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Foreign buyers take prizes as pre-Renaissance paintings suffer in swing to high unsold rates

24 July 2003

ON June 17, Finarte-Semenzato held a further sale of furniture and Old Master paintings in Milan, offering almost 540 lots of which less than half sold.

Morandi floral tribute goes to €450,000

27 June 2003

A bunch of flowers sold to a private buyer brought a welcome fragrance for Christie’s (24-18.5% buyer’s premium, excluding VAT) in their auction of Modern and Contemporary Art in Milan on May 26, and proved a powerful attraction, with a full room and numerous bidders on the telephone.

Dripping with blood-red coral

20 May 2003

ACCORDING to residents of the Trapani region in Sicily, the coral to be found there is the reddest in the world. This may be myth but what certainly is not fabrication is the popularity and desirability of objects made from this striking natural material.

Italian amnesty may leave lost antiquities with those who hold them illegally

29 April 2003

ART collectors in Italy in possession of illegally acquired antiquities may now be able to come clean to the authorities and keep the works concerned.

Severini’s last oil painting sold in Rome

29 January 2003

Gino Severini’s Les objets deviennent peinture (vase bleu et maïs) was one of the most significant lots in Christie’s 310-lot auction of Contemporary art in Rome on December 18. Dating from 1965, this picture was the last oil still life he was to paint and, indeed, one of the last works to be finished before his death.

Shareholders back the merger of leading Italian auction houses

23 September 2002

THE merger of Italy’s two leading domestic auction houses, Semenzato and Finarte, has won the support of shareholders, who voted on September 4.

Carrà goes boom in May…

07 August 2002

ITALY: A record price for a painting by Carlo Carrà was established in Italy back on May 21 in a sale of contemporary art held by Christie’s in Milan.

Italy’s top auction houses to merge

12 July 2002

ITALY: VENICE-based auction house Semenzato is to be merged into Finarte of Milan in early August with a view to taking on Sotheby’s and Christie’s head on in Italy.

Rather frosty reception for the first sales of spring

26 April 2002

ITALY: Spring has been slow to bring a little sunshine to the auction world in Italy, with rather lacklustre sales for Finarte and Semenzato’s opening moves. It will remain to be seen whether the scandal that has enveloped Corbelli, majority shareholder of Semenzato and chairman of Finarte, will affect the performance of the auction houses (that are not accused of any wrongdoing) in the more important sales later in the season.

Italian auction house boss arrested over fake artworks

25 March 2002

The Italian art market is in shock at the arrest of one of its major players for the sale of fake works of art and other crimes.

A thing of Venetian beauty

13 December 2001

ITALY: Back on November 4, Semenzato (19 per cent buyer’s premium, including VAT) held a sale of furniture and works of art in Venice in which an 18th century Venetian painted chest of drawers, pictured right, produced the highest price of the day at Li160m (£52,460).

Sell-out in Rome for season’s opener

22 November 2001

SALES IN ITALY: The first auctions to take place in Italy this autumn in the midst of these days of gloom have been encouraging. In Rome on October 30, Christie’s (22.5/18.5% buyer’s premium) sold the contents of the residences of a collector, Michele Falzone del Barbarò. All 362 lots sold for around £400,000, far exceeding the auctioneers’ expectations.

Roman coin of Hadrian

05 March 2001

ITALY: THIS quasi-Roman coin (34mm) of Hadrian – actually a ‘cabinet piece’ made in 16th century Padua (the main centre for this type of replica) for the more romantic type of collector – made Li500,000 (£170).

Saleroom selection from Christie's Rome

05 March 2001

ITALY: NOW that Christie’s numismatic sales have been subsumed into Spink’s they are no longer held in London. However, they offered some very appealing pieces in Rome on December 13 and 14.

Silver medal of the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II (1619-37)

05 March 2001

ITALY: MINIATURE-like, this (33 x 47mm) silver medal of the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II (1619-37) made Li950,000 (£315). The Imperial Crown on the reverse is preserved in the Hofschatz in Vienna.

Doge of Venice

05 March 2001

ITALY: ANOTHER Renaissance magnate, the Doge of Venice, Antonio Grimani (1521-23). His (29mm diameter) portrait medal made Li2m (£670).

Italian gang leaves pattern of duplicity

19 July 1999

AT LEAST a dozen of the world’s top dealers appear to have lost goods as a result of a series of elaborate and sophisticated swindles carried out by a gang operating out of Northern Italy during the past nine months.

Sotheby’s told they can release Rossi lots

03 May 1999

ITALY: SOTHEBY’S have been informed that they can release to their purchasers the 23 lots on which the Italian authorities had requested a review of export licences immediately prior to the three-day sale of the Rossi Collection which ended on March 12.