1938 London Underground poster by Man Ray – $120,000 (£88,890) at Swann.

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$120,000 Man Ray goes down the tube

Man Ray’s eye-catching 1938 promotional poster for the London Underground was the toast of Swann Auction Galleries’ recent graphic design auction in New York at a sale-topping $120,000 (£88,890) hammer price (or $149,000 including premium).

The 3ft 3in x 2ft (2m x 63cm) poster with the legend Keeps London Going is the Surrealist artist’s take on the London transport system, comparing its familiar logo to a Saturn-like planet in space.

It is executed in the artist’s trademark ‘Rayograph’ photographic style.

The winning bid in the sale on May 3 was made by a dealer after a battle between three phones.

Prison for thieves who targeted trade

Two robbers who stole more than £300,000 of jewellery and antiques by targeting antiques dealers at their homes have been sentenced to six years and two months’ imprisonment each.

Alan Skavydis, 56, and Paul Stephenson, 58, committed crimes over a 16-year period across three different police force areas.

The pair targeted dealers and collectors at antiques fairs and would follow people home from fairs – often travelling hundreds of miles – and then burgle their homes days later.

Workshops for Cotswolds buyers

Cotswold auction house Moore Allen & Innocent has launched free workshops for aspiring collectors.

Partner Philip Allwood said:

“These workshops are ideal for collectors who want to know their oak from their mahogany, their Arts & Crafts from their Art Nouveau, or their etchings from their engravings.”

The first event will be sporting goods on July 12, followed by pictures and paintings on September 13, and china and glass on November 15.

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Image released of jewel theft suspect

The Metropolitan Police are trying to trace a man wanted in connection with a high-value theft of jewellery at last year’s Masterpiece London fair.

They have released an image of the man they believe to be Vinko Osmakcic, a Croatian national thought to be responsible for a number of high-value diamond thefts.

At the 2017 fair, three rings were stolen with a combined value of over £2m from the stand of Switzerland-based jewellery dealer Boghossian.

Battie’s cup of tea

BBC Antiques Roadshow regular and Asian art expert David Battie is to host an exhibition and lecture at Cotswolds auction house Tayler & Fletcher.


David Battie.

The three-day exhibition, Tea Drinking Worldwide, will culminate in a talk on May 24. The exhibition encompasses early Chinese ceramics, metalware and associated items from Battie’s own personal collection.

It will take place at the firm’s dedicated fine art department saleroom which opened in 2016 in Lansdowne, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire.

Donate to Born Free at Bamfords

Derbyshire’s Bamfords saleroom has launched a tie-up with wildlife charity Born Free.

The scheme allows consignors to donate proceeds from the sale of an item to the charity.

Bamfords asks those interested to contact the auction house to arrange valuations. The amount the item makes, as well as the 12.5% seller’s commission, will be donated to Born Free.

Bamfords auctioneer James Lewis is a patron of the charity.

Afghanistan medal group sells at DNW

The medal group awarded to a British soldier who fought on for 90 minutes after being shot in the neck sold for £130,000 (£156,000 with premium) at London auction house Dix Noonan Webb on May 9.


Simon Moloney’s Conspicuous Gallantry Cross medal group sold at Dix Noonan Webb for £130,000. He is shown just after he was shot in the neck in Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal of Horse Simon Moloney of the Blues and Royals won the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross in 2013 when his unit took part in a helicopter assault alongside the Afghan army deep inside a Taliban stronghold (see preview in Militaria, ATG No 2338, for more details).

DNW says: “This was a record price for an Afghanistan CGC though not for all CGCs. The successful bidder was a UK private buyer.”

The CGC is Britain’s second highest award for gallantry in battle – only the Victoria Cross ranks above it.

Sixty (including one whole unit honour) have been awarded since the decoration was instituted in 1993.

In Numbers


Eight of the top 10 lots, including the top three, at Sotheby’s latest Orientalist sale in London were bought by a single institution. Read more on this sale in Art Market, page 22.