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“On average, only a few dozen items need further attention and usually significant cases of restitution only affect individual paintings. So, the scope of the present return is unprecedented for Sotheby's.”

Charlotte Miller, Sotheby’s books and manuscripts specialist. The auction house is returning 600 rare works which were lost or stolen from a German library during the Second World War.

“The popular image of an old bookshop with a slightly eccentric bookseller selling books in a shop untidily crammed with books and a computer nowhere in sight, is not the modern reality.”

Sally Burdon, president of ILAB, as she introduced a New York symposium on book provenance.

“With a move like this you can’t please everyone. The past two years have been challenging – and I can’t help but mention Brexit here – not just for the antiques trade but for business in general. We listen to what people say and adapt to these changing times.”

Richard Burgoin, director of Arthur Swallow Fairs, which has condensed its Antiques & Home show into one day.

“If Harold has a fault, it is that he will drown everything in HP sauce.”

The collection of two-time prime minister Harold Wilson is set to go under the hammer at Hansons. Among the lots is an HP Sauce bottle with his name on the label. The sauce became known as ‘Wilson’s gravy’ in the 1960s and 70s after Lady Wilson said the above in an interview.

“I initially thought it was a half sovereign, but I gently sprayed it and it started to gleam.” 

The anonymous detectorist who unearthed a rare gold aureus dating from the brief reign of Allectus. It is expected to make as much as six figures at Dix Noonan Web.


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