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Art and antiques news from 2000

In 2000 Bonhams merged with classic car auctioneer Brooks.

Sothebys.com was launched in a $40 million joint venture with Amazon.

Christie's CEO Christopher Davidge left and was replaced by Edward Dolman. News later emerges that the firm had colluded with Sotheby's to fix rates of commission between 1993 and 1999.

Autumn date for Kent Bills

12 June 2000

UK: The Passage through parliament of the Kent County Council and Medway Bills – designed to regulate the trade in all forms of second-hand goods in the county – has been held up until the autumn.

Patriotic reliefs identify Royal dressing table

12 June 2000

Memories of high royal days on the Cowes riviera were recalled on the Isle of Wight when a relatively plain Victorian mahogany dressing table surfaced at Shanklin Auction Rooms on June 6.

Agnew’s aim to harness young talent

05 June 2000

UK: AGNEW’S have strengthened their commitment to contemporary art with the appointment of Mark Adams as director in charge of the contemporary department.

Limoges brings international bids to Lytham

05 June 2000

UK: ONE of a set of twelve 16th century Limoges enamelled plates, which were offered for sale by the Manchester auctioneers Capes Dunn during a special sale on May 25 conducted from the Assembly Rooms in Lytham to promote their regional office on the Fyld coast.

Miller’s shortlist Trade awards

05 June 2000

UK: PRICE GUIDE publishers Miller’s have issued a shortlist of contenders for the British Antiques and Collectables Awards, a new scheme which is being run for the first time this year, in association with the BBC Homes & Antiques Magazine.

Panel to advise Minister on illegal art trade

05 June 2000

UK: ARTS MINISTER Alan Howarth has set up a panel of experts to examine the illicit trade in art and antiquities with a view to advising the Government on steps to fight it.

Dickinson add jewels to portfolio

05 June 2000

UK: LONDON art dealers Simon C. Dickinson have made a bold new incursion into the luxury market by adding a jewellery arm to their existing Old Master and Impressionist and Modern business, which made sales of £100m last year.

French courts ban Nazi Web sales

05 June 2000

FRANCE: A Paris court has told one of the world’s leading Websites to prevent French Web-users from gaining access to auctions featuring Nazi memorabilia.

Fit for a frontiersman - but which frontier?

05 June 2000

UK: GIANT knives of the frontier period hold a special place in the heart of American collectors, and the late 19th century example by one of the leading Sheffield makers of Bowie-style knives for the American market – Brookes and Crookes – was eagerly contested by US bidders at Martyn Rowe’s Truro salerooms on May 26.

French reform now looks set for this year

29 May 2000

FRANCE: THE reform of France’s auction system now looks in sight following an agreement reached by a bicameral commission drawn from members of both the country’s parliamentary chambers.

The phenomenal success of Harry Potter

29 May 2000

UK: THE PHENOMENAL success enjoyed in the English speaking world by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter... books has been expensively reflected in the antiquarian, or rather secondhand book world, where (even in the high priced modern firsts market) the prices being asked for Harry the First are almost unbelievable.

Kent Bill passes second reading

29 May 2000

UK: The Kent County Council and Medway Bills, which will regulate the trade in art and antiques in the county, are to go forward to the committee stage after their second reading in the House of Commons on May 17.

The Craven collection of photographs

23 May 2000

UK: OVER half the images in the Craven collection of photographs offered by Bearne’s in Exeter on May 6 were by William, 2nd Earl of Craven.

How swans were re-united – and flew to £270,000

23 May 2000

UK: THE romance, expertise and astonishing prices at the Benacre sale came together when this pair of candelabra, above, were put up by Sotheby’s.

George II Irish mahogany centre table

23 May 2000

UK: A George II Irish mahogany centre table, 2ft 8in (81cm) wide, which featured at Bristol Auction Rooms on May 16, attracted interest from an Irish dealer who went to £25,000 (plus 10 per cent buyer’s premium), despite speculation by the auctioneer that the edging may have been altered and the top re-finished.

Phillips make a first Impression

22 May 2000

US: A concerted push into the market by Phillips meant that there were three major players on the Impressionst and Modern auction scene in New York last week.

A seascape by Gustave Le Gray sells for £250,000

22 May 2000

UK: THE first week of May saw a rash of specialist photograph, auctions break out in England but the cream of the crop was a single-owner sale of vintage photographs collected by William, 2nd Earl of Craven (1809-1866), at Bearne’s in Exeter on May 6.

A rare and unusual George II carved gilt-wood console table

22 May 2000

UK: THIS rare and unusual George II carved giltwood console table in the manner of William Kent modelled with an owl and probably carved by John Bonson of Savile Row sold for £520,000 (plus premium) – some ten times its estimate.

‘Have they not Arts?’ ‘They have pottery’

22 May 2000

UK: JAMES Boswell’s question and Dr Samuel Johnson’s answer on the subject of China, c.1778.

Bonhams to close their coin department

15 May 2000

UK: BONHAMS have announced that they will close their coin and medal department following their July 18 sale, whose main feature is a collection of minor Roman and Byzantine coins.