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A letter by Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, which details their visits to brothels, has been bought by the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation for €162,000 (£144,000).

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Van Gogh/Gauguin letter sold in Paris

A letter by Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, which details their visits to brothels, has been bought by the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation from the Drouot auction centre in Paris.

Dated November 2, 1888, the letter to Émile Bernard has signatures of both and reveals how much they admired and influenced each other. It sold at a hammer price of €162,000 (£144,000) on June 16 as part of the Aristophil Collection.

Hals dispute heads to appeal court

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The Frans Hals painting at the centre of a court dispute.

The legal dispute over a ‘fake’ Frans Hals (1582-1666) painting sold via Sotheby’s by Old Master picture dealer Mark Weiss and Fairlight Art Ventures is set to reach the Court of Appeal. Last year auction house Sotheby’s won its case against Fairlight Art Ventures, the former business partner of Weiss.

Fairlight Art Ventures has now been granted the right to appeal the decision. The judge did not determine whether the picture in question, Portrait of a Gentleman, is by Hals or not.

Weiss bought the picture in 2010 with backing from Fairlight. It was then sold privately through Sotheby’s in 2011 to a US buyer in a $10.75m deal.

Sotheby’s said: “We are confident the Court of Appeal will uphold the First Instance Judgement which was entirely in Sotheby’s favour. In the meantime, the granting of permission to appeal does not absolve Fairlight of its liability to pay Sotheby’s the amount owed according to the existing judgement award.”

A date for the appeal hearing is yet to be announced.

Auction sets online bidders record

A four-day sale held by Adam Partridge in Macclesfield achieved a new record last month.

The auction, which took place as an online-only event on May 26-29, attracted 3982 registered bidders on thesaleroom.com.

This is the highest number of registered bidders for any sale held on the online auction marketplace, according to data going back to the start of 2016 (thesaleroom.com is owned by ATG’s parent company Auction Technology Group).

When added to the number of phone and commission bidders (231) and the bidders on the auction house’s own website (803), the total number of bidders registered for the sale exceeded 5000.

With 2694 lots offered – all consigned pre-lockdown – and a sell-through rate of 92%, the sale total, including 20% buyer’s premium, was £903,600.

The auction, postponed from April 1-4, was the first held by Partridge since March 13, almost 11 weeks earlier.

TEFAF appoints committee chair

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Hidde van Seggelen has been appointed chairman of TEFAF’s executive committee.

Dealer Hidde van Seggelen has been appointed chairman of TEFAF’s executive committee, replacing Nanne Dekking, who leaves the board after a three-year term.

Van Seggelen, who runs a contemporary gallery in Germany, is a long-standing exhibitor at TEFAF Maastricht and joined the board in 2013. Five new members have joined the board of trustees: Alessandra di Castro, Laura Kugel, Filip Moerman, Catherine Walsh, Vanessa Wildenstein.

Dealer Maclean takes over at SLAD

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Nicholas Maclean is the new chairman of SLAD.

Nicholas Maclean has been elected as the new chairman of the Society of London Art Dealers (SLAD).

He will take over from the current chairman, Simon Lee, on July 8. Maclean has run the Eykyn Maclean Gallery, which specialises in Impressionist, Modern and Post War paintings, together with his fellow director Christopher Eykyn in New York since 2006. He has been a member of SLAD since 2010.

Bona Montagu of the Skarstedt Gallery and Francois Chantala of the Thomas Dane Gallery have been elected as the two vice chairmen.

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In Numbers

28

The number of UK institutions offering degrees in Art History according to the Complete University Guide 2021 – fewer than most other subjects including Philosophy (52); Drama, Dance & Cinematics (102); and, top of the list, Business Studies (123).