Sotheby’s recruits first spirits specialist
Jonny Fowle has joined Sotheby’s as its first ever spirits specialist. He has worked in the whisky trade for a number of years in roles including as a whisky trainer for hotel companies, ambassador for whisky brands and whisky broker.
Jamie Ritchie, worldwide head of Sotheby’s Wine, said: “Historically, spirits were integrated into our wine auctions and constituted a small part of our business. Over recent years, we have seen increasing sales of both Scotch and Japanese whiskies, as well as Moutai [a Chinese spirit], which now represents about 5% of our business.
“Jonny will focus on developing spirits as a separate category and growing this area of the business through single-owner live auctions, online auctions and direct sales of high value bottles and casks.”
In 2018, Sotheby’s reported wine and spirits sales exceeded $100m for the first time.
Table joins Newport furniture show
The Whitehorne House Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, bought a tilt-top tea table at Sotheby’s January Important Americana auction in New York.
The $20,000 (£19,200) purchase price has been funded by the Newport Restoration Foundation.
The table was created by Newport artisan Joseph Sanford (1740-84) and it will be part of a 18th century Newport furniture exhibition when the museum reopens on May 29 after a two-year hiatus.
The museum, which was founded in 1974, said the tea table is “especially notable because it is the only known signed Sanford work in existence… The white chalk signature on the underside of the table top makes it a unique piece and an important contribution to our understanding of his career.”
Chicago saleroom’s Hindman rebrand
US auction house Leslie Hindman Auctioneers has rebranded as Hindman and launched a new website, hindmanauctions.com. The Chicago-headquartered firm, which acquired Cowan’s Auctions in January, says that 60% of its lots are now sold online.
Jerwood buys an Ayrton encounter
The Jerwood Collection of Modern British art has emerged as the buyer of Encounter No 1, an oil painting by Michael Ayrton (1921-75), at a recent auction. It will now go on public view.
The work was bought at Hertfordshire’s County Council’s sell-off of works at Cheffins on March 21 for a hammer price of £13,000, against an estimate of £1000-2000.
Sworders hears London calling
Complementing the spring opening of an office in Cecil Court, central London, Essex auction house Sworders is planning a sale later in the year embracing the spirit and style of London.
The November 20 sale is in the early stages of preparation and the venue is yet to be confirmed. However, it will cut across a variety of categories and media from topographical pictures (an atmospheric William Turner De Londe oil of Waterloo Bridge, c.1830, has been consigned, estimated at £6000-8000) to a slice of cake from the 1981 royal wedding.
The most viewed stories for week May 1-8 on antiquestradegazette.com
1 Five places to see and buy art in London this month
2 Rare book dealer Bernard Quaritch heads north to Holborn
3 Online art and antiques marketplace 1stdibs to close sister company Online Galleries
4 Six auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes in the last week
5 Birmingham gallery acquires marble sculpture with support from Tomasso Brothers
The number of works in the art collection of Italian bank UniCredit, making it one of the world’s largest corporate collections. Many works will now be sold after the bank announced a change of direction in which the art will be offloaded to finance its social projects.