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Richard Wright, CEO; David Rago, president; Suzanne Perrault, president of the newly merged Wright and Rago Auctions.

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Rago and Wright to merge by design

Leading second tier US auction houses Rago in Lambertville New Jersey and Wright in Chicago and New York have merged.

Art, jewellery and ceramics firm Rago was founded in 1984 and design specialist Wright in 2000. Both firms will continue to operate under their individual names while sharing technology, expertise and marketing efforts.

Richard Wright will become CEO of the combined company which now has a team of 75. He said: “I welcome the opportunity of working with a larger team... Our blended perspectives, geographic reach and experience will add to the great work we both currently do.”

First sign of a new-look Cork St

Contemporary art dealership Goodman Gallery is to join Cork Street as its first major letting since its multi-million pound redevelopment last year.

The South African art dealership will open its first London gallery in Mayfair at 26 Cork Street by the autumn.

Landlord on the street Pollen Estate plans to attract more contemporary galleries and is in talks to let the other spaces currently vacant.

Founded in 1966, Goodman has galleries in Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa. For the past 11 years it has been owned by director Liza Essers.

BADA pop-up

Tomasso Brothers and Butchoff Antiques are among the dealers confirmed for BADA’s inaugural ‘pop up’ selling exhibition on Pimlico Road, London.

The dealer body signed a rental agreement with the Grosvenor Estate, to host what it is calling BADA Collection at 46 Pimlico Road from June 25-July 10. More than 20 dealers have signed up with space for up to 60 participants.

Art history’s ‘most famous weapon’

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‘The gun that killed Van Gogh’ at Drouot.

The gun thought to be that used by Vincent van Gogh to shoot himself will be offered at an auction in France.

Although there have been different theories about how the artist was injured it is largely believed he shot himself in a field behind the village church in Auvers-sur-Oise.

ArtAuction Rémy le Fur said in a statement that this corroded revolver was found in a field by a farmer around 1960 and was handed to the current owner’s mother.

It describes the gun as the “most famous weapon in art history” and has estimated it at €40,000-€60,000 at its sale at Drouot on June 19.

Chance to pick the nose of Concorde

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Concorde nose cone at Humbert & Ellis.

A nose cone from Concorde is coming to auction in Northamptonshire.

The iconic object, known as the ‘droop’ nose cone, will be offered by Humbert & Ellis in Towcester on June 20 with an estimate of over £200,000.

This example was from a test specimen aircraft and was last sold in 1995 as part of the collection of aeronautical collector Wensley Haydon-Baillie by Sotheby’s in London.

It was purchased by aviation entrepreneur Farhad Azima who relocated it to Kansas City, Missouri. The supersonic airliner launched in 1976 and made its final flights in 2003.

Record rostrum attempt for Lewis

Bamfords’ James Lewis will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the longest continuous auction taken by a single auctioneer on June 21-22.

The auction begins at 6.30pm on June 21 and ends at 8pm on Saturday, June 22 – meaning that (with comfort breaks allowed) Lewis will be on the rostrum for 25.5 hours.

The sale will be held in aid of wildlife charities Born Free Foundation, Tusk, the International Gorilla Foundation and Save Wild Tigers.

The event will begin at Bamfords and ends at Holme Hall in Bakewell where the final 50 lots of celebrity-donated items will be auctioned amid a party that will include opera singers and African dancers.

The auction will also be held on thesaleroom.com.

Spencer promotion

Jim Spencer

Jim Spencer

Hansons has promoted antiquarian books and works on paper specialist Jim Spencer to associate director.

Spencer discovered a first edition of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations which sold for £65,000 at Bishton Hall in Staffordshire and catalogued Hansons’ recent sale of the Harold and Mary Wilson collection.

Most read

The most viewed stories for week 6-12 June on antiquestradegazette.com

1 Only Fools and Horses millionaire cheque comes to auction

2 Rare Roman gold coin found in Kent field sells at £460,000

3 Six auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes

4 Mahatma Gandhi sculpture more than doubles Antiques Roadshow valuation

5 Hindman to launch buy-it-now option as it seeks to be ‘America’s premier mid-market auction house’

In Numbers

$1.12m

The price paid for the original 1930 cover art for an early appearance of Tintin and Snowy. The 11 x 12in (27 x 30cm) sheet opened the 139- page saga Tintin in the Land of the Soviets that first appeared in children’s comic Le Petit Vingtième.

Hergé’s signed ink on paper drawing with gouache corrections was estimated to fetch around $1.3m at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on June 8. The hammer price was $900,000 (£708,000) with a 20% buyer’s premium charged.

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The original 1930 cover art for an early appearance of Tintin and Snowy that sold for $1.12m at Heritage Auctions. Image copyright: Hergé-Moulinsart 2019.

Connect fair – 2020 correction

The new date for Connect – The Independent Art Fair is June 2020, not 2019 as printed in the headline of last week’s ATG. Apologies for the error.