Fitzwilliam buys Victoria sculpture
The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge has acquired a marble sculpture of Queen Victoria by Sir Alfred Gilbert (1854-1934) after raising the required £1.01m to prevent it from going abroad.
The work had appeared at a Sotheby’s auction in London but was blocked from export after it sold to a New York museum. The Fitzwilliam raised money to match the selling price from a recent bequest, benefactors and a £267,600 grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
Gilbert’s marble sculptures are rare since he worked mostly in bronze. This is the only example remaining in the UK.
The bust was commissioned in 1887 by The Army and Navy Club to celebrate Victoria’s Golden Jubilee and her return to public life after a period of prolonged mourning.
Young finishes presidency stint
With the annual changing of the guard at NAVA Propertymark, Golding Young & Mawer’s managing director Colin Young has handed over the presidency to property auctioneer James Emson of Clive Emson Auctioneers.
Machinery and business assets auctioneer Gary Harper of Charterfields is now vice president.
Young’s mission statement when he became president in June 2017 was to increase membership and promote the NAVA Propertymark brand.
He told ATG: “NAVA now has 367 members with another eight currently being processed. In the last 12 months NAVA has gained a further 45 members, from which I would say my tenure is – job done!”
Young said he had enjoyed being a sounding board for fellow auctioneers on a variety of issues “from questions about anti-money laundering rules and client accounting, to advice on best practice or simply venting frustration at unreasonable situations”.
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Cadogan Tate taken over by Dutch firm
Fine art shipper Cadogan Tate has been acquired by Amsterdam-based private equity firm H2 Equity Partners. Rohan Masson-Taylor, who founded the business in 1977, has relinquished his majority stake in the company.
Masson-Taylor started out with a Luton van, an office above a Covent Garden wine bar and storage premises in Southwark. However, he oversaw Cadogan Tate’s growth into an operation which now includes offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Paris and the Côte d’Azur as well as headquarters in London.
One of Napoleon’s 120 bicorne hats
A bicorne hat believed to have been owned by Napoleon Bonaparte has sold at De Baecque et Associés in Lyon for a hammer price of €280,000 (£246,000).
The hat, carrying an estimate of €30,000-40,000, was purchased by a collector. The auction house said there are records confirming it was taken by a Dutch captain as a war trophy after the battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Although there is no concrete proof it ever belonged to Napoleon, auctioneer Etienne De Baecque told Agence France-Presse: “There are some distinctive elements: Napoleon hated the internal band so he always had it removed.”
The hat was sold with its box used for its display at the World Expo in Brussels in 1897. It is estimated the emperor had around 120 hats during his 15 years in power.
LS Lowry original art agent retires
Manchester art dealer George Aird, one of the LS Lowry’s original agents, is to close his Grove Leigh Galleries in the Cornbrook area of the city in August. The site is due for redevelopment and Aird, now 84, is retiring.
Much of the Grove Leigh stock and business assets such as picture framing equipment is offered in an online timed sale conducted by Manchester auction house Charterfields, ending on July 25.
The items on offer include an Arthur Delaney nude from 1964, paintings and drawings in the style of Lowry by Aird himself (some of them signed J Walker after his favourite drink), abstracts by his son Philippe Aird plus two Mercedes convertibles and a Jaguar.
In Auction Reports in ATG no 2346, we quoted Woolley & Wallis Japanese expert Alexandra Aguilar, but misspelt her surname. Apologies for the error.
Frank Dunphy, who was Damien Hirst’s business manager for 15 years, is now selling more than 200 works from his own collection at Sotheby’s in September. Credited with arranging the two Hirst studio sales at Sotheby’s in 2004 and 2008, other artists represented in the Dunphy sale include Andy Warhol, Richard Prince and Rachel Whiteread.