Parchment roundels

The nine conjoined parchment roundels. Seven roundels feature texts in Latin and French on the properties of agate. Two depict agate jewels showing St George and a cameo of Elizabeth I.

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Export stop on rare manuscript

A rare conjoined roundel manuscript given by the Archbishop of Canterbury to Elizabeth I has been temporarily blocked from export in the hope a UK institution can raise the funds.

Valuing the work at £9840, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has issued the block with a deadline of December 1 for an institution to commit to raise the money.

The Archbishop Matthew Parker (1504-75) gave the manuscript, made up of nine conjoined roundels which were likely to have been folded and integrated into a now-lost gold salt cellar, to Elizabeth I in the early 1550s.

The Reviewing Committee agreed that the manuscript had enormous research value, specifically regarding Parker’s relationship to Elizabeth I.

The roundels were sold at Sotheby’s Treasures sale in December 2021 for a hammer price of £7500 (£9450 including buyer’s premium).

The recommended price to buy the conjoined roundel manuscript is £9450 (plus VAT of £390 which can be reclaimed by an eligible institution).

Reward for news on Maastricht theft

A reward of €500,000 is being offered for information leading to the recovery of jewellery stolen from TEFAF Maastricht in June.

According to reports in Dutch newspapers including Telegraaf, the reward money has been put up by the insurance company.

Among the items believed to have been stolen from the stand of London dealer Symbolic & Chase was a large yellow diamond. The police are continuing to search for four men, who wore flat caps and glasses when carrying out the robbery.

Date for The Eye

The Eye of the Collector fair is returning next year. The event, created by former Masterpiece fair chief executive and Sotheby’s specialist Nazy Vassegh, is scheduled for May 17-20, 2023 at Two Temple Place in London.

Toomey joins the Rago Wright stable

Decorative arts and design auction house Rago/Wright (the firms of New Jersey’s Rago and Chicago’s Wright which merged in 2019) continues its expansion.

The latest acquisition is Toomey & Co. Toomey, based in Oak Park, Illinois, will move to Wright’s nearby Chicago headquarters in the autumn but will retain its name.

In 2021 Rago/Wright bought West coast auction house LA Modern Auctions (LAMA) and now all four firms will share technology, expertise, and marketing efforts but retain their names and staff.

Richard Wright will remain in his role as CEO of the combined company.

Bellmans open in Cromwell Place

West Sussex saleroom Bellmans has opened a new London office in Kensington arts hub Cromwell Place.

The auction house, founded in 1989, previously had a London office in Upper Grosvenor Street, Mayfair.

The new office is run by Harrison Goldman who joined the firm earlier this year.

Weekly valuation days will be held at Cromwell Place, by appointment, with items consigned for sale at Wisborough Green, West Sussex. A preview event will be held on September 29.

Record Lowry back for return match

Lowry picture

Going to the Match by LS Lowry – estimated at £5m-8m at Christie’s.

Christie’s is offering one of LS Lowry’s most famous works, Going to the Match, two decades after it last sold at auction.

In 1999 the painting sold at Sotheby’s for £1.75m, becoming the first work by the artist to fetch over £1m and setting a record for a Modern British picture at auction at the time.

Now it will appear at Christie’s evening sale of Modern British & Irish art on October 19 with an estimate of £5m-8m. The current auction record for Lowry is The Football Match from 1949 which sold for £5m at Christie’s in 2011.

Having previously been on long-term loan to The Lowry in Salford, Manchester, Going to the Match, being sold on behalf of The Players Foundation, a charity dedicated to footballers’ welfare (formerly known as the Professional Footballers’ Association Charity which bought it in 1999). It was painted for an exhibition sponsored by the FA in 1953 where Lowry won first prize.

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In Numbers


Number of years the Goldsmiths’ Fair has been running. It celebrates its 40th event on September 27-October 9 when it will host 136 exhibitors selling contemporary jewellery and silver at The Goldsmiths’ Hall in London.