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1) Silver flask withdrawn from auction after Chinese government intervention

A silver hunting flask taken from the Summer Palace when it was sacked by British troops in 1860 during the Second Opium War, which was due to be auctioned this week, has now been withdrawn.

Silver hunting flask

The silver hunting flask taken from the Summer Palace in 1860.

2) Victorian diamond necklace sets house record at Catherine Southon

Catherine Southon’s 10th anniversary auction included a new house record of £47,000 for an early Victorian diamond rivière.


Early Victorian diamond rivière – £47,000 at Catherine Southon.

3) Art Deco necklace bearing the Boivin mark makes over 10-times estimate

This Art Deco turquoise, rock crystal and black enamelled silver necklace carries the maker’s mark of the celebrated French atelier René Boivin.


Art Deco necklace by René Boivin – £32,000 at Fellows.

4) Rare 16th century ‘prayer nut’ stars in our pick of seven auction highlights sold this week

ATG’s weekly selection of items that caught bidders’ eyes includes a miniature boxwood carving with biblical scenes known as a ‘prayer nut’ that made over six-times estimate at Sotheby’s.

Antique Prayer Nut

An ’open’ view of an early 16th century Netherlandish boxwood prayer nut carved with scenes from the Passion of Christ – £480,000 at Sotheby’s.

5) Furniture suite could be first ‘museum quality’ ivory sale

A suite of solid ivory and gilt furniture sold by Christie’s appears to be the first auction lot to benefit from the exemption to the Ivory Act allowing the sale of items of ‘outstandingly high artistic, cultural and historical value’.

Murshidabad chairs

Four Murshidabad chairs from a suite of ivory and gilt furniture including a sofa sold for £3.1m at Christie’s. The chairs have an unbroken provenance back to their commission by Manni Begum.

This list is based on unique users for individual news stories over the period July 7-13, 2022.