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Books and Brum fairs cancelled

Firsts, London’s Rare Book Fair 2020, has been cancelled for the summer and will instead be replaced with a digital version.

It was due to go ahead on June 5-7 but The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association said that the event was cancelled “due to the current situation and government advice”. It will instead hold a digital event launching on June 5.

Also announced this week, the Art & Antiques for Everyone Fair planned for the summer has been cancelled. It had been scheduled for July 16-19. The NEC itself is now a Nightingale Hospital.

The next scheduled AAfE is on November 19-22.

Original Astérix artworks on offer

Cartoons by the late Albert Uderzo (1927-2020) will be offered by his family at a charity auction hosted by Artcurial in Paris.


'Astérix La Rose et le Glaive' original artwork for page 38, volume 29 from 1991, is estimated at €80,000-120,000 at Artcurial.

The five original page cartoons will be sold to raise money for the Paris Hospitals Foundation at the online auction at 2.30pm on May 26.

Uderzo died on March 24 ‘from a heart attack unrelated to the coronavirus’ and his wife Ada and his daughter Sylvie would like to thank the hospital staff that looked after him.

The family have donated the cartoons to be auctioned. They comprise three Astérix pages, a Tanguy et Laverdure page and a page from Oumpah-Pah. No buyer’s premium will apply on the sale.

Among the five lots are Astérix et Latraviata, page 18, volume 31 from 2001, and Astérix's La Rose et le Glaive from page 38, volume 29, from 1991, with an estimate of €80,000-120,000 each.

Uderzo created the famed Astérix comics in 1959 with the writer René Goscinny.

Unprecedented sale of French furniture

France’s Mobilier National, the body that looks after the national furniture collection, is auctioning 100 pieces from its holdings in order to support to the country’s health service.

The unprecedented sale is scheduled for September 20-21 and all profits will be entirely donated to the Fondation Hôpitaux de Paris-Hôpitaux de France, an organisation chaired by France’s first lady Brigitte Macron.

The Mobilier National said the items will be selected by curators but that no ‘treasures’ will be part of the sale. Among the items likely to be sold are pieces which rarely leave storage and are considered impractical to keep.

As well as the auction, Mobilier National also announced that it is pledging €450,000 to support a range of professions in the art and antiques sector, including restorers, cabinet makers, upholsterers, gilders and weavers.

ATG's Nickless-Allen promoted

James Nickless-Allen has been promoted to account director for Auction Technology Group’s online marketplace thesaleroom.com as well as its commercial and industrial (I&C) websites.


James Nickless-Allen of Auction Technology Group.

Nickless-Allen joined the company in 2017 and has more than 10 years of auction experience having previously worked for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and in traditional and online estate agency.

Richard Lewis, ATG chief operating officer, said: “James has built strong relationships with our I&C auctioneers who have been impressed by his knowledge and ability to respond to their requirements. He has also been praised for the data-driven and digital marketing insight he has brought to our top accounts. I am looking forward to him working with our top art and antiques clients with the same level of expertise.”

The new role expands the ATG account management team – which includes Mark Holdaway as head of sales for thesaleroom.com and Lucy Gillott as account manager.

Christie's and China Guardian link up

Auction house Christie’s and China Guardian have teamed up to create a series of sales, exhibitons and events in Shanghai in September.

They have been organised under the branding 2020+.

The two auction houses (the world’s largest and China’s second largest) hope the collaboration will attract new clients.

China Guardian was founded by chairman Chen Dongsheng in 1993.

Christie’s first opened an office in Shanghai in 1994 and in 2013 became the first international art auction house to be granted a licence to operate independently in mainland China. It held its first auction in September that year.

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In Numbers


Francis Bacon’s Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus from 1981 is estimated in excess of $60m at Sotheby’s Contemporary art evening sale in New York. This is one of a group of sales currently scheduled to take place as live events at the end of June but Sotheby’s CEO Charles F Stewart said they are planned “pending the lifting of certain restrictions and confirmation from the relevant authorities”. More information on specific safety plans will be released in due course.