Omai portrait

Sir Joshua Reynolds’ portrait of Pacific islander Omai.

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NPG backs £50m Omai purchase

The National Portrait Gallery is backing the call to raise £50m to keep Sir Joshua Reynolds’ Omai in the UK. As reported in ATG 2552, the deadline to raise the funds was extended to March 2023.

The life-size painting depicts Omai, who travelled with Captain Cook on HMS Adventure to London in 1774 and became one of the earliest and most celebrated Polynesian visitors to England.

A statement said: “The National Portrait Gallery is supportive of the crucial efforts being made to give UK institutions the opportunity to acquire this important painting for the nation to ensure it goes on public display once and for all, where it belongs.”

ILAB prize for incunabula work

ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography winner

Jack Baldwin won the 2022 ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography for his work on incunabula in the Glasgow Libraries and Museum.

The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, has announced the winner of the 2022 ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography.

First prize went to Jack Baldwin, receiving $10,000 for his work A Catalogue of Fifteenth- Century Printed Books in Glasgow Libraries and Museum.

The second prize of $5000 went to Ernst Fischer for Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels – Historische Kommission and third prize of $3000 went to Renaud Adam for Vivre et imprimer dans les Pays – Bas Méridionaux. An honourable mention went to Frank Romano with Miranda Mitrano for their work on the History of Desktop Publishing.

Van and stock stolen in Spalding

A dealer is appealing for help to track down a stolen van filled with stock.

The white Ford Transit 115 T350L model was stolen from the home of Nicolcrests and Collectables in Pinchbeck, Spalding on August 21.

More than 1145 items were in the van including ceramics, sculpture, glass and enamels. Despite the loss the dealers will continue to stand at fairs.

Anyone with information should contact Lincolnshire Police quoting crime reference number 22000486194 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

NAVA appoints new president

The NAVA (National Association of Valuers & Auctioneers) Propertymark association has appointed John Pye’s Trevor Palethorpe as its next president.

Palethorpe, who was previously vice president, said: “I’m keen to inspire other colleagues within the profession and anyone thinking of an auctioneering career.” He takes over from Paul Bridgeman of Clive Emson Auctioneers. The organisation comprising 375 auctioneers and valuers is part of the wider Propertymark organisation which has 17,000 members.

Steinitz on the blockchain

Paris dealer Benjamin Steinitz is to offer 58 lots of 18th and 19th century furniture and decorative arts at auction that will be registered and secured on a blockchain.

The online ledger of data or transactions that is difficult to hack, forge or amend can be used to record transactions securely.

Steinitz will auction around £3.5m of stock in a sale titled Provenance Revealed: Galerie Steinitz at Christie’s on September 21 in London. Christie’s said buyers will receive a secure, encrypted certification of the sale which provides “a permanent digital record of the information about the artwork”.

Harper and Elstob host YouTube quiz

David Harper and David Elstob.

David Harper (left) and David Elstob.

Barnard Castle dealer David Harper and Ripon auction house Elstob & Elstob are calling on dealers, collectors and antique enthusiasts to join them as contestants for a new antiques quiz.

The show will be screened weekly on Harper’s YouTube channel.

Harper said: “Much of my career to date has been spent on TV and radio but I am now keen to take the familiar game show format online, for a faster, more informal and interactive feel.”

Any dealers, collectors or antiques enthusiasts who are interested in being a contestant on the show should contact the auction house on 01765 699200 for more information or email: The first series will be screened weekly from October 7 at 7pm.

Madley returns to cricketing rostrum

Richard Madley is returning to cricket auctioneering, but this time in South Africa.

After a four-year gap (his 11 year stint with the Indian Premier League ended in 2018 when former Christie’s auctioneer Hugh Edmeades was appointed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India) Madley is returning on September 19 to auction some of the world’s top cricket players in South Africa.

Madley, who worked at Phillips, Christie’s and Dreweatts, said: “It’s an honour to be invited and an excuse to continue my lifelong passion for cricket (and cricket memorabilia).”

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In Numbers


The number of words in the new definition of ‘museum’ as chosen at the International Council of Museums conference in Prague last month. The ICM decided:

“A museum is a not-forprofit, permanent institution in the service of society that researches, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage.

“Open to the public, accessible and inclusive, museums foster diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethically, professionally and with the participation of communities, offering varied experiences for education, enjoyment, reflection and knowledge sharing.”