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Saleroom stops rhino horn sales

Edinburgh auction house Lyon & Turnbull will no longer sell antique items made from rhino horn. It joins Sotheby’s and Bonhams in recently banning the sale of these items. Christie’s stopped selling rhino-horn related objects more than six years ago.

While it is still possible to trade in worked rhino horn acquired or prepared prior to 1947, L& T referred to the campaign by BADA (The British Antique Dealers Association) for tougher regulation to “ensure that modern poached rhino is prevented from entering the UK and that rhino horn already in the UK cannot be ground down and exported for whatever reason”.

Train ‘prototype’ model takes £8000


The Marklin T 700B locomotive sold for £8000 at Rogers Jones.

A Marklin toy steam locomotive left a vendor chuffed as it made a hammer price nearly 115 times its top estimate.

The £8000 bid (plus 18% buyer’s premium inc VAT) was made via thesaleroom.com for a Marklin HO gauge T 700B with box at the Rogers Jones sale in Cardiff on March 2. Ben Rogers Jones from the auction house said: “The bidding was ferociously competed from the £40-70 estimate by two bidders online in Denmark and Holland – won by the latter.”

The model was in a group of Marklin which came from a private collector just north of Cardiff and contributed £9745 to the £223,935 total for the St David’s Day auction.

After the result, online Marklin collectors’ websites burst into life and one commenter suggested this T 700B was a rare prototype made of brass.

Copy of first Beano heads to Singapore


The copy of Beano comic No 1 sold for £8700 by Comic Book Auctions.

A fine copy of the very first issue of the Beano sold at auction for £8700 (plus 19% buyer’s premium).

This Beano comic No 1 from July 1938 came for sale at Comic Book Auctions on March 3 from an ephemera collector of more than 40 years who had bought it in the early 1980s. It was missing the ʻWhoopee Mask’ issued as a free gift (that seldom survives) and was slightly marred by staple rust but did include the four-page promotional flyer that was issued with No 1 and No 2 and slipped inside copies of Hotspur, Adventure, Rover, Skipper and Wizard.

The successful online bidder based in Singapore was described by auctioneer Malcolm Phillips as “not a general comic collector but a buyer of key items who recognised this as the most iconic and sought after of British comics”.

See page 30-31 for more from this auction.

US ivory ban court challenge revived

A US court claim challenging a 2014 New York law banning the sale of antique ivory by the Art and Antique Dealers League of America and the National Art and Antique Dealers Association of America has been reinstated due to amendments made to the case.

In early February US district judge Lorna Schofield dismissed the case but on February 26 it was reinstated after an amended complaint was filed, which is now proceeding through the court.

Alan Sash at law firm McLaughlin & Stern, who is representing the trade groups, said: “We are hopeful that the judge will decide the legal issues on the merits within the next few months.”

The case has been filed against Basil Seggos, in his official capacity as commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Fresh-to-market Catlin collection


Wah-ro-néesah, The Surrounder, Chief of the Tribe is estimated at £3000-5000 on March 28 at Forum Auctions.

Forum Auctions will offer on March 28 a collection of works by American painter George Catlin (1796-1872) including this c.1832 watercolour Wah-ronéesah, The Surrounder, Chief of the Tribe with an estimate of £3000-5000.

The collection includes seven previously unrecorded watercolours and drawings, as well as letters. They were originally collected by Captain William Henry Shippard – a close friend of the artist and recipient of the letters – and are market fresh.

Starman demo flies to five-figure result

A tape thought to contain “possibly the first ever demo version” of David Bowie’s 1972 hit Starman drew strong competition at Omega Auctions’ latest sale in Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside. Estimated at £5000-10,000, it was knocked down at £41,000 (plus 20% buyer’s premium).

The rehearsal tape included unheard demos of Starman, Moonage Daydream and Hang on to Yourself.

The tracks were recorded at Trident studios during the second half of 1971. The recordings were collated by Mick Ronson, the guitarist, songwriter, arranger and producer who worked with Bowie on several albums.

Ronson gave the tape in late 1971 to his friend and neighbour from Hull, Kevin Hutchinson, who, at the time, was a budding teenage musician writing his own songs (he would also record his own songs at Trident Studios). Hutchinson was the vendor at the Omega auction. The tape had reportedly been kept in a loft for almost 50 years and was sold as the vendor wished to declutter.

Most read

The most clicked-on stories for week March 7-13 on antiquestradegazette.com

1 BBC Antiques Roadshow locations and dates released for summer 2019

2 Lost Doctor Who Daleks episode lives again as archive comes to auction

3 What lots caught bidders’ eyes in the last week? Five auction highlights including a silver spoon from 1528

4 10 highlights from the George Michael collection on offer at Christie’s

5 New faces at Chiswick and Phillips – the latest movers and shakers across the art and antiques trade

In Numbers


The number of visitors reported by Christie’s to its pre-sale exhibition of the contemporary art collection of George Michael which was staged in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Shanghai ahead of the auction in London on March 14. With proceeds from the sale used to continue the late singer-songwriter’s philanthropic work, all 60 lots sold, raising a premiuminclusive £9.26m. Christie’s reported that 24% of the registered bidders were new clients.