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David and Beth Elstob with two Moorcroft vases in Bedale Hall, North Yorkshire.

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Elstob & Elstob open for business

Former Thomas Watson Auctioneers director David Elstob is to launch his own auction house with wife Beth.

Elstob & Elstob, based at Bedale Hall, the Grade I-listed Palladian-style country house in North Yorkshire, will hold its first auction at the venue on March 24.

It plans four fine art, antiques and jewellery auctions at Bedale Hall and a fifth auction of silver, jewellery, watches and objects of vertu will take place in December 2019 at Newby Hall in Ripon.

The new firm has a team of six including consultants Richard Edwards, Henrietta Graham, Clive Taylor and watch specialist Nick Bassett. Edwards and David Elstob will conduct auctions.

Elstob, who is RICS qualified, said his firm will also focus on valuations, which it will offer by appointment.

He worked at Thomas Watson for six years and before that spent 12 years with Addisons in Barnard Castle.

Global view for venerable BRAFA

The 64th edition of Brussels’ BRAFA Art Fair (January 26-February 3) will feature 133 dealers and galleries from 16 different countries. There are 16 new names among the exhibitors, including four from the UK: David Aaron (antiquities); Bowman Sculpture; Cortesi Gallery (post-war art) and Willow Gallery (European paintings).

In recent years the fair has featured an artistic guest of honour (Julio le Parc in 2017 and Christo in 2018).

This year BRAFA will welcome Gilbert & George, who have selected five large-scale works which will be positioned at various locations throughout the venue, the Tour & Taxis exhibition hall.

Aylsham to Diss for book specialist

Norfolk auction house TW Gaze has appointed Robert Henshilwood as book specialist and will now relaunch dedicated sales.

Henshilwood began his career in the auction world in 2008 as a saleroom assistant at Keys in Aylsham. He moved to the book department as a valuer and became head of department in 2015.

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Robert Henshilwood.

TW Gaze director Elizabeth Talbot said: “Robert’s arrival will enable us to reintroduce dedicated book auctions plus bespoke sections in other specialist sales. Book auctions used to be regular features at Diss Auction Rooms and they have been greatly missed.”

Zulu War collection in Tunbridge Wells

Relics from the defence of Rorke’s Drift in 1879 feature in an Anglo-Zulu War collection to be sold in Tunbridge Wells by C&T Auctioneers.

Due to its size, the Mick Woodfield collection is being offered in two parts. Some 120 Zulu items are offered on January 9 with more on April 24 along with other tribal art and weapons.

C&T militaria specialist Matthew Tredwen says: “I have never seen a Zulu collection as big as this in terms of quantity and the quality of items is fantastic. The collection has been amassed over the last 40-plus years and includes some very fine and rare items.”

Monet in Venice

Paintings by Claude Monet are not especially rare at auction. However, his views of Venice emerge only occasionally.

One will appear at auction on February 26 for the first time since it was painted.

Le Palais Ducal will be offered at Sotheby’s sale of Impressionist and Modern art in London. It has been given a £20m-30m estimate – a level in line with the £21m fetched by another view of the Grand Canal sold in the same rooms in 2015.

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'Le Palais Ducal' by Claude Monet is estimated at £20m-30m in Sotheby‘s auction in London on February 26.

The work is guaranteed to sell as it is subject to an ‘irrevocable bid’ from a third party.

Le Palais Ducal has been in the same family since 1925, when it was acquired by Erich Goeritz, a Berlin-based textile manufacturer who built a famous collection of Impressionist and Modern art.

LAPADA at the House of Lords

The 11th edition of the LAPADA conference takes place on Thursday, February 21, at the House of Lords.

Dealing with Brexit, the new Anti-Money Laundering Directive, succession planning and using social media to grow business are among the topics covered at the event.

For tickets, which include refreshments and lunch, see lapadaconference.com.

Due to the forthcoming restoration of the House of Lords, this will be the last LAPADA conference at the venue.

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In Numbers

£1016.80

The gold fix in the UK hit a 12-month high last week as investors looked for safe havens with falls on currency and stock markets. In the US, gold was at a six-month high in terms of dollars while, in Euros, the yellow metal was up 12% in the last three months. In China, gold prices were at their highest since April 2017.