This 2nd century AD marble pair of Celtic hounds has been temporarily barred from export.

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Celtic hounds could stay in the UK

The owner of a pair of Celtic hounds has been temporarily prevented from exporting the sculptures by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The 2nd century AD marble dogs are believed to be one of two surviving sets from the period.

They were sold at Bonhams in July 2019 for a premium-inclusive £807,062 and are believed to have been sold again, as £2m (plus VAT) must be raised to match the amount the current owner paid.

The sculptures had been excavated from the villa of the Emperor Antoninus in c.1795- 96. The neoclassical collector and decorator Thomas Hope displayed them in his London home, partly open to the public, for almost 50 years.

The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest noted that they were “outstanding examples of ancient sculpture with significant British provenance”.

The decision on the export licence application will be deferred until October (and could be extended until February 2021) in the hope a buyer can raise the £2m (plus VAT) to keep them in the UK.

Snape joins Dorset auction house


John Snape, now of Charterhouse, with some of the lots from Summerfield House (July 22 sale).

Charterhouse in Sherborne, Dorset, has hired John Snape as a senior valuer and auctioneer. He joins from Ewbank’s in Surrey where he was a partner, having worked there since 2004.

TV Roadshow goes invitation-only

Antiques Roadshow is to become invitation-only to ensure its production meets coronavirus guidelines. For the first time in more than four decades, the BBC series will be filmed on a closed set with a small invited audience only.

Viewers must contact Antiques Roadshow about their objects if they wish them to be considered. Locations of the shows are listed on the BBC websi te (

PAD London put back until 2021

Art and design fair PAD London has been postponed by a year until October 2021 due to the coronavirus. PAD Paris will take place this autumn on October 19-25.

Car auctions HQ is on the move

Classic car auction house RM Sotheby’s has relocated its European headquarters from New Bond Street, London, to Heron House on the banks of the Thames in south-west London.

The Grade II-listed building at Heron Square, in the Richmond Riverside estate, was originally built in 1716 and redeveloped in the 1980s. RM Sotheby’s has signed a 10-year lease for the three-storey townhouse. As part of the deal, RM Sotheby’s can use the forecourt surrounding the building to display vehicles prior to auction.

Shake-up at art advisers group

Art association Professional Advisors to the International Art Market (PAIAM) has appointed a new chairman and vice chair and brought in new faces to the board. Hunters Law partner Gregor Kleinknecht has been appointed chairman and LAPADA CEO Freya Simms has become vice chair.

Previous chair Antonia Kimbell, who was one of the founding members of PAIAM, will remain on the board.

New members joining the UK board are Christine Bourron, Catherine Thompson and Anne Laure Bandle. Azmina Jasani joins both the UK and US boards. Craig Davies and Fiona Graham are retiring from the board.

Sotheby’s offers Rubens portrait

Sotheby’s is selling a portrait of a lady which has been catalogued as a fully-ascribed work by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). Estimated at £2.5m-3.5m, it will be offered at the cross-category evening auction on July 28 – a sale branded Rembrandt to Richter.


The portrait being offered at Sothebys as a work by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, estimated at £2.5m-3.5m.

The 3ft 7in x 2ft 8in (1.1m x 82cm) oil on canvas has been consigned by an anonymous vendor who acquired it at a UK regional saleroom in November 2017. Back then it was offered as a picture by Rubens’ workshop and was knocked down at £65,000 (ATG No 2320).

Having since been cleaned and having a layer of varnish removed, recent technical analysis has indicated that the artist made numerous adjustments to the portrait as it was painted, something that the Sotheby’s catalogue states gives “clear indications that this is the prime original of this composition”.

The catalogue also notes, however, that “modern scholars disagree on the degree of studio participation in this portrait”.

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In Numbers


The number of archaeological objects unearthed by the British public since the start of The British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme.


Papal bulla (a pope’s seal) found in Shropshire. It is the 1.5 millionth find on the museum’s scheme.