The Shakespeare First Folio to be offered at Christie’s NY estimated at $4m-6m.

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Complete First Folio up at auction

William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, often referred to as the ‘First Folio’, will be offered with an estimate of $4m-6m on April 24 as part of the Exceptional sale during Classic Week at Christie’s New York.

Just 233 First Folios are known to exist and only six complete copies are known in private hands.

This complete copy is being sold by Mills College in Oakland, California.

The current auction record for a First Folio is $6.16m (£3.73m) including premium, set by Christie’s in October, 2001, in New York.

The collection of works by the playwright was published in 1623 by Shakespeare’s friends and fellow actors, John Heminge and Henry Condell.

It contains 36 plays including Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure and Julius Caesar. Heminge and Condell also shaped the way the world would read the plays by organising them for the first time into the categories of comedies, tragedies, and histories.

Selection of fresh saleroom hires

Nicolas Martineau, who has worked for Christie’s for over 30 years, is one of a trio of recent appointments at Cambridge auction house Cheffins. He will work alongside Jonathan Law in the private client department, developing new business.


Nicolas Martineau who is now with Cheffins.

Specialist Adam Schoon has also joined as a consultant. He has previously worked with auction houses including Tennants, in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, and Duke’s of Dorchester.

Cheffins has appointed a new departmental assistant, Gabrielle Downie. She previously worked at Newnham College in Cambridge.

Sotheby’s France

Florent Jenniard has been appointed vice-president of Sotheby’s France making him, at 44, the youngest vice-president in this role.

Swann Galleries

Swann Galleries has appointed Devon Eastland as its new early printed books senior specialist. She joins from Skinner in Boston where she was a director of its book department.


Devon Eastland has joined Swann.


Paul Redmayne has joined Phillips as head of private sales in its jewellery department. He was previously at Bonhams where he was the head of sale in its jewellery department in Hong Kong.

Law expert pens practical guide

Martin Wilson, the chief general counsel at auction house Phillips, has published the latest in a series of handy, concise guides covering a range of legal practice areas called Elgar Practical Guides.

Art Law and the Business of Art draws on Wilson’s 23 years of experience in the auction business. He was previously co-head of Christie’s legal and compliance department.

Classic dealer play back on stage

The classic antiques dealer play Quinneys returns to the stage this year more than a century after it was first performed.

The one-off show is part of SOLD! The Year of the Dealer: Antique Dealers, Art Markets and Museums, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council. It takes place on March 28 at The Witham in Barnard Castle, County Durham. Tickets for the show, including a drinks reception, can be bought via for £5.

English author Horace Vachell introduced the fictional dealer Joseph Quinney in 1914. The play was popular and was performed regularly until the 1950s.

Two films were released, and at least 20 real dealerships of the same name sprang up across the country (one is still trading in Warwick).

SOLD! The Year of the Dealer aims to share the history of the antiques trade through public events and was launched by Mark Westgarth of the University of Leeds.

Export bar on recluses rulebook

The UK government has placed an export bar on a 15th century Middle English manuscript in the hope of finding a buyer to keep it in the UK. The Mirror of Recluses (The Myrowr of Recluses) is believed to be the only complete copy of a 15th century Middle English translation of the Latin rule for recluses, Speculum Inclusorum.


'The Mirror of Recluses' (The Myrowr of Recluses) is under a temporary export bar.

It was sold at Bloomsbury Auctions in central London on July 2, 2019, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is asking a buyer to match the £168,750 paid (£135,000 hammer price plus fees).

The decision on the export licence application will be deferred until April 13. This may be extended until August.

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In Numbers


The price paid by a UK collector for a 22ct Edward VIII coin, helping the 1936 sovereign regain its place as what is believed to be the most expensive British coin.


The 22ct Edward VIII sovereign coin dated 1937 sold for £1m.

The coin is rare as it was made as a trial, never released for circulation because of Edward VIII’s abdication in December 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson – ending his 10-month reign. The sovereign is one of just two examples known in private ownership. The remaining four are in museums and institutions.

The Royal Mint’s team of specialists negotiated a deal with the former owner of the coin in the US to sell it to the UK private buyer.