Old Master dealer Otto Naumann has joined Sotheby’s

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Naumann joins Sotheby’s team

Old Master dealer Otto Naumann is joining Sotheby’s as senior vice president and client development director in its Old Master paintings division.

The veteran New York dealer announced his retirement from his Manhattan gallery last year and sold a $5m selection of paintings and sculpture in a single-owner auction held at Sotheby’s NY.

Naumann originally specialised in Dutch and Flemish art but in the past decade expanded to include Italian, French, Spanish and British works as well as 19th century painting. He will also continue his academic work while working at Sotheby’s.

New management for TEFAF NY

TEFAF has reorganised the management of its fairs in New York as its two-year management services agreement with US firm Artvest expires.

The Netherlands-based organisation has appointed Sofie Scheerlinck, who joined the group in March as director of global integration, to take over as managing director TEFAF New York.

Artvest had worked with TEFAF since it launched the New York Fall event in October 2016. Michael Plummer and Jeff Rabin of Artvest remain shareholders in the group.

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The most clicked-on stories for week June 28-July 4 on

1 Not one but two Lucian Freud paintings discovered underneath picture by Suffolk pub sign artist

2 Damaged Chinese vases still pack a punch at auction

3 ‘Dresden Mars’ returns to Saxony instead of auction at Sotheby’s

4 Masterpiece London opens in Chelsea: an early look at some top objects

5 BBC launches latest daytime antiques programme

Early Freud under friend’s canvas


Attributed to Lucian Freud: A Suffolk Spring Landscape with Welsh Mountains Beyond c.1939-40. It will be offered at auction on July 11 at Sworders.

An early work by Lucian Freud (1922-2011) has been discovered beneath the work of a Suffolk sign painter.

Suffolk Landscape with Welsh Mountains Beyond has now been completely revealed and will be offered at Sworders’ auction in Stansted Mountfitchet on July 11 with a £20,000-30,000 estimate.

The picture, found in the cellar of artist Elizabeth Bodman, who died in 2015, was assumed to have been painted by her husband Tom Wright. However the signature Lucian to the back of the canvas prompted closer inspection.

Wright, a sign painter in Hadleigh, Suffolk, had befriended Freud just before the Second World War and had joined him at The East Anglian School of Painting & Drawing. The school’s founder, Sir Cedric Morris, waived Wright’s fees in lieu of his handyman skills.

There is evidence that another Freud portrait could also have originally painted on the same canvas. A lengthy conservation process revealed a further layer of paint beneath the landscape. Sworders said: “Not only is this in a palette more associated with Freud’s early portraits, but were it to be a portrait, would bring understanding to the orientation of the inscription/signature verso.”

Plans for Olympia revamp under way

The redevelopment of the Olympia exhibition centre in west London – a venue for high-profile art and antiques fairs for four decades – is now under way with plans expected to be submitted by September.

Olympia London owners Deutsche Finance and Yoo Capital are working together on the £700m scheme with architect Heatherwick Studio and SPPARC Architects hired to oversee the project.

All planned shows at the venue are due to go ahead while the works take place.

Mary Claire Boyd, fair director of Clarion Events’ summer antiques show, believes the “planned improvements to the communal areas and retail units will be good news for both our exhibitors and our visitors”.

AVAA supports ivory law change

The Auctioneers and Valuers Association of Australia (AVAA) has endorsed a change in the country’s ivory laws.

Vice president Jane Raffan and a representative of auction house Leonard Joel spoke at last week’s New South Wales parliamentary hearings into the ivory and rhino horn trade in Australia.

Raffan said the association would back a framework similar to that recently presented to the UK parliament ahead of a federal government’s review it says is “likely to support the UK’s approach in principle, if not the exact de minimis ratios or the proposed regulatory measures in practice.”

A complete ban on the trade in rhino horn objects is also being proposed.

Raffan said the restrictions may impact individual dealers and auctioneers.

However, she pointed to the position of Leonard Joel. Previously the largest trader of ivory at auction in Australia, it took an ethical stance in 2017 and commenced a self-imposed ban on ivory and rhino horn trade.

In 2018 it announced that this ban had not resulted in loss of earnings for its decorative arts department, which had, in fact, increased turnover.


Gentileschi self-portrait (see In Numbers below)

In Numbers


The amount that The National Gallery, London, has paid for a self-portrait by Artemisia Gentileschi – £1.97m above its price of €1.85m (£1.63m) at Drouot in Paris last year when it set an auction record for the artist. The work goes on display at the museum in 2019 after conservation.