You have 2 more free articles remaining

Bonhams Oz online sales launched

Bonhams Australia plans its first live online-only auction on May 13. The 73-lot sale features Asian art with a focus on jade, Chinese silver and ceramics.

Bonhams also offers phone bidding with a special service for Mandarin-speaking bidders. Viewings are available strictly by appointment at the Bonhams Woollahra offices.

In line with the new government guidelines, appointments are limited to two clients with a 30-minute limit.

For more on the sale, see the International section, page 24-32.

Appointments at two salerooms

Bonhams’ motoring division has hired Paul Darvill as senior European sales specialist.

He was previously at RM Sotheby’s in Europe. At Bonhams he will work on auctions in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium, and will split his time between its offices in New Bond Street, London, and Paris.

Specialist role

Phillips has appointed Elie Massaoutis as a senior international specialist and head of design in France. He previously spent 14 years at Sotheby’s and developed Design sales in Paris, London and New York for the firm. He will work in Paris for Phillips.

Art conservation firm ready for work

Fine art conservation company Plowden & Smith has reopened following a brief closure in response to Covid-19.

Initially the firm is operating with a reduced number of staff but continues to provide fine art conservation and restoration services to galleries, dealers and private collectors.

Camilla Hughes-Hunt, managing director, said: “We have taken this decision after very careful consideration. The well-being of Plowden & Smith’s clients and employees remains the company’s utmost priority, and we are working within government guidelines, ensuring all our team can observe social distancing at work with ease.

“We are very aware that many of our clients, including galleries and dealers, are using this period of relative inactivity to address outstanding conservation and restoration issues, and we are keen to continue to support these needs at what is undeniably a challenging time for the art market.”

All enquiries should be sent to

Timed auction sets house record

Fellows’ latest timed auction has hit a house record for number of registrants.

The sale that ended on April 20 after running for a total of seven and a half hours, with 377 lots, attracted 1150 registrants on Fellows’ platform and more than 400 on

These 1600 registrants surpassed the 716 who signed up to its jewellery auction on April 16.


An 18ct yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date watch sold for £10,250 (estimate of £4500-£5500) at Fellows on April 20.

Fellows will launch specialist virtual valuation days with jewellery and watch specialists working remotely. Interested parties are invited to join on April 28 from 10am-4pm.

Using video conferencing software, valuers will be able to meet with clients face-to-face to discuss their items. Prospective vendors can also contact Fellows via its online valuation portal, website live chat, email and social media channels.

Dealers stage a timed online sale

Among the lots in a timed online sale put together by picture dealers is a painting by Francis Holman (1729-90) titled An East India Company Ship, in three positions, off Dover.

It is estimated at £8000- 12,000 in the auction held on


'An East India Company Ship, in three positions, off Dover' by Francis Holman is estimated at £8000-12,000 in an online timed sale.

Put together by The Parker Gallery, the 77-lot auction runs until 2pm on April 29 and includes works from dealers such as Rountree Tryon, David Brooker Fine Art, Ottocento, Freya Mitton and The Parker Gallery with estimates ranging from £200-40,000.

The 20% buyers’ premium will be donated to NHS Charities.

PBFA organises virtual fair format

Browsing at a fair can mean the serendipitous discovery. To help recapture a bit of this magic online, The Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association (PFBA) is launching its first virtual month-long book fair. Each dealer will select three objects that have not previously been offered on the PBFA website to list, to be revealed when the fair goes live on April 29. It runs from noon until 11pm.

Due to the lockdown, the PBFA has cancelled all its fairs in April, May and June. However, if the new format is successful, it will be repeated on a monthly basis.

All objects will be fully illustrated on the site, and ‘visitors’ will be able to contact the dealers directly to arrange delivery and payment methods.

Members set to exhibit at this edition include Anthony Smith Books, Jonkers Rare Books and Rainford & Parris.

Most read

The most viewed stories for week April 16-22 on

1 Philip Mould sells ‘Pride and Prejudice’ portrait miniature to Jane Austen’s House museum

2 Art dealers at home… and on the internet: dealers invite viewers to their homes and gardens

3 Metal detectorist discovers Edward the Martyr Saxon boy king silver penny

4 Coronavirus: latest changes to auctions and fairs dates

5 New faces at Sworders, Phillips and Bonhams - the latest Movers and Shakers from auction houses

In Numbers


The average price per lot of items bought online at Sotheby’s sales between March 15-April 15. This compares to an average price across 2019 of $8900.