The copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover put under a temporary export bar.

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Lady Chatterley’s fund-raising appeal

Writers’ association English PEN has launched a GoFundMe page to raise the £56,250 needed to buy the copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover used by the judge in the infamous obscenity trial that has been barred from export by the government.

The annotated copy once belonged to Sir Laurence Byrne, who presided over the 1960 case. It is now regarded as a defining moment in British social history, marking the move toward a more liberal and permissive society

This copy of the book was sold at the auction of the collection of Stanley J Seeger at Sotheby’s in October 2018 for a hammer price of £45,000.

The government is asking for a buyer to match the £56,250 asking price (the hammer price plus fees) to keep it in the UK.

The decision on the export licence application for the book will be deferred until August 9, which could be extended until October 9.

New hires at two auction houses

Ewbank’s in Woking, Surrey, has hired James Hammond as its Asian art specialist and valuer. He began his career as a porter at Christie’s in 1979, and lived in Tokyo, working with a Japanese auction house, before returning to the UK and joining Bonhams in Knightsbridge as head of the Asian art department.

He also worked for Bonhams in London, Tokyo and Singapore. Highlights from his career include the sale of the early Ming, blue and white, Xuande brushwasher from the Edward T Chow Collection in 1992.

Voak at Martel Maides

Guernsey’s Martel Maides auction house has hired art specialist and valuer Jonathan Voak to represent the firm in Jersey. He was previously a curator at the V&A before joining its subsidiary Apsley House, The Wellington Museum on London’s Hyde Park Corner as manager.

From 1997 he has run Atelier in Jersey with his wife Colette, dealing in oil paintings from the 17th to early 20th century as well as watercolours, drawings and etchings.

Beatles ‘Butcher’ album hits record

John Lennon’s personal and signed ‘Butcher’ Yesterday and Today album prototype from 1966 sold for £180,000 in an auction held in Liverpool.

The ‘Butcher’ album – first released in the US and Canada – was so branded because of the cover photograph showing the Fab Four dressed in white smocks and covered with decapitated baby dolls and bits of raw meat. Julien’s says this is “believed to be the only First State ‘Butcher’ album bearing three Beatles signatures” (also Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr) and the estimate was $160,000-180,000.


Beatles ‘Butcher’ album – £180,000 at the Julien’s auction in Liverpool.

It had been displayed on the wall of Lennon’s Dakota apartment in New York City before being signed and given to Beatles fan Dave Morrell, in a trade to obtain the reel-to-reel recording of Yellow Matter Custard that Morrell owned.

The album was offered at Julien’s Auctions’ Music Icons: The Beatles in Liverpool sale at The Beatles Story museum on May 9. This was the first auction held by the Californian firm in the Fab Four’s hometown.

Antiques fair joins Miami line-up

The Luxe Miami Show, produced by Luxe Events, launches at the Miami Expo Center from February 6-9. It will host more than 125 exhibitors offering antiques, decorative objects and garden displays. It is pitched to appeal to interior design buyers and incorporates a programme of entertainment and educational seminars.

Luxe Events organises various events for luxury markets.

The new fair joins other nearby events that also take place early in the year including The Original Miami Beach Antique Show (January 4-8) and The Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show (February 13-18) as well as the Naples Art Antique & Jewelry Show (February) and Miami Antiques + Art + Design Show (January).

Lowry’s cricket match up at auction

A painting by LS Lowry (1887-1976) depicting a back-street cricket match in Salford from 1938 will be offered at Sotheby’s this summer. It has not been on the market since it sold in the same saleroom 23 years ago.


'Cricket Match' by LS Lowry is being offered at Sotheby’s with an £800,000-1.2m estimate.

Dating from 1938, the 18 x 2ft (46 x 61cm) oil on board made £282,000 when it sold at Sotheby’s in June 1996, setting a then-record for Lowry. It now carries an estimate of £800,000-1.2m at the June 18 sale. The painting has come to auction from the collection of Manhattan collectors Neil and Gina Smith. Although based in the US, where he met Gina, Neil was born and raised in Greater Manchester.

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In Numbers


The age in years of the oldest existing known golf scorecard. It sold at Bonhams in Edinburgh on May 1 for a hammer price of £3800. Dated December 2, 1820, the card records five holes played twice by ‘Mr Cundell’ at the Musselburgh Race Track. The 10 holes took a total of 84 strokes.