Art and antiques news from 2002

In 2002 Tim Hirsch led a management buyout of Spink from Christie's.

Alfred Taubman received a jail sentence for his part in the Christie's/Sotheby's collusion scandal.

Rubens' long-lost Massacre of the Innocents sells for £45 million at Sotheby's in London. At the time it was the third most expensive painting ever sold at auction.

‘Film props’ scam hits centre dealers

28 October 2002

UK: A man calling himself Terence Lucas has disappeared without paying for antiques hired in antique centres to use as props in a film. Mr Lucas, who is described as white, around 40-45, 6ft tall, slim and with very short grey hair, visited three dealers in Antiquarius on the Kings Road, London on October 2, claiming to work for a company called Fine Art Research.

Not such a gem itself

23 October 2002

20th Century Jewellery: the Complete Sourcebook by John Peacock, published by Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0500510830. £24.95hb

Has the time come to put new values on aesthetic judgments?

23 October 2002

GREATLY influenced by the opening up of Japan to Western trade and acknowledged as the prelude to Art Nouveau, the Aesthetic Movement has an assured place in the annals of decoration and design in the second half of the 19th century.

Hepworth doubles hopes

23 October 2002

Over the last 10 to 15 years, the market has undergone a slow but steady shift towards 20th century painting in particular the Post-War abstraction of the St Ives school whose geometric shapes and pure blocks of colour are wholly in tune with contemporary tastes.

Muted sideshow

23 October 2002

Presented with individual estimates of €35,000-50,000, two male and female Urhobo figures – just as large as the Urhobo figure sold at Sotheby’s, and possibly a matching pair – were the chief casualties at the mixed-provenance sale of African art (principally from Nigeria) assembled by Marie-Catherine Daffos and Jean-Luc Estournel for Lombrail-Teucquam (buyer’s premium 15%) at Drouot on the afternoon of September 30.

How to sniff out the genuine wonders

23 October 2002

Chinese Snuff Bottles: A Guide to Addictive Miniatures by Trevor Cornforth and Dr Nathan Cheung ISBN 0764315919 £55hb. Published by Schiffer Books and distributed by Bushwood Books Ltd, 6 Marksbury Avenue, Kew Gardens, Surrey TW9 4JF. Tel: 020 8392 8585. email: Postage and packing is free within the UK, £5.50 per surface mail order.

Girl’s revealing tassel

23 October 2002

“Marvellously dotty” was how Peyton Skipwith of The Fine Art Society chose to describe this 14 by 12in (36 x 30cm) oil on panel by Rex Whistler (1905-1944). Entitled Miss Muffet, the panel depicts the moment when, sat upon her tuffet eating her curds and wey, a spider sits down beside the well-known nursery rhyme character.

The cat that got the crème de cacao

23 October 2002

Glittering personalities from the world of arts, they were the toast of Paris in the late 1960s. Capote and Sagan, Karajan and Nureyev, Callas and Saint-Laurent – their presence at soirées was coveted by the self-regarding hostesses across town, but they all paid homage to the ultimate hostess trolley when they arrived for dinner at 10 rue de Dragon.

New business fires ceramics duo’s ambitions

23 October 2002

AMONG a number of more positive signs for the trade this autumn, fewer are more enouraging than news of an auction house expanding to accommodate extra consigments. Such is the case at these Devon auctioneers, S.J.Hales, who, since they opened in May 2000, have held monthly auctions at the local Edgemoor Hotel where space has meant sales have not exceeded more than 800/900 almost all aimed at ceramics collectors.

Guide to signs of the times

23 October 2002

Masonic Memorabilia for Collectors by Bill Jackman, published by Gemini Publications. ISBN 0953063720 £17.95sb.

Adam Revival occasional tables sell for £22,000 each

22 October 2002

The firm of Wright & Mansfield (1860-86) are often cited as the instigators of the Georgian Revival and, unlike many of their contemporaries who produced Victorian pastiches of earlier styles, are renowned for their craftsmanship, using high quality materials for accurate recreations of the Adam and Sheraton style – often difficult to distinguish from the 18th century originals.

Berlin sees second cool reception

22 October 2002

In the same week that their South Kensington rooms offered the first instalments from Margaret Cadman’s mammoth collection Christie’s King Street (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) rooms were busy selling the second part of the Dr KH Wadsack Collection of Berlin porcelain.

Life-changing moment for man who clocks up award

22 October 2002

A Birmingham man who gave up a career as a local government officer to devote himself to clockmaking has won a £4000 scholarship to study antique clock restoration.

Shedding light on mining traditions

22 October 2002

Listings on eBay can sometimes be prone to hyperbole but when a seller from Ontario, Canada described this remarkable object as “definitely one of the finest sticking tommy candlesticks ever made” few enthusiasts of antique mining collectables could have argued.

Duke’s uniform success

22 October 2002

This full dress uniform of an officer from the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding regiment, right, was an important diversion from the main proceedings at Duke’s auction in Dorchester. Under normal circumstances this would have been a standard lot of textile militaria for the trade, but this uniform actually belonged to the sixth Duke of Wellington and had passed by descent to the vendor.

Survey reveals what drives employment trends in fine arts

21 October 2002

Versatility and a clear career path lead the way: The future of the art and antiques business is centred on small teams with an ability to perform a wide range of tasks beyond their own area of expertise.

London gears up for festival of Asian art

21 October 2002

FIFTY two internationally recognised specialists are gearing up for the fifth Asian Art in London from November 7-15. With Giuseppe Eskenazi as chairman, 46 highly experienced specialist dealers from overseas will join London’s respected art institutions to present the remarkable quality, variety and richness of Asian works of art. The festival has helped confirm London as a leading player in the field.

Relief at the top as it’s back to business as usual for the Haughtons

17 October 2002

MUCH to the relief of the international trade, international buyers and discerning New Yorkers, the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers’ Show returns to The Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, New York from October 18 to 24.

Breaking with Currie’s favour

17 October 2002

EDWINA CURRIE may be the hot flavour of the month in Fleet Street, but she is hardly the toast of the Tories at the moment, and that may be the reason one of her former stalwarts has decided to part with this personal political memento.

The History of Quantum Theory and the Theory of Relativity

17 October 2002

On October 4, Christie’s New York sold the Harvey Plotnick Library on ‘The History of Quantum Physics and the Theory of Relativity’ for a premium-inclusive total of $1.78m (£1.15m).