Max Beerbohm's 'Mr Churchill', the joint top lot at Sotheby’s sale of the Jeffrey Archer cartoon collection. The watercolour from 1943 drew strong interest against a £6000-8000 estimate and it sold at £38,000.

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Archer on politics

Jeffrey Archer’s collection of political cartoons raised a total of £571,318 (including premium) at Sotheby’s.

The 240 original artworks had been acquired by Lord Archer through London dealer Chris Beetles and included works by Gillray, Rowlandson, Cruikshank and Beerbohm.

With the sale benefitting a number of educational charities, many lots exceeded predictions.

The joint top lots were the 1943 watercolour Mr Churchill by Max Beerbohm and James Gillray’s, Consequences of a successful French invasion…’, published in 1798. Both sold at £38,000.

Business as usual for Salisbury sales

Salisbury saleroom Woolley & Wallis says it will continue with its planned auction calendar despite the ongoing police activity in the city, following the recent nerve agent attack on a former Russian intelligence officer and his daughter.

Although clients have contacted the auctioneer to check on future events, there has been no disruption to viewings or auctions so far.

Its next sale will be an auction of Clarice Cliff, Art Deco & Design on March 21.

A spokesman for the saleroom said: “At the moment all the roads are clear. We can’t of course predict what may or may not happen next week but the police have not given any indication that there will be further travel disruption.”

Perth saleroom razed by fire

A fire at an auction house in Scotland has forced it to temporarily relocate.

The blaze destroyed the saleroom building of Iain M Smith Auctioneers & Valuers in Perth that contained 600 lots ready for auction the following day on March 9.

Smith, who has run the business for 21 years, is now planning to open a temporary saleroom in a building provided by plant and machinery auctioneer Morris Leslie which is close to the original site at Perth Aerodrome, Scone, Perth. He then plans to rebuild his saleroom on the original site.

Arms fair reloaded

The organisers of the inaugural Antique Arms Fair at Olympia London last September plan a second edition on April 21 at the west London venue. High-profile dealers signed up include Peter Finer, Hatford Antiques, Magazin Royal and Runjeet Singh.

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Phillips Hong Kong

Auction house Phillips is opening a gallery space in Hong Kong on March 26. The gallery – at the St George’s Building where the auctioneers already have an office – will host exhibitions, auction previews and private sales.

A cross-category selling exhibition of modern and contemporary art titled Hong Kong. Spotlight. Now. runs from March 26 to April 13.

Beck map stolen

Transport Auctions of London is calling for the trade to look out for an early London Underground map.

The theft of the 1933 first edition Beck pocket Underground map has been registered with the Metropolitan Police and the Antiquarian Booksellers Association has been alerted.

It was stolen during the viewing period on the morning of its February 17 sale in Croydon, unbeknown to the auctioneer who proceeded with its sale with the hammer coming down at £3200.

The map is identifiable by Beck’s signature and a small ink-spot and a faint trace of a pencilled date on the cover.

Contact the police using the crime reference no 3806411/18.

Munn steps down as Wartski moves

Wartski managing director Geoffrey Munn is stepping down from the jewellery dealer and will concentrate on his television career and charity work including fundraising for Samaritans.


Geoffrey Munn, Wartski managing director who is stepping down to concentrate on his television career and charity work.

At Wartski, Katherine Purcell and Kieran McCarthy will lead the company which is relocating to 60 St James’s Street. Thomas Holman is also on the company board.

Munn posted on Instagram: “Time’s up for Munn at Wartski! 46 years on and a new life awaits me!”

In Numbers


The decline in auction sales of European Old Masters over 2017 when Christie’s sale of the Leonardo da Vinci for $450m is stripped out. If included, sales rose 64% year-on-year to $977m, according to the latest edition of The Art Market 2018, a report by Art Basel and UBS. Further findings will appear in next week’s issue.