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Fresh jewellery sale format at Fellows…

Jewellery and watch specialist Fellows is to introduce a new sale category this month focused on the better quality lots it sells from its Birmingham saleroom.

The inaugural Fine Jewellery auction on March 21 is the first of what will be six sales a year. Each will have around 500 lots, both period pieces and high-end contemporary jewellery, targeting an international buying audience.

These sales will effectively replace the monthly Antique & Modern Jewellery auctions.

See previews

… and new auctions at trio of salerooms

Bloomsbury Auctions will increase the number of sales in its London office at 16-17 Pall Mall. The biannual western manuscripts auction, in July and December, continues but it will also hold a separate biannual Islamic rare books and manuscripts auction around the time of the Islamic weeks in London (held biannually in April and October).

Bloomsbury also plans to introduce a series of single-owner sales and the next will be its Modern First Editions sale on March 28, which is the first part of a collection from a British vendor. The second half from this owner will follow in the winter.

Bellmans in Sussex is to hold its first studio pottery auction on April 4. With more than 100 lots, artists featured include Derek Davis, Claire Sutcliffe, Douglas Zadek, Seth Cardew and Michael O’Brien.

In Scotland, McTear’s is holding its inaugural Sporting Medals & Trophies sale on April 26. It will include those awarded for professional and amateur football as well as for sports including golf, tennis, rugby, cricket and curling.

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Scottish Football League Championship gold medal awarded to Rangers midfielder, Joe Hendry, for the 1910-11 season, estimated at £2000- 3000. It is one of the lots in McTear’s first Sporting Medals & Trophies auction on April 26. Photo: Ken McArthur.

Younger Aldridge heads family firm

Alan Aldridge, auctioneer and valuer, is retiring from his company Henry Aldridge & Son after more than 30 years in the business. His son Andrew, who already works at the firm, is taking over the business that specialises in Titanic memorabilia via a new company, Henry Aldridge & Son Ltd. The changes will take effect in April.

Alan, 71, becomes a consultant to the firm and will spend more time pursuing his interest in metal detecting.

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Andrew and Alan Aldridge.

Andrew said: “Instead of working 70-hour weeks, dad is going to spend more time enjoying himself. But this is evolution not revolution and he will still take the hammer.”

Andrew follows his father Alan, his grandfather and great-grandfather Henry in the auctioneering business. He plans a number of changes in the coming months and will expand some of its sales.

Sisters are doing it for themselves

Norfolk sisters Catherine and Shelley-Anne Wilford have launched Beeston Auction House after the retirement of the owners of Townsend Auction Galleries, David and Diana Townsend.

They will hold their first auction at the saleroom in Beeston, between Swaffham and Dereham in Norfolk on March 13-14 comprising militaria and medals and antiques, collectables and interiors.

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Catherine and Shelley-Anne Wilford.

They are joined by Matt Vandersluys, also a former employee of Townsend, who has designed a new website.

The Wilfords said: “We hope to inject a fresh impetus on the business and have been really pleased with so much positive support from existing and new customers… We believe this is the only auction house in the country to be run by sisters.”

Sales include fine antiques, silver and jewellery and antiques, collectables and interiors on April 10-11 and vintage toys and antiques, collectables and interiors on May 8-9.

Freelance auctioneer David Palmer, well-known for his colourful waistcoats, will host the monthly sales. He works for a range of firms including Batemans in Stamford.

Chiswick makes art and wine hires

Chiswick Auctions has made a number of hires across its wine and art departments. Sam Hellyer, previously at Oddbins and Harley Wines, has joined as head of Chiswick’s wine department, replacing Peter Mansell who has left the firm.

Two consultants have also joined the team: wine specialists Christopher Cooper and Christopher Burr.

Penelope Sonder has joined from London art gallery Lazinc as the west London auction house’s head of urban art. This follows the ending of an arrangement with an urban art consultant. Chiswick said that it decided to bring the urban art department in house.

It has also bolstered its fine art department with the appointment of Luke Price. Having worked at auction houses including Roseberys, Dreweatts and Bloomsbury in the past, Price joins as a fine art specialist.

Chiswick has expanded rapidly recently, creating new specialist departments and growing its staff to more 80 people.

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In Numbers

46%

The percentage of total sales made by dealers globally that took place at art fairs. Global art fair sales grew 6% to $16.5bn in 2018 according to the Art Basel and UBS global art market 2019 report.