Pieter Brueghel the Younger painting

The Tax Collector’s Office by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, €600,000 at Daguerre Val de Loire.

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The Brueghel found behind a door

A version of The Tax Collector’s Office by Pieter Brueghel the Younger (c.1564-1638) that was discovered behind a partially hidden door in a home in northern France sold for €600,000 (£527,335) at a Paris auction on March 28.

The picture was spotted by Malo de Lussac of auction firm Daguerre Val de Loire during a routine valuation visit to a property in Amboise near Tours.

The estimate was €600,000-800,000 and it was knocked down at the lower end of expectations reportedly to a Swiss buyer. With fees added, the price was €780,000 (£685,535).

Stolen weapons are now recovered

Amsterdam dealer Zebregs & Röell Fine Art and Antiques has recovered stolen items that had been taken from near the gallery in January.

The missing items, a pair of 18th century Ottoman red coral inlaid silver pistols, a 17th century Indian Mughal ivory ram’s head dagger and a 19th century Indian enamel horse head dagger, were handed in following advertisements and appeals for the missing items and an offer of a reward.

Irma Stern sells for ‘top African result’

Irma Stern picture

Children Reading the Koran by Irma Stern, Zar19.5m (£870,785) at Strauss & Co.

A painting by South African painter Irma Stern (1894-1966) of children reading the Koran was knocked down for Zar19.5m (£870,785) at Strauss & Co in Cape Town on March 28. With fees added, the price was Zar22.3m (£995,960).

The auction house described the work as the ‘most expensive painting sold in Africa’, outselling the previous high set by another work by Stern sold at the same saleroom in September 2011 for Zar21.2m (£1.68m) with fees.

The sum in sterling is significantly lower than the 2011 price due to the South African Rand losing close to half of its value against the pound in the intervening period.

According to Artprice, the current work was the 13th highest in sterling for Stern at auction.

Redbourn fair date return altered

Fair organiser IACF has delayed the return of a fair in Redbourn, Hertfordshire, from April to August.

The planned one-day Redbourn Antiques and Collectors Fair is now scheduled for August 21 and October 16. IACF had previously held events at the venue in 2011-12.

Magazine company buys Kovels firm

The parent company and publisher of Antique Trader magazine has bought antiques and collectables specialist publisher Kovels.

Kovels was founded by couple Ralph and Terry Kovel in the 1950s and published more than 100 antiques and collectables books over the years, starred in TV shows and wrote a column that was the longest-running syndicated weekly column in the US (distributed to more than 150 newspapers).

Antique Trader’s publisher, Active Interest Media (AIM), made the purchase, adding it to its other titles including Numismatic News and Sports Collectors Digest.

Churchill painting back at Hever Castle

Winston Churchill picture

View through an Arch at Hever by Sir Winston Churchill has returned to Hever Castle following a private sale.

A painting of the gardens at Hever Castle by former prime minister Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) has returned to the location via a private sale through Christie’s.

Dating from the 1930s the oil painting, View through an Arch at Hever, depicts the Italian Garden at Hever Castle at the time it was owned by Churchill’s close friends, John Jacob Astor V (known as JJ) and Lady Violet Astor.

Churchill regularly visited Hever Castle from his nearby home, Chartwell, due to his friendship with fellow artist JJ.

Hever Castle Estate is now owned by Yorkshire family, the Guthries.

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2 Rare collection of Shakespeare’s four Folios and poems offered by London dealer

3 Dealers seek refunds after York fair cancellation

4 Moorcroft exhibition vase stars in our pick of five auction highlights

5 Lucie Rie bowl given to her cleaning lady is among five lots to watch this week

In Numbers


The pre-sale estimate of the jewellery collection of the late Heidi Horten (1941-2022) to be offered at Christie’s in Geneva on May 10 and 12. It is expected to be the largest and most valuable private jewellery collection to come to auction, surpassing previous record sales at Christie’s for The Elizabeth Taylor Collection (2011) and the Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence auction (2019).