Shalabhanjika Yakshi strut

A 12th century carved wooden Shalabhanjika Yakshi strut repatriated to Nepal by a Belgian collector with the help of Art Recovery Group.

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Collector returns Nepalese relics

A collector in Belgium has repatriated an 11th century illuminated wooden manuscript cover of Shivadharmottarashastram and a 12th century carved wooden Shalabhanjika Yakshi strut to Nepal.

Both pieces were acquired by the collector in Nepal in the 1990s. Subsequent campaigns by groups including the Nepal Heritage Recovery Campaign and The Lost Arts of Nepal to raise awareness of the deities stolen from the country through research and identification alerted him to the possible provenance.

Christopher Marinello founder of Art Recovery International, handled the negotiations on a pro-bono basis. He said: “These important artworks are being returned to Nepal without judicial proceedings, without law enforcement seizures, without a public shaming, and not so much as our usual arm twisting.

“An unnamed Belgium-based collector simply reviewed the provided provenance and agreed to release the works unconditionally. It has restored my faith in the art trade to know that there are still people out there who are willing to do the right thing without demanding compensation or fees for their attorneys.”

A formal repatriation of the two artefacts to the Embassy of Nepal in Brussels was planned for March 1.

Furniture and Dec art sales shake-up

Henry House

Henry House of Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s has reorganised its furniture and decorative arts departments.

In London, Henry House has taken on the role of deputy chairman, furniture and single-owner sales, UK and US.

He works with David MacDonald, who leads on single-owner sales, and Shiona Fourie, who continues as senior project manager focused on art and objects for multi-department single-owner sales.

João Magalhães continues as head of furniture in London supported by Adele Bourbonne and Cameron Di Leo.

Marine de Cenival

Marine de Cenival of Sotheby’s.

In France, Marine de Cenival, deputy director and head of sale furniture, has taken on a wider role in project managing furniture and decorative arts focused single-owner collection sales in Paris, with day-to-day responsibility for Paris silver sales. She will report to Louis-Xavier Joseph, head of furniture, Paris.

Women sentenced over tiara theft

Portland Tiara

The stolen Portland Tiara is still missing.

A woman accused of staking out a gallery at the Welbeck Estate ahead of a burglary of the famous Portland Tiara in 2018 has been sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court.

Kelly Duong, of Francis Street, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit burglary at the Harley Gallery.

The tiara and brooch, valued at £3.75m, were stolen from the Portland Collection at the Harley Gallery in a raid on the Welbeck Estate in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. Burglars used power tools to break in on November 20, 2018, and stole the tiara and brooch from an armoured glass display case.

Duong was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for 21 months.

This follows a number of court cases in 2022 and 2023 relating to this theft and other burglaries including the sentencing of Kurtis Dilks, 36, to 35 years; Andrew MacDonald, 43, to 32 years; and Ashley Cumberpatch, 38, 29 years.

The 6th Duke of Portland commissioned Cartier to create the tiara for his wife, Winifred, Duchess of Portland, and she wore it to the 1902 coronation of King Edward VII. Despite the investigations and arrests the tiara and brooch have never been recovered.

CADA fair moves to London for 2025

The organisers of the Cotswold Art & Antiques Dealers’ Association (CADA) are moving its annual fair to London next year.

The CADA event had been held, until recently, at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

It was based there for eight years, then in 2021 it moved to Compton Verney in Warwickshire which ran in the autumn for the past three years.

However, with no suitable dates during 2024 - Compton Verney’s 20th anniversary year - the association has cast its net more widely.

For the next fair it is relocating to London under the new title of Cotswold Art Antiques Chelsea in the Grade II-listed Chelsea Old Town Hall on King’s Road, London.

The dates are scheduled for March 20-23, 2025.

Barry steps down as SOFAA secretary

Robbie Barry will retire as secretary of Society of Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers (SOFAA).

SOFAA is now searching for a replacement. The job requires a few hours per week in addition to four meetings a year in London.

Interested parties should contact Helen Carless at

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In Numbers


The number of dealers standing at the 37th staging of TEFAF Maastricht this year. Running from March 7-14, it includes exhibitors from 22 countries. See Dealers' Diary for our TEFAF Masstricht preview.