Qianlong famille rose falangcai bowl

Qianlong famille rose falangcai bowl, estimate HK$200m (£21m) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

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Record-breaking bowl on sale again

A bowl that broke the world record for Chinese art more than 15 years ago is coming to Sotheby’s Hong Kong next month.

The bowl, which was sold at a hammer price of HK$135m (then £9.3m) in 2006 at Christie’s Hong Kong, was bought by Hong Kong businesswoman Dr Alice Cheng.

Now Cheng is selling the bowl at Sotheby’s. The Qianlong famille rose falangcai bowl decorated with two swallows beside a flowering apricot tree intertwined with a willow tree with a short poem is estimated in excess of HK$200m (£21m) on April 8.

Murtough starts art advisory business

Erica Conroy and Isabel Murtough

Sisters Erica Conroy and Isabel Murtough have launched Isabel Murtough & Co.

Former Hansons specialist Isabel Murtough has launched a new art and antiques consultancy firm with a focus on valuations, cataloguing, condition reports management and auctioneering.

Isabel Murtough & Co offers its services to regional auction houses to work on an ad hoc basis on specific projects. She has teamed up with her sister Erica Conroy to launch the firm.

The firm will “aid auction houses if they don’t have the time/staff to undertake big projects; need holiday cover for general and jewel lery cataloguers and auctioneers”.

Militaria saleroom launched in Kent

Peter Mooney

Peter Mooney has founded a new auction house.

A new auction house has been launched by a militaria enthusiast.

Peter Mooney is an author and specialist who previously worked in the travel industry. Following 18 months working with an auction house, he has started Axal Auctions in Kent with plans to hold quarterly timed online-only sales. The first auction is already available to view on thesaleroom.com.

They will focus on documents, photos and books, but will also have some uniforms and other militaria-related items on offer.

Mooney has authored or published a total of 18 book titles on topics with militaria and has collected in the area for nearly 30 years.

Mooney said: “I have had an interest in military history since childhood, growing up in Northern Ireland during the troubles, then carrying that on after moving to England more than 25 years ago.”

Christie’s changes Old Masters roles

Clementine Sinclair

Clementine Sinclair of Christie’s.

Christie’s has made some changes in its Old Masters art department.

Clementine Sinclair has been promoted to the head of department in London. She was previously head of the Old Masters Evening Sale in London, which she held for eight years, and has been with the department for 16 years.

Henry Pettifer has been promoted to international deputy chairman (after eight years as head of department in London) and John Stainton, formerly deputy chairman in EMEA, has also been promoted to international deputy chairman.

Sinclair now reports to Andrew Fletcher, the global head of the Old Masters department who joined last year after nearly 20 years at Sotheby’s.

The department has also just hired Imogen Giambrone as international business director for the Old Masters team. She joins from Sotheby’s where she was business director for its Old Master UK division.

Art week spring events announced

London Art Week (LAW) has announced the programme for its Art History in Focus Spring Edition. Running from March 21-31, it comprises online and live talks.

These include a panel discussion around Moretti Fine Art’s exhibition In Donatello’s Shadow, an interview between dealer David Messum and artist Lucy Kemp-Welch, a discussion on the Kelmscott Chaucer and an online talk on ‘how young dealers help the traditional art market move away from sleepers’.

LAW has also announced London law firm Wedlake Bell as a new sponsor. It will host a talk ahead of the summer edition of the event.

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In Numbers

Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton

TRX-293 Trinity, the first complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton to be offered in Europe. It is estimated at SwFr5m-8m (about £4.45m-7.1m) at Koller on April 18.


The length of TRX-293 Trinity, the first complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton to be offered in Europe. Estimated at SwFr5m-8m (about £4.45m-7.1m) in the Koller auction taking place in Zurich on April 18, it is described as “a remarkably well restored original fossil (50.17% original bone material) that consists of composite bones from three exceptional Tyrannosaurus specimens that were unearthed between 2008-13” from the Hell Creek and Lance Creek formations in Montana and Wyoming.