Allegorical Painting of Two Ladies

Allegorical Painting of Two Ladies will now be displayed at Compton Verney.

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‘Two ladies’ picture goes to UK museum

Compton Verney has confirmed the purchase of a rare 17th century double portrait depicting two women, one black and one white.

As reported in ATG No 2578, Compton Verney was raising the £304,534 (sale price plus fees and VAT) to secure the picture after it had been blocked from export.

The picture, titled an Allegorical Painting of Two Ladies, was original ly sold at Shropshire firm Trevanion Auctioneers in June 2021 (ATG No 2499) for a hammer price of £220,000. It was then temporarily barred from export in 2021 in the hope a UK institution could raise the funds.

The painting will now undergo conservation at Yale in the US, before being unveiled in a display at Compton Verney in Warwickshire 2024.

Grants of £154,600 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and £50,000 from the V&A Purchase helped secure the picture with the remainder coming from the Compton Verney Collections Settlement.

Austria pledges ‘colonial’ returns

The Austrian government has announced plans for a law that will require museums to return objects acquired in a colonial context by March 2024.

Andrea Mayer, the Austrian culture secretary, held a press conference on June 20 saying “The rulers of European countries long viewed large parts of the world as places where they could help themselves; they simply took artefacts and saw that as their natural right. Calling out this injustice and following it up with serious debate and concrete actions is [our] responsibility.”

Jonathan Fine, the director of the ethnog raphic Weltmuseum in Vienna, has been appointed head of an advisory committee to consider restitution claims.

The committee defines objects eligible for restitution as those whose owners “did not wish to part with them at the time they were collected”, which covers contexts such as “violence, looting, theft, coercion”. Fine said at the conference that this would include “very many” of the 200,000 objects in the Weltmuseum.

Maak tries craft sales selections

Ritsue Mishima’s Medusa

Among the items being sold at the Maak Contemporary craft auction is Ritsue Mishima’s Medusa from 2018 which has an estimate of £7000-9000.

Studio pottery and Contemporary ceramic art specialist Maak has expanded

into Contemporary craft.

The auction house, established in 2009 by Marijke Varrall-Jones, former head of contemporary ceramics at Bonhams, will hold its first craft sale in September.

It will feature a collection from the late Victoria, Lady de Rothschild.

The collection, which is co-curated by Maak and Lady de Rothschild’s adviser Tomasz Starzewski, is being exhibited at Ascott House, a National Trust property in Buckinghamshire, until September 17. The auction takes place on September 12-21.

Louvre acquires Anguier model

Model of funerary monument of Jacques de Souvré

François Anguier’s preparatory model for the funerary monument of Jacques de Souvré, €2m (£1.72m) or €2.6m including buyer’s premium at Osenat.

Image: Osenat

The Louvre Museum has used its pre-emption rights to buy François Anguier’s (1604-69) preparatory model for the funerary monument of the governor of Touraine, Jacques de Souvré (1600-70).

Estimated at €2m-3m, the terracotta model sold for €2m (£1.72m), or €2.6m including buyer’s premium), at Osenat on June 18. The price sets an auction record for the artist who worked at the beginning of the reign of Louis XIV.

The Louvre owns the marble group that was part of the completed funerary monument.

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In Numbers


Summer Triptych by John Craxton

Summer Triptych by John Craxton (1922-2009), £270,000 at Bonhams.

The hammer price for Summer Triptych by John Craxton (1922-2009) at Bonhams’ Modern British & Irish Art sale in New Bond Street, London, on June 21. Exceeding a £80,000-120,000 estimate, the sum was an auction record for the artist.