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Police appeal after antiques thefts

Following a Thames Valley Police investigation, a man has been jailed for a spate of thefts of art and collectables in Oxford.

Martin Bateman, 54, of High Street, Tetsworth, was sentenced to two years in prison at Oxford Crown Court last week. At Oxford Magistrates’ Court on December 14, 2021, he had pleaded guilty to 11 counts of theft.

Between 2014-19, Bateman stole numerous items while working for Luker Brothers removals in Oxford, before selling them at auction house Jones & Jacob in Watlington.

Investigating officer DC Charlotte Oliver, of CID, based at Oxford police station, said: “We know of at least two other paintings [pictured above] that were stolen by Bateman but were not sold through the same auction house and have not been recovered.

“If you bought these paintings or recognise them, please get in touch by calling 101 or make a report online, quoting reference number 43190386582.”

Art Basel Hong Kong now set for May

Art Basel Hong Kong has been delayed to May due to the continuing effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The fair will remain in the same venue, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), but will now take place May 25-29, just before Art Basel’s Swiss edition in June.

Business conference back in Westminster

Founded in 2014, The Art Business Conference is returning in 2022. It has a new date of March 25 and will be staged again at the same venue: Church House Conference Centre in Westminster. Further details will be revealed soon and can be found at theartbusinessconference.com

Artlogic merges with US firms

Online art services provider Artlogic has merged with US tech firms ArtBase and exhibit-E (which runs galleryManager) to form a joint company. Following the deal these art technology businesses will come under the Artlogic brand.

Portuguese role for ex-Christie’s Duran

Former Christie’s International creative director Lorena Duran is working with the Portuguese government through her arts strategy and branding firm Artverbium to create virtual exhibitions featur ing international artists and emerging art from Portugal.

The works on show will be for sale. The programme of month-long exhibitions runs from mid-February to early July.

Challinor Halford joins Fellows

Nicholas Challinor Halford

Nicholas Challinor Halford has joined Fellows.

Nicholas Challinor Halford has joined Birmingham auction house Fellows as operations director. He previously worked at Christie’s between 2015-18, before launching the Bolaffi Auction Group in the UK as business manager.

De Heem work barred from export

Still Life

A Banquet Still Life by Jan Davidsz de Heem (1606-84) is an unusually large work by the artist at 5ft 1in x 7ft (1.55 x 2.11m).

The government has placed a temporary export bar on a stilllife painting by a Dutch artist in the hope a UK buyer will pay £6m to keep it in the country.

A Banquet Still Life by Jan Davidsz de Heem (1606-84) was bought at Christie’s last year and an export licence was sought.

However, following the advice of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), this was denied and a decision deferred until April 20 in the hope a buyer will emerge to pay £6,109,200 (inclusive of VAT and fees) and keep it in the UK.

The committee said the painting’s departure from the UK would be a “misfortune because it is of outstanding aesthetic importance”.

De Heem, known for his smaller paintings, was one of the most important still-life painters in the 17th century. This large example of Dutch ornate still-life painting known as pronkstilleven is one of just four he completed of this size, all done between 1640-43.

The picture had probably changed hands twice at the start of the 19th century and had remained in the same family by descent to the Christie’s vendor.

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In Numbers


The hammer price for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s heavily annotated copy of the 1957-58 Harvard Law Review. A white glove timed online sale at Bonhams New York ending on January 27 featured 162 lots from the legendary justice’s private library, raising a premiuminclusive total of $2.35m.

Harvard Law Review

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s heavily annotated copy of the 1957-58 Harvard Law Review.