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Chiswick launches car department

Chiswick Auctions of west London has hired a motoring specialist and plans to add a series of car and automobilia sales to its auction calendar.

Phillip Knapper has joined as head of its new department and its first Motor Cars & Automobilia sale, featuring 30 classic cars including a Bentley and Austin-Healey alongside automobilia, is on April 27 at Ham Polo Club in Richmond, south-west London.


Phillip Knapper, who has joined Chiswick Auctions.

Knapper, previously a specialist at Sotheby’s, Roseberys, Freemans Auctions in Philadelphia and, more recently, London Auction Rooms, has more than 40 years’ experience.

South German casket export bar

A 16th century marquetry casket long in the collection of Scotland’s Newbattle Abbey has been placed under export bar in a bid to keep it in the country.

Worth £750,000, the south German cabinet is one of the earliest known pieces of kunstkammer furniture in the UK. It was created in 1565 and features engraved ivory and bone panels as well as gilded metalwork.

The decision on the licence application is deferred until July 11 and may be extended until October 11 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase it at the recommended price is made.


The 16th century south German casket that has been placed under a temporary export bar.

The casket has been in the country since at least 1730 when the walnut cabriole-legged support was made for it.

It is jointly owned by Kunstkammer Georg Laue and Trinity Fine Art and will be put on public view during London Art Week (June 28-July 5), shortly before the July 11 deadline.

Harold Wilson family collection

A collection relating to the ‘extraordinary life’ of fomer Prime Minister Harold Wilson and his wife is coming to auction in Staffordshire.

In office from 1964-70 and again between 1974-76, his collection and that of his wife, Mary Wilson, will be offered at auction by Hansons at Bishton Hall, near Stafford, on May 10.

Lady Wilson, an accomplished poet whose books sold in the many thousands during the 1960s-70s, died last year at the age of 102 and Hansons has been instructed by the executors of her estate.

Police seek missing Auerbach works

A police appeal has been launched for the recovery of two Frank Auerbach (b.1931) paintings as part of a fraud investigation.

Cumbria Police said that “following new lines of enquiry” an investigation has been launched into an incident of fraud, involving two paintings that were “falsely purchased from a gallery in Cockermouth”.

In February, a man contacted Castlegate House Gallery about the pictures and bought them with what turned out to be fraudulent card details. The two works, To The Studios, valued at £29,000, and Portrait of GB, valued at £12,000, were then taken to an address in Manchester but are now missing.


'Portrait of GB' is one of two paintings by Frank Auerbach that police are trying to recover.

Police are appealing for information in relation to the purchase and alleged ‘buyer’ of the pictures, along with any information on their whereabouts. Call DC 2483 Chestney of Cumbria Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting log 60 of the February 22, 2019.

Art galleries have been targeted by a number of scams in recent years including credit card fraud and thorugh email invoices.

Christie’s teams up with 1stdibs

Christie’s will sell a collection of art and design objects through online art and antiques marketplace 1stdibs.

The collection will be for sale on the 1stdibs web portal and at its gallery in New York from May 1. In a statement it said the initiative will “allow collectors to access Christie’s listings without having to wait for an auction”.

The collection on offer comprises 100 items of furniture and decorative objects with prices starting below $1000. Matthew Rubinger, deputy chief marketing officer at Christie’s, said: “Through offering a buy-it-now option for this specially curated group of furniture and objects designed by Juan Montoya, we are providing more options for our collecting base.”

It is the latest step for the auction house to increase its non-auction sales. In its most recent financial figures Christie’s reported that private transactions totalled £491.2m in 2018, a rise of 4%.

Funds pledged to Notre-Dame

The Pinault family, owner of auction house Christie’s, has pledged €100m for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris after the fire on April 15.

The funds were offered via the fashion group Kering which was founded by François Pinault and now controls-well known brands including Gucci, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta.

Shortly afterwards, fellow French billionaire Bernard Arnault, chairman of the LVMH luxury goods group who bought a majority stake in Phillips auction house in 1999 and reportedly also made a bid to buy Sotheby’s a year later, offered €200m for the reconstruction efforts.

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In Numbers


The number of pages in the catalogue for the painting billed as the ‘Toulouse Caravaggio (1571-1610)’ which has been published ahead of its auction in Toulouse in June.


The front cover of the catalogue for the ‘Toulouse Caravaggio (1571-1610)’ which will be offered at auction in June.