The Peartree Collection, Taylor Fine Art, Licht & Morrison and Tom Rooth Fine Art.

BADA Friends honour

As reported last week (ATG No 2324), Wartski managing director Geoffrey Munn received the MVO (Member of the Royal Victoria Order) in the New Year Honours. Munn has been chairman of the BADA Friends since November 2016.

BADA Friends has also congratulated another long-standing supporter, Darrell Buttery, who received an MBE for his outstanding service to heritage in York. He is northern ambassador for the BADA Friends.

Investigation over Modigliani ‘fakes’

An art dealer is believed to be under investigation over a collection of Amadeo Modigliani paintings which have been denounced as being fakes. The 20 paintings were removed from a show at Genoa’s Palazzo Ducale. Last July the exhibition closed early as prosecutors began to investigate doubts raised by art historians. After months of research, the works have been determined to be reproductions.

Italian police were reported to be investigating three individuals, including US dealer Joseph Guttmann, who loaned a number of the works, and the exhibition’s curator Rudy Chiappini, under suspicion of fraud.

Brighton Lanes shop to close

Perhaps the last general antiques shop in the historic Brighton Lanes area is to close later this month. The Brighton Lanes Antique Centre in Brighton Square has been run by Peter and Rebecca Brynin since 1998.

It will shut on January 21 when Peter, 69, retires after more than half a century in the trade. Two decades ago, when the centre opened, antique shops in the Lanes were still common. While antiques can still be found in the north Lanes area of Brighton, the Brynins’ shop is deemed the last of its kind in the area.

In Numbers

45.6%

Or £500m, the rise in UK exports of paintings and sculptures in the three months to November 2017, making the sector the largest contributor for non-EU machinery and transport equipment exports, according to the Office for National Statistics. This helped the total UK trade (goods and services) deficit narrow by £2.1bn to £6.2bn.

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Auctioneer and antiques expert Philip Serrell won the BBC’s Celebrity Mastermind last month and raised money for his local St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester. The Bargain Hunt and Flog It! regular won the highest score in both the specialist round and general knowledge section. His specialist subject was England in the Six Nations 2000 to date.