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A snowy scene outside Mander Auctions’ saleroom in Sudbury, Suffolk.

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Sales postponed due to heavy snow

A number of auction houses across Britain have rescheduled their sales after heavy snow hit many parts of the country last week. In terms of live auctions set to take place around the country, ATG has learned of numerous salerooms being affected by adverse weather from Taunton in the south-west to Sudbury in the east.

The snow has been particularly heavy further northwards, especially in Scotland, where McTear’s of Glasgow has been forced to reschedule two upcoming sales.

ATG was strongly recommending anyone planning to set out to attend an auction, fair or other event to check on its status before starting their journey.

More details on rearranged auction dates can be viewed on this website.

Also, last week eBay took the unusual step of removing customer complaints of delayed deliveries – providing the delay was caused by the extreme weather.

The online giant told traders it will remove negative feedback about deliveries “if sellers feel they’ve been unduly affected by the adverse weather and have supporting evidence”.

California ivory ban is challenged

The Ivory Education Institute (IEI) has filed a brief with the California Second District Court of Appeal challenging California’s uncompromising ban on the sale of most ivory objects. IEI, formed in 2014 to advance the interests of collectors of objects made from ivory, is appealing the decision of a Los Angeles Superior Court judge who in December 2016 said he did not agree that the current law (Assembly Bill 96 passed in 2015) is unconstitutional.

IEI is challenging the bill on several grounds – arguing that the law is unacceptably vague, with confusion surrounding a 5% de minimis exemption for antiques.

It questions why a law designed to save the African elephant extends to the teeth and tusks of extinct species (mammoth and mastodon) and to others not threatened by poaching (hippo, walrus, warthog, sperm whale and narwhal).

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Juda photographs in show are on sale

The Jewish Museum has opened a retrospective of the late British photographer Elsbeth Juda (1911-2014), a Jewish émigré who brought a new modernist artistic vision to Britain from Germany.

This selling exhibition in north London, Elsbeth Juda: Grit and Glamour, features works from The Ambassador magazine, and subjects include Winston Churchill and sculptor Henry Moore, ballerina Margot Fonteyn, fashion models, artist Peter Blake and photographer Norman Parkinson.

The photographs in the exhibition are for sale, priced from £2200, framed. They are being sold by L’Equipement des Arts Limited. The exhibition runs until July 1.

Louvre buys £8m Book of Hours

The Louvre Museum in Paris has raised more than £8m to buy a jewel-encrusted Book of Hours (ATG No 2315). More than 8500 donors responded to a fundraising call.

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The Louvre Museum in Paris has raised more than £8m to buy this jewel-encrusted Book of Hours.

It raised €1.4m from these donors and up to €7.9m is being donated from luxury group Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy.

The prayer book, made in 1532 for Francis I of France, has been in the UK since the 18th century and is being sold by London jewellery dealer SJ Phillips for £8m.

Negotiations started in early 2015 and the deal has now been agreed.

Lecture celebrates Wakefield furniture

The 18th century furniture maker Wright & Elwick of Wakefield is the subject of the Frederick Parker Lecture at the Furniture Makers Guild, London, on March 15.

Experts include Andrew Cox-Whittaker, a second-generation antiques dealer who has worked with Wilkinson’s auctioneers in Doncaster for nearly 20 years. His research into the Wakefield cabinet trade has been supported with a Regional Furniture Society bursary. Proceeds from the evening will go to support the Frederick Parker Collection of more than 200 chairs.

Museum purchases Brunel drawing set

Northamptonshire saleroom Humbert & Ellis has sold a set of Isambard Kingdom Brunel technical drawing instruments to Swindon council for a new museum display on the great engineer. It made £6000 against an estimate of £800- 1200 on February 22.

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IK Brunel technical drawing instruments set – £6000 at Humbert & Ellis.

This follows a Thames Tunnel drawings archive related to Marc Brunel which sold at Bonhams last November. Some items from the archive will be on show from March 23 at the new Being Brunel museum in Bristol, while the bulk is earmarked for an expansion of the Brunel Museum in south London.

In Numbers

10

The number of catalogues Sotheby’s has produced for Asia Week New York, including more than 1300 lots.