Saint statue stolen for a second time
A bronze statue of St Michael the Archangel that had previously been taken 19 years ago has been stolen again from its place at the top of a war memorial in the churchyard of St John the Baptist Church in Eversholt, Bedfordshire.
When it was stolen in 2000, it was later returned by a London antiques dealer who had discovered it in Islington. This time the 3ft (91cm) statue was taken on the night of Monday, June 17.
The theft has been reported to the police and has been logged with Art Loss Register. Anyone with information should call 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting crime reference number 40/34894/19.
UK auction house appointments
Woolley & Wallis has hired two specialists in its paintings department. Hannah Vernon and Ed Beer have joined the team in Salisbury led by head of department Victor Fauvelle.
Vernon joins from Christie’s and Beer spent nine years working for a London dealer before working at Special Auction Services of Newbury.
Jo Butler is now working as a freelance researcher.
Tennants of Leyburn has appointed Jo Fletcher-Lee to a new role of commercial director. Fletcher-Lee, who has worked with the auction house on a consultancy basis for a number of years, has previously run her own business and sat on the board of a number of companies.
Tennants said Fletcher-Lee will help the fourth-generation family business focus on the “next phase of growth for both the auction business and the events and exhibitions venue The Garden Rooms”.
Double hire at US appraisers body
The Appraisers Association of America (AAA) has appointed Chinese art and antiquities specialist Lark Mason as its board president and Heritage Auctions’ Nicholas Dawes joins the board as a director.
Mason will serve a two-year term and Dawes joins for a three-year term.
Mason worked at Sotheby’s for more than 20 years and then started his own company, iGavelauctions.com. Dawes is a senior vice-president of special collections at Heritage in New York and a former auctioneer and department head at Phillips and Sotheby’s.
Trump tax ‘would benefit Chinese’
President Trump’s renewed threat to tax Chinese art imports into the US would harm the local antiques trade and instead benefit China, US trade officials have heard.
Speaking at a US trade hearing in Washington, DC on June 21, art market lawyer Peter Tompa argued that a tax in Chinese art would cause “disproportionate harm” to small and medium-sized US antiques dealers, collectors and museums.
Instead, the duties would “perversely” benefit China’s art market as the country seeks to repatriate its art in order to sell it locally.
The proposed tariff on Chinese goods from any port of origin including the UK is part of the escalating US trade war with China. Last year the market successfully argued for the removal of Chinese art imports (anything ‘exceeding 100 years, paintings, drawings and sculpture’) from a list of goods facing a 10% tax, but they reappeared on a new list of goods facing 25% import tariffs in May.
The £4900 royal seal of approval
A large seal by the 19th century royal goldsmith Hunt & Roskell sold for a surprise hammer price of £4900 (estimate £60- 80) at Stroud Auction Rooms in Gloucestershire on June 12.
The 4in (10cm) seal with ivory handle and unmarked silver mount appeared to feature an intaglio carved with the Royal Coat of Arms. It came in its fitted case inscribed Hunt & Roskell Late Storr & Mortimer, London.
Trading from 1843-97, the ‘silversmiths and jewellers to Queen Victoria’ had retail premises at 156 New Bond Street and a manufactory at 26 Harrison Street, near Clerkenwell.
The seal was bought via thesaleroom.com by a collector who had originally left a £600 commission bid, beating phone bids. It is the second by the maker that Stroud has sold – a smaller example took £1600 in 2012.
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The number of mortars left in the huge Schwarzach Collection after 115 were offered at the Lempertz auction in Cologne.