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Art and antiques news from 2015

It was all change at the top in 2015 with Tad Smith replacing Bill Ruprecht as CEO of Sotheby's, Patricia Barbizet taking over from Stephen P Murphy as CEO of Christie's and Matthew Girling moving up to the role of global CEO at Bonhams.

Stephan Ludwig and Ian Goldbart, creators of the group of businesses that include Dreweatts, Baldwin's and Mallett, suddenly departed in the early autumn of 2015.

Dealer association BADA brought in an industry outsider as its new CEO - Marco Forgione, former head of events industry trade body EVCOM.

In other news, dealer Richard Green made his debut at Masterpiece in London, cementing the fair's place as a major event in the annual calendar.

The antiques industry waited nervously to see whether the newly elected Conservative government would carry out its manifesto pledge to "press for a total ban on ivory sales".

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Icon of gold box collecting surfaces after 88 years

23 October 2015

Dreweatts are to offer 14 boxes from an important American collection of 18th and 19th century European gold boxes as part of a December 3 sale titled Iconic Jewels & Treasures.

SJ Phillips to leave Mayfair landmark

23 October 2015

Legendary London jewellery, silver and object d’art dealership SJ Phillips are planning to leave their landmark Mayfair store after almost one-and-a-half centuries.

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First Apple on the auction block

22 October 2015

An Apple-1, the technology that heralded a revolution in home computing when it was launched as Apple’s first product in 1976, is for sale via Christie’s online.

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Power of the Penn second time around

21 October 2015

As part of their latest 20th Century & Decorative Art auction in Stansted Mountfitchet, Sworders sold this still life by the influential American photographer Irving Penn (1917-2009) for £61,000.

Views on the market ahead of Asia festival

20 October 2015

Ahead of the 18th staging of ‘Asian Art in London’ (November 5-14) – and against a backdrop of a slowdown in the Chinese economy – we invited senior members of the dealing fraternity to give their views on the market and their expectations for the event.

Come behind the scenes with us

19 October 2015

We are planning some exciting changes to the Antiques Trade Gazette website and would like to invite you to join our customer panel.

Christie’s to shake up NY calendar

19 October 2015

Christie’s have announced a new themed week of sales in New York next April.

Masterpiece fair to move back a week for 2016

19 October 2015

Masterpiece London will take place a week later than usual in 2016, running from June 29 to July 6 (with a preview on June 29).

Sentencing guidelines address heritage and emotional loss

19 October 2015

Thieves who target cultural property or items of great sentimental value will face tougher sentences under new rules.

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Signature of Button Gwinnett, the forgotten man who signed the Declaration of Independence, emerges at Shropshire auction

16 October 2015

“Button who?” When Shropshire documents consultant Ben Jones was told that an American client was considering selling the clipped signature of Button Gwinnett he reached for the search engine.

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An £800,000 toast for Gujarati tray

16 October 2015

The highlight of Bonhams’ latest sale of Islamic and Indian art in London was this rare Gujarati mother-of-pearl artwork of early date and exceptional size.

Hugh Scully and the early Information Superhighway

15 October 2015

With the death of ex-Antiques Roadshow presenter Hugh Scully at the age of 72, former Antiques Trade Gazette editor Ivan Macquisten looks back at what happened when he launched an online valuations business with the internet still in its infancy.

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New highs for Lucie Rie and Peder Moos as Phillips’ design sale gives boost to London hub

15 October 2015

London’s growing importance as a hub for Modern design – boosted with the imminent return of sales at Sotheby’s – was underlined this month with records at Phillips in Mayfair.

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Blue John shines in the Midlands

14 October 2015

After viewing events in London, Derbyshire and at the Antiques for Everyone fair in Birmingham, Fellows held their much-anticipated Blue John Sale in the Jewellery Quarter last week.

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All Blacks jersey sets world record for a rugby shirt

13 October 2015

Lot number one in Rogers Jones’ latest sale provided both a world record result and a house record for the Welsh auctioneers.

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Constable sketch brings £252,000 in Exeter

13 October 2015

A John Constable (1776-1837) oil sketch drew prolonged competition at the latest auction held at Exeter saleroom Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.

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Shackleton medals draw bidders at Christie’s auction

12 October 2015

The collection of medals awarded to Ernest Shackleton, the most decorated of the Polar explorers, excelled at a recent Christie’s South Kensington sale.

Italian trade lobby to change export laws

12 October 2015

Stakeholders in the Italian art market will meet lawmakers this week in the hope of overturning legislation they say has hampered the country’s art market for a century.

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De Pury volte face as Lambert collection sale to be held with new partner Christie’s

09 October 2015

Simon de Pury’s sale of the Lambert collection, trailed as a litmus test for high-end digital auctions, will now be conducted as a bricks and mortar event from the rostrum at King Street.

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Bonhams: airing on a TV screen near you

08 October 2015

Bonhams have launched a new brand campaign centred on TV advertising. It is the first time that a major international auction house has advertised on TV.