Art and antiques news from 2004

In 2004 Nicholas Bonham left Bonhams. It was the first time there was no family member on the board in the firm's history.
A blaze at Momart's London warehouse destroyed about £40 million of art including important contemporary and Modern pictures.
A crowd of more than 800 people in the saleroom watched as Young Lady Seated at the Virginals, a newly acknowledged work by Johannes Vermeer, sold at Sotheby's for £14.5 million.

Biennale – £8m gems theft

07 October 2004

TWO diamonds with a reported value of nearly £8m were were stolen from the Chopard stand at the Paris Biennale.

Organisers cancel New Year Monte Carlo fair

07 October 2004

THIS year’s Monte-Carlo International Fine Art & Antiques Fair, scheduled to run December 31-January 6 at the Grimaldi Forum, has been cancelled.

Newark to change days for 2005: Fair moves from Monday and Tuesday to become three-day event starting on Thursday

07 October 2004

FROM February 2005, the Newark International Antiques and Collectors Fair, the largest event of its kind in Europe, will become a three-day event, starting on Thursday and finishing on Saturday.

Shakespeare but no will

07 October 2004

“EVERY auction house’s dream” is how Rupert Powell, managing director of Bloomsbury Auctions, described the discovery of a Shakespeare First Folio that will provide a fitting centrepiece for the company’s 500th sale on Thursday October 7.

Book for Leeds while you can

07 October 2004

THERE is still a chance to book tickets for the RICS conference in Leeds from October 15-17.

Plot thickens in dispute over Italian glass designer

07 October 2004

THE Venini factory of Venice are to meet with their lawyers this week to discuss stepping up legal action against the family of Italian glass designer Fulvio Bianconi.

Goodison scoops first €10,000 CINOA Prize

07 October 2004

SIR Nicholas Goodison is the winner of the first CINOA Prize, a new award devised by the international confederation of associations of art and antiques dealers.

Legal seminars for London

07 October 2004

WITHERS and Devonshires Solicitors, law firms who specialise in art market issues, are sponsoring two seminars: one on art loans and the risks involved, the other on art and the police.


You wait years for someone to consign a micromosaic table, then…

07 October 2004

FOLLOWING the Antiques Trade Gazette’s coverage of the sale of a micromosaic table signed by Michelangelo Barberi for £250,000 at Dreweatt Neate’s Donnington Priory rooms in January – still the highest price achieved for an item of furniture in a UK saleroom so far this year – the Newbury firm received a call from a gentleman in Scotland.


Estimate knocked into an $85,000 official’s hat

29 September 2004

HIGH spot of the Asian works of art section of Skinners’ July 17 sale in Boston was an $85,000 (£49,945) bid on a pair of 16th/17th century, cane-seated hardwood ‘Official’s Hat’ chairs from the collection of Professor James Hightower. In a post-sale announcement, Skinners Asian specialist described them as “quintessential examples... and undoubtedly the finest pair of hat chairs to have come on the market in decades”.

Back to school for Wakefield

29 September 2004

VETERAN organiser Fred Hynds of Wakefield Ceramics Fairs holds a ceramics event at Burford School, Burford, Oxfordshire this weekend on October 2 and 3.


Local knowledge reveals the miniature secrets

29 September 2004

SOME canny detective work by both the auctioneer and the buyer seems to have come up with answers to most of the questions surrounding this intriguing unsigned mid-19th century miniature on ivory, right, offered by Neales (15% buyer’s premium) of Notttingham on September 9. The 4 x 3in (10 x 7.5cm) miniature, presented in its original Victorian frame in a glazed easel display case, had been entered by a private vendor who had no idea of either sitter or artist.

Refurbished Leviathan

29 September 2004

IN rebacked and refurbished contemporary calf, the copy of Hobbes’ Leviathan... seen at a Dominic Winter sale of August 25 was a 1651 first edition, but both the engraved additional title and main printed title were cut down and relaid, the folding table was torn and repaired and there was some browning and dampstaining.

Somerset Scandals

29 September 2004

SOLD at £1650 in a July 6 sale held by Lawrences of Crewkerne was a group of ten volumes, mostly in contemporary full or half calf, that were grouped under the heading ‘Scandal’.


Double celebrations for London ceramics duo

29 September 2004

NOW an autumn institution in Kensington, two of the London borough’s top ceramics specialists hold their concurrent annual selling exhibitions from October 5 to 16. Both have something to celebrate.


Top names help Haughtons beat design problems

29 September 2004

OCTOBER is the busiest month in New York for London-based organisers Brian and Anna Haughton who, as Haughton Fairs, brought quality, vetted fairs to Manhattan in 1989 with the launch of their International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show at The Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue.

Mixed views seen in glass

29 September 2004

ACCORDING to Hertfordshire organiser Paul Bishop, who works as Oxbridge Fairs, the attendance was up at his fourth Cambridge Glass Fair, held at Chilford Hall Vineyard on September 12.


Henry’s cottages end notion that Ireland is losing its attractions

29 September 2004

SUSPICION that the market for Irish pictures, at least on this side of the Irish Sea, might be in a softer state than it was three or four years ago, were dramatically dispelled at the Guildford rooms of Clarke Gammon Weller (15% buyer’s premium) on September 7 when a rather late, but completely fresh-to-market, canvas by Paul Henry (1876-1958) was offered.

Ye regall power and Ecclesiastical power

29 September 2004

IN a 19th century binding of blue straight grained morocco, a 1548, first English language edition of Bishop Edward Fox’s The True Dyfferes between ye regall power and the Ecclesiastical power, translated from Fox’s 1534 Latin original by his friend and admirer, Henry, Lord Stafford, was sold at £1400 in a July 6 sale held by Lawrences of Crewkerne.

Faerie Queen folio

29 September 2004

HANDSOMELY bound in dark crimson morocco gilt in the 19th century, a 1609, first folio edition of Spenser’s Faerie Queene, the titles to the two parts with large and elaborate woodcut devices (both with small amounts of early colouring) and containing numerous woodcut head- and tailpieces incorporating various royal devices and symbols, made £1740 (Powell) in a Dominic Winter sale of July 21.