'Salem' by Sydney Curnow Vosper, a work acquired by The National Library of Wales.

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The National Library of Wales has bought 'Salem' by Sydney Curnow Vosper (1866-1942) ahead of its appearance at auction.

The picture was due to be sold on October 19 with an estimate of £40,000-60,000 at Rogers Jones in Cardiff but ahead of the sale a deal – for an undisclosed amount – has been agreed with the library in Aberystwyth.

The 15 x 13in (36 x 33cm) picture is the second version of Vosper’s watercolour, gouache and wash depicting Sian Owen in traditional Welsh costume arriving at her pew in Capel Salem, Cefn Cymerau baptist chapel in North Wales.

The primary version of this image celebrating the Welsh religious revival is in the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight.

Stolen Lavery painting returned


'Youth and Age' was stolen from Stonyhurst College but is now being returned.

A painting by Sir John Lavery (1856-1941) consigned to Dublin auction house Whyte’s has been identified as having been stolen 25 years ago from a British public school.

The consignor, “an elderly man living in Preston”, was hoping to sell the picture in the Irish & International Art Sale on December 2. Youth and Age, an oil on canvas dated 1885, is estimated to be worth around €20,000 (£17,800).

However, it emerged that the painting had been stolen from Stonyhurst College in Lancashire. The saleroom’s managing director Ian Whyte said: “When we received the painting two weeks’ ago, my son Peter found it listed in Kenneth McConkey’s book on Lavery [John Lavery: A painter and his world, published 2010] where it was said to be in Stonyhurst College’s collection. I contacted Ken and he informed me that it was stolen about 25 years ago.”

Whyte’s alerted Irish police, as well as the school.

“The consignor is a person in England, who says he bought it 20 years ago in an antique shop, now closed, which was located not far from the school,” said Whyte.

Soggy Speed map saved by charity

A 17th century map by John Speed (1552-1629) sold at a Woolley & Wallis auction after being dumped outside at a London charity shop.

Staff from the Oxfam branch used a kitchen towel to absorb the worst of the rainwater before it was shown to a valuer. A New and Accurat [sic] Map of the World, dated 1626, features astrological and astronomical diagrams, allegorical figures and portraits of explorers.

It was offered at the Salisbury firm’s Furniture, Works of Art and Clocks sale where it was pitched low, at £400-600, based on its staining and general poor condition. However, it was bid up to £3500 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) and was knocked down to a US buyer.

Getty in LA gains Italian artworks

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has purchased two works of Italian art: a painting of The Virgin and Child by Agnolo Bronzino (1503-72) and a pair of marble sculptures of The Annunciation by Giovanni di Balduccio (c.1290-1339).

Bronzino’s painting is a recent rediscovery, first fully published in 2016. Completed c.1540-45 by the Florentine Mannerist painter, it resembles other scenes by the artist, who altered each slightly to reflect different times of day. Another version is in London’s National Gallery.

It first appeared for sale in 1898 in Milan, resurfacing in London, 1964, and has now been privately purchased.

The sums paid by the Getty for either of the works have not been disclosed.

Bonhams makes a trio of new hires

Bonhams has made a series of appointments this autumn in Asia and New York.

Bobbie Hu becomes chairman in Greater China reporting to Edward Wi lkinson, Bonhams’ executive director in Asia. Hu joins Bonhams from luxury Italian jewellery brand Bulgari where she was for 18 years.

Amelia Manderscheid has joined as senior director of the Post-War and Contemporary Art department, working from San Francisco.

She joins from venture capital firm Exponential Creativity Ventures and previously worked at Contemporary art gallery David Zwirner Gallery and Christie’s in New York.

Also in the US, Bonhams has appointed Molly Ott Ambler as senior vice president, international director and head of Americas for Impressionist & Modern Art in New York. She joins from art adviser Gurr Johns.

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1 10 top lots at Duke’s auction of contents from Athelhampton House

2 Missing painting by John Lavery discovered by Dublin auctioneer Whyte’s

3 Chinese dragon charger, Georgian Valentine cards and a majolica cheese dish – auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes in the last week

4 Bonhams to expand online by selling via

5 Major record for Banksy as Devolved Parliament brings lengthy bidding contest at Sotheby’s

In Numbers


The total (including premium) raised from this month’s Frieze Week Contemporary art auctions held at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips.