Joseph Wright of Derby - Two Boys with a Bladder.jpg
The 3ft x 2ft 4in (91 x 71cm) oil on canvas ‘Two Boys with a Bladder’ by Joseph Wright of Derby was painted in Liverpool between 1768-70.

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Mantegna makes rare saleroom visit


The Andrea Mantegna drawing expected to make over $12m at Sotheby’s New York.

One of only around 20 known drawings by Andrea Mantegna (c.1431-1506) will be the highlight of Sotheby’s Old Master drawings auction in New York next year.

Dated to the late 1480s, the drawing is the only known preparatory study for Mantegna’s famed paintings depicting the triumphal procession of Julius Caesar and his army through ancient Rome.

The Triumphs of Caesar, a seminal series of nine monumental works, are now part of the British Royal Collection at Hampton Court Palace, having been acquired by Charles I in 1629 from the Gonzaga family, Dukes of Mantua, who were Mantegna’s most important patrons. The example at Sotheby’s is one of only two drawings by the artist that remain privately owned – the others being in major institutions such as the British Museum. It recently featured in the Mantegna & Bellini exhibition held at the National Gallery in London and the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.

It is estimated to fetch in excess of $12m at Sotheby’s sale in New York on January 29, 2020.

Forrest shows growth potential


Bill Forrest is now associate director at Roseberys.

South London auction house Roseberys has promoted Bill Forrest to associate director. He has been with the company for four years and will continue to focus on the development of the Asian art department.

Birmingham fair attracts fresh faces

Art & Antiques for Everyone’s new ownership has attracted a wide range of dealers for its next staging, including Fontaine, Rowles Fine Art and Mark Hill. They are among those signed up to the fair since it came under the leadership of Dan Leyland and Marisa Beckman of MAD Events after years with Clarion Events.

“Our pricing policy is proving most attractive to dealers wanting to return to the fair,” Leyland said. They have added reduced rates for larger stands and cheaper rates for some smaller stands in one section.

The next staging runs from November 28-December 1 at Birmingham’s NEC and hosts around 200 exhibitors.

UK buyer sought for Wright artwork

The government is hoping to find a buyer to pay £3.5m to keep an 18th century picture by Joseph Wright of Derby in the UK.

Two Boys with a Bladder was offered on the stand of Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker at TEFAF Maastricht in March.

The picture was probably created as a pair with another of Wright’s candlelight paintings, Two Girls Dressing a Kitten by Candlelight, now at Kenwood House in north London. It had been unseen in public since the 18th century and was unknown to scholars until its rediscovery by the dealership.

The J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles agreed to buy the picture following the fair and an export licence was applied for. Arts minister Helen Whately has now announced a temporary export bar on the picture and called for the £3.5m plus VAT to be raised to keep it in the UK.

The decision on the export licence applications for the painting will be deferred until January 16, 2020. This may be extended until May 2020 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase it is made.

Cotswolds fair date change for 2020

The annual Cotswolds Art & Antiques Dealers’ Association Fair has shifted its dates and location for next year’s staging. It will now run from October 15-18, 2020, in Warwickshire’s Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park.

It has also added IngridNilson of The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited to its organisational team. Alex Puddy, chairman of CADA, said Nilson “will be assisting with the planning and the organisation of the new fair to make sure that it is as prestigious as before”.

Previously it was staged in Blenheim Palace in spring. Earlier this year, however, it was announced that the Oxfordshire home would start undergoing works in 2020 with no known completion date.

Folk art teams with Contemporary


Contemporary artist John Strutton’s work Head Case in Robert Young’s Battersea shop.

An antique felt-working cone, c.1820, is the basis for a collaboration between folk art dealer Robert Young and Contemporary artist John Strutton this month. It is presented as an exploration of Strutton’s father’s experience in the hat industry and the decline in the manufacturing industries in 1980s-90s Britain.

Head Case is installed in the window of Young’s Battersea shop until November 10. It is the fifth iteration in his series Contemporary Collaborations, which combines historic pieces with emerging artists.

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In Numbers


The number of Victorian animal troughs that have now been stolen from the south London area this autumn. Made of granite or concrete and often weighing around four tons each, the troughs were taken from streets in Penge, Sydenham, Chislehurst and, most recently, Bromley Hill. Residents’ associations, councils and the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association have called for help to try to trace them.