A National Trust conservator handles a painted and gilt chair from a set of nine at Petworth House in West Sussex.

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Conservation funding boosted

National Trust’s conservation team has received a funding boost from US charity The Royal Oak Foundation. The charity, founded in 1973, has given £3m.

The gift will help conservation of some of the National Trust’s most significant collections for the next five years, funding major work mainly based at the charity’s specialist Conservation Studio at Knole in Kent which opened in 2017.

Among those items to be conserved will be an oil painting of Sir John Maitland, from Ham House, in need of structural work.

X-rays have revealed that underneath is a concealed, unfinished portrait of a woman, believed to be Mary Queen of Scots.

Also to be restored is a set of nine chairs at Petworth House in West Sussex. The chairs were probably purchased in 1636 by Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland (1602-68), for his house in London.

The charity was launched to raise awareness of the National Trust by inspiring support from the US.

Christie’s Spain shuts two offices

Christie’s, active in Spain since 1973, will maintain three long-standing specialists: María García Yelo, a director of the Impressionist and Modern Art department, Beatriz Ordovás, director and head of Post-War and Contemporary art Iberia, and 19th century and Old Master picture specialist Adriana Marín Huarte.

A spokesperson said: “Christie’s is looking beyond the current global pandemic to embrace a more flexible approach to working location long term.”

Other regional outposts are expected to follow suit.

Deer deal agreed with museum


Tibetan gilt-bronze repoussé deer sold to the Asian Civilisations Museum by Forge and Lynch.

Dealers Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch have agreed a deal to sell two Tibetan giltbronze repoussé deer to the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore. The price paid was in excess of £50,000.

The mid 18th century stag and doe, each 14½ x 9in (37 x 23cm), have provenance to Robert Strauss of Stonehurst Estate in Ardingly in West Sussex from the 1950s. They were then inherited by the owner who then sold them via Forge and Lynch.

Deers hold particular significance in Buddhist art as they recall the first sermon of Gautama Buddha, in the Deer Park at Sarnath.

Yeo appointed by Clevedon saleroom


Chris Yeo has joined Clevedon Salerooms.

Clevedon Salerooms has welcomed Chris Yeo to its team. Yeo will be “playing an important part” in cataloguing the quarterly specialists sales, as well as meeting the public to deal with a broad spectrum of valuation enquiries.

He studied Fine Art Valuation at Southampton Institute, gaining a masters degree. Subsequently he joined Dreweatts, working in several departments, and most recently has worked as a freelance consultant and curator, most notably at The Ken Stradling Collection in Bristol.

Yeo is also well known to many from his appearances on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, where he is part of the ‘Miscellaneous’ team.

LAPADA teams up with Game Fair

Dealer association LAPADA has agreed a deal with the organisers of The Game Fair in 2021 to allow dealers to show at the event in Warwickshire this summer.

The event, which celebrates the “great British countryside”, will host a LAPADA Pavilion at the event from July 23-25 at Ragley Hall.

The Game Fair is an outdoor event, taking place in a series of marquees and pavilions and is expected to be able to go ahead this summer.

Exhibiting in the Pavilion is exclusively available to LAPADA members and interested parties can book via

Drouot takes digital control

The Drouot Group is now the sole shareholder of the online art auction platform Drouot Digital. On February 11, the group announced it had bought the 49% stake in the site from digital developer NextStage AM. The platform, launched in 2016, caters for more than 250 middle-market auction houses in France.

“Taking full control of the site should make it possible to increase synergies between Drouot Digital and the group’s other activities and help it become a multi-service platform open to all,” said Drouot Group chairman Alexandre Giquello.

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In Numbers


The number of objects the Victoria and Albert Museum has made available digitally. The museum said its newly launched Explore the Collections scheme brings together data, stories, images and content about the vast collection in one place.