Browse the latest news about art and antiques by categories such as fine art, furniture, antiquities and collectables.
Within each of the top-level categories listed below, the further lower-level categories will help you find the subjects that matter most to you.
This broad umbrella category comprises everything from Qianlong vases to Islamic calligraphy. Asian art has been collected in the West over many generations and inspired many famous European productions. An example is the Japanese porcelain from the Kakiemon kilns, the styles of which that became adopted by European factories such as Meissen.
Today, demand from Asian buyers has lifted the market of works in this sector across the world.
Clocks, Watches & Jewellery
This category ranges from historical clocks to contemporary jewellery. Dealers tend to specialise in one of these individual areas while many auctions feature separate sections for horology, watches and jewellery as part of their mixed sales.
However, dedicated sales, especially in the jewellery category, are now fairly commonly especially in London, Birmingham and other major centres.
The term ‘collectables’ (or collectibles) encompasses a vast range of items in fields as diverse as arms, armour and militaria, bank notes, cameras, coins, entertainment and sporting memorabilia, stamps, taxidermy, wines and writing equipment.
Some collectables are antiques, others are classed as retro, vintage or curios but all are of value to the collector. In any of these fields, buyers seek out rarities and items with specific associations.
This category encompasses a wide range of three-dimensional antiques in a variety of different materials. It includes ceramics, glass and metalware (including silver and plate), medium to small size decorative objects such as tea caddies and dressing table sets.
Fine art is a staple of the dealing and auctioneering industry, featuring works ranging from Medieval art to traditional Old Masters, and right through to cutting-edge Contemporary art.
While oil paintings represent a large part of the sector, other mediums adopted by artists across the ages include drawings, watercolours, prints and photographs.
Every piece of furniture has a practical purpose regardless of how simple or grand it is, even if some pieces were built more for display than function. Today, furniture remains one of the largest areas of the antiques market and items are categorised by type and period.
The term brown furniture refers to traditional pieces made from dark woods such as mahogany, while pieces made from native woods like oak and walnut are sometimes referred to as vernacular furniture.
Famous historical makers include Chippendale, Gillows, William Vile and John Cobb. More recent market trends have seen modern vintage pieces appearing in specialist design and ‘Interior’ auctions.
Greek, Roman, Egyptian & Other Antiquities
The antiquities market comprises artefacts and works of art made by ancient civilisations including statues, coins, jewellery and arms and armour.
Provenance is one of the most important considerations when trading in this sector as there is a long history of looting from archaeological sites.
Ethnographica & Tribal Art
This category comprises artefacts and works of art made by indigenous peoples.
It began as a collecting area when anthropologists began acquiring and studying these items in the 19th century. Nowadays works are valued for their craftsmanship and decorative quality as well as for their historical and social interest.
The geographical spread in this sector ranges from Oceanic (Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand), African, Native American and South American art. Pre-Columbian works represent a sought-after sector – art from the Americas dating from before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492.
Vintage Fashion & Textiles
Marilyn Monroe’s record-breaking ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ dress, which sold for $1.2m in 1999; Olivier Coutau-Begarie’s two-day sale of 5000 pieces of antique silks tapestries and embroideries from the House of Hamot; the lively vintage fashion fairs held around the country every month – each has its own place in the world of fashion and textile collecting.