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Star Wars surgical droid is cut above

A Palitoy Star Wars action figure sold for a surprise £6500 (plus 20% buyer’s premium) at Special Auction Services in Newbury on May 27.

The figure of 2-1B, a surgical droid that first appears in the 1980 film The Empire Strikes Back, is not hard to find in ‘playworn’ condition but this example came sealed on its unpunched bubble card that advertises Palitoy’s full range of 45 Star Wars action figures.

Estimated at £80-£120 as part of a collection of figures, it sold to a bidder on thesaleroom.com.

All four UK Assay Offices now reopen

Following the temporary closures due to Covid 19, all four UK Assay Offices have now reopened to provide assay services in London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh.

The British Hallmarking Council said: “Opening hours and arrangements are being managed carefully in line with government advice to ensure the welfare of staff and the public.”

Date set for second Najd selection

Sotheby’s has announced that the second tranche of works from the Najd collection of Orientalist paintings will now be offered in an online sale this month.

The first group of 40 works raised £33.5m including premium at Sotheby’s in October last year, making it the most lucrative single-owner sale of Orientalist art ever held. Nine artist’s records were set.

A further 36 lots were due to be offered in a stand-alone sale on March 31 with a combined estimate of £6.15m-9.16m, but the sale was postponed due to the UK lockdown.

The Najd collection ‘part II’ auction features works by Jean-Léon Gérôme, Gustav Bauernfeind and Ludwig Deutsch and will be open for bidding from June 8-11. Sotheby’s latest Orientalist auction was an online timed sale that closed on April 7.


Kashan turquoise glazed pottery pitcher, c.1200-20AD, estimated at £120,000-160,000 in Sotheby’s Arts of the Islamic World & India on June 10.

At the same time as announcing the Najd sale, Sotheby’s also said that it was rescheduling its Arts of the Islamic World & India sale in London for June 10.

The sale, including a 13th century pottery Persian pitcher from the famed ‘Gurgan Hoard’, was originally due to take place on April 1.

Auction offers first Islamic dinar

Bonhams is to offer Islamic coins for the first time as part of its Islamic and Indian sale on June 11 in London.


Umayyad gold dinar from the reign of Abd al-Malik (AD685-705) – estimate £100,000-150,000 at Bonhams’ June 11 auction.

Leading the sale (that was postponed from April) will be an Umayyad gold dinar from the reign of Abd al-Malik (AD685-705) with an estimate of £100,000-150,000.

Abd al-Malik was a member of the first generation of people born Muslim. The Umayyad dynasty, which succeeded the four ‘Rightly Guided’ caliphs, controlled the entire Islamic world for almost 100 years. The first dinar was issued in 77AH (696-700AD).

‘Nightingale’ clock sale aids hospice

A 19th century repeating carriage clock with a connection to Florence Nightingale raised £6600 for St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester at a single-lot timed sale on thesaleroom.com closing on May 22. No auction fees or buyer’s premium were charged for the single-lot sale held by Malvern auction house Philip Serrell.


A repeating carriage clock with Florence Nightingale history – £6600 at Philip Serrell.

The clock is inscribed To MES from Florence Nightingale, 10th October 1887 – the initials referencing the social reformer Mathilde Schwabe, a descendant of the consignor.

Most read

The most viewed stories for week May 21-27 on antiquestradegazette.com

1 Auction houses and the art and antiques trade get go-ahead to re-open to public in June

2 Gold price hits record high in the UK

3 German imperial snuff box and Banksy screenprint are among five auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes

4 National Gallery acquires trio of 18th century pictures from late art patron via tax scheme

5 Portobello Road to become traffic-free to enable social distancing for shoppers

In Numbers


The number of works in the Cornelius Gurlitt hoard that have been identified as looted art and returned to their rightful owners. With the German Lost Art Foundation now formerly ending its research project after four years, the provenance of the remaining 1392 works of art remains unclear.

When he died in 2014, Cornelius Gurlitt bequeathed the works in his will to the Bern Museum of Fine Arts in Switzerland which has agreed to accept them minus any items under investigation.