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François Tajan dies aged 57

François Tajan, the deputy chairman of the Paris-based auction house Artcurial, has died aged 57 after suffering from food poisoning.

A spokeswoman for Artcurial said: “It is with great sadness that we confirm the death of François Tajan.

“As auctioneer and deputy chairman of Artcurial, he took the first French auction house to a new level, as much through his vision for the business as through his intellectual curiosity.”

Ken Church Street summer showcase

Dealers in Kensington Church Street are launching an event comprising a series of concurrent exhibitions.

Dubbed the Kensington Church Street Antiques Dealers Association Summer Showcase, the event runs from June 19-30.

The west London road is home to around 60 dealers and offers buyers the chance to snap up anything from Asian porcelain to Art Deco furniture.

For the inaugural showcase the theme is ‘Fit for Royalty’, and many of the pieces on offer have connections to various monarchs.

Swan launches London office

The Swan at Tetsworth, Oxfordshire, has launched a valuation and consignment office in Brentford, west London.


Swan’s London office launch, including Eric Knowles, Paul Hayes and Tom Keane.

The office is shared with estate agent Quilliam Property Services and will be available as a drop-off centre for items intended for auction during the week, and valuations by appointment.

From Frieze to Bonhams Brussels

Bonhams has appointed Constance Carakehian as deputy representative for Belgium and Luxembourg, based in its Brussels office.

She previously worked at the Frieze fair in London.


Constance Carakehian of Bonhams.

Stanley Gibbons to sell inventory

Stanley Gibbons Group will sell 780 stamps, coins and memorabilia on behalf of its major shareholder Phoenix.

It has agreed the deal to buy the inventory from Phoenix for £1.1m. Over the 10-year arrangement Stanley Gibbons will pay the proceeds of sales of the items to Phoenix and keep commission payments.

Phoenix bought the inventory from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which managed the liquidation of subsidiary Stanley Gibbons Guernsey which went into administration in November 2017.

Fund manager Phoenix owns a 58% stake after investing in the group as part of a refinancing in 2018.

The group, which runs philately auctioneer-dealer Stanley Gibbons, numismatic dealership Baldwin’s and auction joint venture Baldwin’s of St James’s, had gone through a cost-cutting drive to reduce debts. The focus has now shifted to investment and Phoenix has improved its IT systems and funded the redevelopment of its 399 Strand headquarters in London which reopens at the end of April.

Harry Wilson remains non-executive chairman.

Coronavirus: HK sales move to NY

Sotheby’s has moved its Modern Art evening sale and Contemporary Art evening and day auction to New York from Hong Kong following the spread of coronavirus.

They take place on April 16.

The Chinese Works of Art, Classical & Modern Chinese Paintings auction and Southeast Asian Art Magnificent Jewels, Important Watches and Wine sales will be postponed until the week of July 6.

Bonhams had previously announced its plans to reschedule its March sales in Hong Kong. Bonhams, Sotheby’s and Christie’s announced they would postpone the planned March New York Asian art auctions until June.

Colnaghi change includes modern art

Colnaghi CEO Jorge Coll has sold a minority stake in the dealership to art curator and dealer Victoria Golembiovskaya, who becomes joint CEO.

Golembiovskaya has launched a modern art department at Colnaghi and it now specialises in artwork from antiquity through to the modern era. A new gallery will open in Madrid in 2020. It already has galleries in London and New York. Coll bought Colnaghi in 2015 with former partner Nicolas Cortés. Cortés has since left and set up his own gallery in Spain.

Second group of Najd works on offer

A second group of works from the record-setting Najd collection of Orientalist art will be offered at Sotheby’s next month. The first tranche of 40 works raised £33.5m including premium at Sotheby’s London in October last year, making it the most lucrative single-owner sale of Orientalist art ever held.


'Procession in Jaffa' by Gustav Bauernfeind, estimated at £1.5m-2.5m at Sotheby’s.

A further 36 lots will now be offered in a stand-alone sale on March 31 with a combined estimate of £6.15m-9.16m.

The collection was formed in the early to mid-1980s, reportedly by Saudi billionaire Nasser Al-Rashid who engaged the help of Brian MacDermot, the founder of London dealership The Mathaf Gallery, to assemble the works.

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In Numbers


The number of exhibitors standing at the inaugural edition of The Open Art Fair, which runs from March 18-24 in Duke of York Square.