Fine Art

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.

£70,000 reward offered after theft of paintings at fair

14 March 2002

A £70,000 REWARD is being offered after five paintings worth more than £1.7m were stolen from an antiques fair in Sweden.

Scene set for Dutch topography

07 March 2002

HOLLAND: IN honour of the Netherlands’ long tradition of landscapes and town scenes Christie’s Amsterdam (buyer’s premium 20.825 per cent) had a topographical theme to its pictures sale on January 22.

St Francis fires up Continental trade

07 March 2002

THE relative strength of Old Master paintings in comparison to other sectors of the market has been noted at a number of recent auctions, but this new-found strength, it seems, is not just restricted to top-end sales in London and New York.

Staithes Group casting their net

07 March 2002

THE Staithes Group, the band of artists who made the North Yorkshire fishing village their home before some moved to the South West and Newlyn, are the subject of an impressive exhibition put together by Cumbrian dealer Peter Haworth (Tel: 015395 62352).

Mucha and more

04 March 2002

A large desert Caravane by Victor Huguet (c.1895), 4ft 4in x 6ft 8in (1.31 x 2.02m) and inspired by Fromentin, led the Delorme-Fraysse picture sale on February 12 with €82,000 (£51,200).

Bacon and Rothko works live up their reputations

04 March 2002

Post-War sales at Christie’s (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) tend to be more predictable, less mercurial events than their cool contemporary outings and the established reputations of the artists invariably guarantee a procession of solid six-figure results.

Lost Rubens could make as much as £20m

04 March 2002

Sotheby’s July 11 Old Master sale will include the re-discovered Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) oil on panel The Massacre of the Innocents, pictured right.

Surreal days as Dali brings disappointment and delight

21 February 2002

Against the background of the London Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary sales both the major auction players held specialist Surrealist evening sales – Christie’s (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) on February 4 and Sotheby’s (20/15/10% buyer’s premium) on the following evening of February 5.

£1m expected for watercolours that Blake made for a “petty sneaking knave” and The Grave

18 February 2002

In 1805, William Blake was commissioned by Robert Harley Cromek to make a set of 40 drawings to illustrate Robert Blair’s poem The Grave, 20 of which Cromek proposed to have engraved by Blake.

The American touch of gold

15 February 2002

Anyone looking at this small 19th century still life painting, right, for the first time could be forgiven for rubbing their eyes with disbelief to hear that East Sussex auctioneers Gorringe’s (15% buyer’s premium) had allocated it an estimate of £20,000-30,000 at their January 29-31 sale in Lewes.

Winifred’s winner

15 February 2002

Rise of Winifred Nicholson goes on apace with amazing bid of £100,000 for portrait of Ben: Over the last two or three years Winifred Nicholson (1893-1981), the first wife of Ben Nicholson, has become an increasingly significant figure in the Modern British market, culminating in the record £52,000 paid last July at Phillips for one of her trademark window still lives.

Seventy years on, etchings rise again

15 February 2002

Buying art as an investment has always been a perilous business. Back in the 1920s during the so-called Etching Boom speculating collectors were prepared to pay hundreds of pounds – ie more than the price of an average London house – for single prints by ultra- fashionable artists such as Muirhead Bone, David Young Cameron and James McBey.

Impressionist and Modern sales with a wow factor

12 February 2002

The London art market received a major lift in the salerooms last week when Sotheby’s and Christie’s attracted remarkably strong levels of international demand for their February round of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary auctions.

Stars and students in print

07 February 2002

IN 1954 the painter and printmaker, Philip Reeves (born 1931), being interviewed for a post as a lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art, produced a letter of reference from the artist Robert Austin (1895-1973).

International photo fans hail a Scouse Giza

07 February 2002

FRANCE: FRANCIS FRITH (1822-98) was the focus of attention of Beaussant-Lefèvre’s sale of 19th century photographs at Drouot on January 25, as expert Pierre-Marc Richard claimed a world record auction price of €23,000 (£14,400), almost double-estimate, for a Francis Frith photograph: an 1858 view of The Pyramids of El-Geezeh from the south-west (pictured).

From Dürer to Ackroyd, the magic touches

07 February 2002

Exhibitions outside London: Specialist print dealer Elizabeth Harvey-Lee (1 West Cottage, Middle Aston Road, North Aston, Oxon OX25 5QB. Tel: 01869 34 7164) has built up an impressive reputation for producing informative, well-illustrated stock catalogues.

Il Parmigianino on a jpg

07 February 2002

Last summer Christie’s Old Master drawings expert Nicolas Schwed was sitting at his desk in Paris checking through his e-mails when he came across this 460-year-old face staring back at him from his computer screen.

Collectable clout of Nelson and Titanic

05 February 2002

The Maritime sale held by Bonhams (15/10% buyer’s premium) in their New Bond Street rooms on January 16 was a sizeable 400-lot affair divided roughly 50/50 into paintings and maritime artefacts – the latter featuring anything from ship models to scrimshaw, divers’ helmets to sextants.

Agnew’s fight £1.5m claim over Van Dyck attribution

05 February 2002

MAYFAIR art dealers Agnew’s are hotly contesting claims for a £1.5m refund over an Old Master which is at the centre of a dispute over who painted it.

Sunny Beuys…

31 January 2002

GERMANY: Joseph Beuys’ Sonnenkreuz (1947-48), a patinated bronze sculpture 15 x 81/4in (37 x 21cm), evoking a crucifix against a radiating sun, sold comfortably over estimate for DM200,000 (£64,000) at the Lempertz Contemporary Art sale in Cologne on December 5.

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