Art and antiques news from 2008

In September 2008 Sotheby's much-hyped sale of works by Damien Hirst was a runaway success amid the general gloom, taking £100 million.

After 37 years on traditional newsprint, Antiques Trade Gazette became full-colour gloss.

Dealer Agnews sold its historic Bond Street premises, Elaine Dean retired after 25 years as secretary general of BADA and Christie's South Kensington introduced interiors sales aimed at the retail market.


Climate change for contemporary art

27 October 2008

THE balloon-like market for contemporary art lost much of its air last week as both the Frieze Art Fair and its related auctions suffered the full force of the global economic crisis.


Banksy market sees selective buying

27 October 2008

THE contemporary art downturn had a tangible effect on the market for urban art as the sales staged in London by Bonhams in New Bond Street on October 23 and Dreweatts in Shoreditch on October 14 witnessed greater selectivity amongst buyers.

Police drive to protect looted Afghan artefacts

27 October 2008

The Metropolitan Police’s new team of ArtBeat Special Constables were deployed for the first time on October 20 as part of Operation Syenite. The aim of the operation is to raise awareness among London’s art world about antiquities looted from the Afghanistan National Museum in Kabul during the 1990s.

Lyon & Turnbull rethink their strategy in the South East

27 October 2008

Edinburgh-based auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull have taken the decision to restructure their operation in the South of England. While the London office will continue as before, they have parted company with three members of staff.


Georgian bracket clock stolen in Norfolk

27 October 2008

This japanned lacquer case to this Georgian bracket clock was stolen from a restorer in Norfolk on October 15. The case, which had been restored, is slightly larger than is normal, accommodating a musical movement.

New evening course on porcelain

27 October 2008

Auction Atrium are to hold a two-part evening course on English and Continental Porcelain.

Libel action for negative feedback

27 October 2008

AN eBay user is being threatened with a libel action after posting negative feedback about a seller.


Sotheby’s hid interest in $10m Hicks says buyer

20 October 2008

An American collector has filed two lawsuits against Sotheby's, alleging they concealed a financial interest in and inflated the price for an Edward Hicks' Peaceable Kingdom that he bought in May for almost $10m.


Coming close to perfection at £170,000

20 October 2008

Offered at Lawrences of Crewkerne on October 16, this Ming dynasty blue and white brushwasher has Xuande (1425-1435) character marks and is of the period.

Watercolours fair moves to Covent Garden venue

20 October 2008

The Watercolours & Drawings Fair is to move to a new venue at The Flower Cellars in Russell Street, Covent Garden for its next fair from February 4-8.


Underrated Fabergé soars in Philadelphia

20 October 2008

Reports of the vast sums of money lost by some Russian oligarchs in the recent financial crisis did not appear to hamper enthusiasm for a collection of Russian cloisonné sold at Freeman’s in Philadelphia on October 8.

No more sales of WBH lots says Staffordshire auctioneers

20 October 2008

Staffordshire auctioneers Cuttlestones have announced that they will not be selling any lots consigned by troubled West Midlands auctioneers Walker Barnett & Hill until further notice.


Fresh alert over fake Lenkiewicz paintings

20 October 2008

The Lenkiewicz Foundation have exposed two fake Robert Lenkiewicz (1941-2002) portraits after they were seen advertised for sale on a dealer's website. The dealer immediately withdrew the two paintings, a self-portrait and Study of Lisa Stokes, once contacted by the foundation.

Top glass fair changes hands

20 October 2008

Cheshire fairs organiser Patricia Hier is to sell her company Specialist Glass Fairs to Cambridge-based Paul Bishop of Oxbridge Fairs.


The £1m note makes £68,000

20 October 2008

A Bank of England £1m Treasury note sold at Spink on October 1 for £68,000.

New course for fine art career hopefuls

20 October 2008

Help is at hand for well-heeled jobseekers intent on gaining an entry into the art world. Sophie Macpherson Fine Art Recruitment and Consultancy, together with Virginia Sykes-Wright, project director of Asian Art in London, have developed a new Fine Art Careers Course designed to help people break into a highly competitive employment marketplace.

Sotheby’s set up in Doha

20 October 2008

Sotheby’s have announced that they are to open an office in Doha and are planning a series of auctions in the Qatari capital in early 2009.

The credit crunch at Christie’s

17 October 2008

As the US and European governments infused billions into their banking systems, Christie’s have changed their approach to credit. Dealers who were previously allowed several weeks to pay for items after collection have now been informed they must pay before receipt of their goods.


Dealers evicted as The Mall closes its doors

13 October 2008

THE campaign to save The Mall in Camden Passage appears to be facing defeat, with the landlords of the North London antiques centre having evicted all the remaining dealers. The iconic Grade II listed building at the head of the famous antiques thoroughfare, which formerly housed over 30 dealers, now lies empty with the shutters down.

Russian firm take over Phillips de Pury

13 October 2008

The Moscow-based luxury retail giant Mercury Group have bought a majority stake in the London-based international auctioneers Phillips de Pury & Company. Phillips de Pury said that Mercury initially offered a possible partnership in July last year, but the deal developed into an effective takeover last week.