Salvador Dalí’s 'Couple aux têtes pleines de nuages' – £7m at Bonhams.

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Dalí couples up to take £7m in London

Salvador Dalí’s Surrealist Couple aux têtes pleines de nuages, 1937, sold for £7m (or a premium-inclusive £8.2m) at Bonhams’ Impressionist & Modern Art Sale on October 15. Essentially a diptych, with the figurural frames both around 2ft 11in (90cm) high, it was at auction for the first time.

Dalí (1904-89) created the work during the Spanish Civil War. He and his wife Gala form the outlines of the frames.

The work was part of the collection of the Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi (1905-88), where it remained for more than half a century. Prior to it becoming part of Scelsi’s collection, it is possible Dalí gave the work to Paul Éluard, founder of the Surrealist movement and Gala’s first husband.

Centre sounds a break-in alert


Notions Antiques Centre was broken into via a skylight.

The owners of an antiques centre have warned others to be vigilant and take extra precautions after being broken into via a skylight.

Notions Antiques Centre on the High Street in Grantham was burgled earlier this month. After entering, the thief had drilled a hole in a door to gain access and then crawled on the floor before disabling CCTV cameras.

The owners, Lewis and Sharon Checkley, have reported thousands of pounds worth of jewellery missing.

They hope others in the trade may spot some of the missing items and also warn others to be vigilant.

Lewis said: “I want to give other centre owners an insight on how they might be able to make things more secure. It was so professional it was unbelievable.”

Among the items taken were gold rings and watches, modernist silver pendants and bracelets, a number of silver spoons and candlesticks. See our original story for photos of some missing objects.

Anyone with information on this theft should call 101 quoting the incident number from Lincolnshire police of 9912/10/20.

ATG buys US firm Auction Mobility

ATG’s parent company Auction Technology Group has announced the acquisition of Auction Mobility, a US-based provider of customised auction software, website design and e-commerce solutions for auction houses.

John-Paul Savant, CEO of Auction Technology Group, said: “We have a long history of partnering with auctioneers to provide the best suite of online products and services available to help them maximise the value they deliver with their sales.

“With Auction Mobility as part of our company, we are able to offer auctioneers a premium online bidding solution that is fully customisable.

“This means that auction houses can continue to build their own customer data and brands online while simultaneously gaining access to the more than 104 million visitors that come to our digital auction marketplaces every year.”

Auction Mobility will join Proxibid, BidSpotter, and Wavebid as the company’s brands in North America.

Britannia Medal Fair cancelled

The Britannia Medal Fair has been cancelled this autumn.

The event was scheduled for November 15 but owner, auction house Dix Noonan Webb, said the venue had limited the event to just 30 people, which forced the cancellation.

DNW said it has already booked two dates for 2021 which will be announced in due course. Europe’s largest medal bourse was taken over by DNW in 2018 and it has been held at the Victory Services Club, Marble Arch, London for more than 30 years.

Talkin’ ’bout My Generation result


Signed first pressing of The Who’s My Generation album – £8400 at Excalibur Auctions.

A rare first pressing of The Who’s My Generation album sold for £8400 (plus buyer’s premium) at Excalibur Auctions in Hertfordshire on October 17.

The December 1965 album was signed by all four original band members. The vendor of the album acquired the signatures in the 1970s while at school with the son of producer and band manager Bill Curbishley.

Excalibur believed it was the first time that a fully signed copy of The Who’s debut album had come to auction. The winning US bidder, using, went well over the £1000-1500 estimate.

My Generation was The Who’s first studio album.

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1 Auction record for Shakespeare’s ‘First Folio’ as book dealer bids $8.4m at Christie’s

2 Trade threatened by £100m anti money laundering levy

3 Antiques centre warning after skylight break-in

4 Getty Museum buys 39 Dutch drawings from private collector

5 First pressing of My Generation signed by band members sells at seven-times estimate

In Numbers


The average salary of an art museum director in North America, according to the 2020 Salary Survey published last week by the Association of Art Museum Directors. A ‘Visitor Services Associate’ selling tickets takes home $32,600.