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The Stanley Gibbons shop and head office in the Strand.

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Stanley Gibbons releases results

Stanley Gibbons Group, which runs philately auction house/ dealer Stanley Gibbons, numismatic dealership Baldwin’s and auction joint venture Baldwin’s of St James’s, reported its half-year results last week showing sales down 26% to £4.98m for the six months ending September 30, 2020 (£6.74m 2019).

It reported an increased loss (from continuing operations) of £2.22m (£0.66m loss in 2019). It has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic but said online sales grew 35% in the period and now account for 22% of total sales (12% 2019).

The firm has been through a period of restructuring since 2016 to reduce debt. It opened a newly refurbished shop and head office at 399 Strand in central London in June.

Chairman Harry Wilson said: “The market for stamps and coins remains remarkably strong and we are seeing the return of passive collectors and new interest from people who find they have more free time.

“Having come through the corporate restructuring of the last two years and then facing a largely unknown challenge over recent months shows great resilience. There are encouraging signs recently that will hopefully allow me to report that our rebuilding plans are back on track next year.”

Evans joins The Fine Art Society

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Florrie Evans.

The Fine Art Society has appointed Florrie Evans, previously director at the Weiss Gallery for 10 years, to run its recently opened Carnaby Street gallery in London. Rowena Morgan-Cox, former managing director of its London operations, has left the firm.

The firm also runs a gallery in Dundas Street, Edinburgh. The FAS closed its Bond Street gallery after 142 years in February 2018.

Emily Walsh, who has been in the Edinburgh gallery for 22 years, managing it for the last 15 after it became part of the FAS, is group managing director.

Northern fair finds venue at Tennants

The Northern Antiques Fair is moving to the premises of Tennants auction house in North Yorkshire for its next staging.

The autumn event, which usually takes place at the Harrogate Convention Centre, was cancelled this year, but will return from September 30-October 3, 2021, provided there are no relevant coronavirus-related restrictions.

Fair director Ingrid Nilson said: “For reasons of clarity we felt it was sensible to relocate as the NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and the Humber has a contract with Harrogate Convention Centre until the end of March, which is too far into 2021 to plan securely for an event there in the autumn.”

Tennants underwent redevelopment in 2015 and is now able to accommodate large-scale events, with parking for more than 600 cars.

Grigorian chance at Phillips NY

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Magda Grigorian.

Phillips has hired Magda Grigorian as chief communications officer in New York. She will lead the auction house’s global communications and PR strategies and oversee all aspects of internal and external communications.

Grigorian has worked across the art and antiques sector, including beginning her career at Sotheby’s and later spending more than 20 years with Haughton International Fairs. She has also worked with TEFAF in the US.

A life as a trade ‘reprobate’

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The cover of Derek Loveland’s book about his career as an antiques dealer.

Looking for a handy Christmas stocking filler for a friend in the trade? A new book about antiques dealing could be just the thing.

From traders with Volvo estate cars to auctions at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris, The Reprobate in the Antiques Trade by Derek Loveland covers the hand-to-mouth existence of a dealer who is now in his seventh decade and in his own words “still earning and learning”.

Running a junk shop and having the occasional run-in with the Inland Revenue, the author details his life of buying and selling everything – books, records, clocks, furniture, paintings – and the characters he meets along the way, including the odd romp with a vicar’s wife thrown in for good measure.

Order online via reprobatebooks.co.uk

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In Numbers

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The percentage of new art collectors (those that have been buying art for fewer than three years) who purchased works online between March and September this year, up from 36% in 2019. The data comes from the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2020: Part Two published last week.