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Latest art and antiques news from Antiques Trade Gazette. Browse by topics such as art finance, auctions, insurance and recruitment.

Conference to debate future of fine arts education and professional qualifications

09 December 2002

Does the fine arts business warrant professional qualifications? What form should the education take? Should there be only one body representing the profession or several representing different aspects?

Trade warned not to miss deadline on price fixing claims

09 December 2002

THE British Antique Dealers Association are advising members who qualify for compensation in the wake of the Sotheby’s/Christie’s price fixing case not to miss the claims deadline.

Furniture star at jewel specialists

06 December 2002

Birmingham auctioneers Fellows & Sons (15% buyer’s premium) are particularly known for their silver and jewellery sales but on October 29 it was a piece of furniture which took the top honours. A William and Mary walnut and crossbanded chest on stand had made £3400 when it was auctioned in 1998 by James & Lister Lea of Birmingham as part of the estate of the Late Mrs Joyce Cadbury of the Bourneville-based chocolate dynasty. Here it was punchily estimated at £4500-5500.

Bringing in a guaranteed harvest in Home Counties stockbroker belt

06 December 2002

Over the last year or so there have been some worryingly disappointing results at London and New York auctions of 19th century British and Continental pictures. Bidding in London at Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) November 19 sale of 19th Century Paintings, however, exhibited some much-welcomed signs of renewed solidity, with 64 per cent of the 182 lots finding buyers.

Rubens will go on public display

06 December 2002

Rubens’ Massacre of the Innocents is to go on public display at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Lord Thomson of Fleet, who set a record for an Old Master painting at auction when he paid £45m for the work at Sotheby’s in London in July, announced that the painting would join nearly 2000 other works in his collection at the gallery after it completes a $315m renovation and expansion.

Fresh with the tangs of Citrus…

06 December 2002

There is still plenty of time to catch the Christmas show at the Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond St., who inform us that the exhibition in fact runs until December 21st and not the 11th as first reported in last month’s Decoration and Design.

New hope of tax relief could stem drain of art from historic properties

06 December 2002

THE prospect of tax relief for the maintenance of historic properties has come a step closer thanks to a new Government-backed study. If introduced, it could stem the disposal of works of art, whose sale currently funds 26 per cent of maintenance on such properties.

Where the most appealing ingredients mix, silver shows it can still shine

06 December 2002

November 19 was a very busy day for silver fanciers, obliged to make a decision about which of a trio of overlapping London sales they wished to attend in person. As well as King Sreet's main sale, there were more standard offerings at Christie’s South Kensington and Bonhams Knightsbridge (each 17.5/10% buyer’s premium).

Tea and sympathisers

06 December 2002

Historians have spent many enjoyable hours attempting to decipher the symbolism of pictures on the back of Georgian teaspoons such as those illustrated right. Like the club tie or the secret society handshake, the picture back teaspoon was an English gentleman’s discreet method of signalling loyalties to potential sympathisers when serving afternoon tea.

Russian buyers follow the trend when it comes to selectivity

06 December 2002

Russian Works of Art: ALTHOUGH like the silver sale that preceded it, the buying mood was selective for the 343 lots of Russian works of art offered by Sotheby’s Olympia on November 21, it still totalled a respectable £684,000 for the 215 lots that changed hands.

Another fine mess : Stanley’s marvellous eclecticism

06 December 2002

The name Stanley J. Seeger will be familiar to many art collectors and auction goers for there have already been no fewer than five auctions of his works of art and pictures since 1993, ranging from 88 works by Picasso sold in New York to Contemporary art in Milan and 18th-20th century British pictures in London.

Regency mahogany secretaire bookcase sells for £27,500

06 December 2002

With the recent closure of numerous manufacturing depots belonging to a Cardiff company, the time came to dispose of items from the manager’s flat. The best of these items, all of which were sold on November 20 at the Cardiff rooms of Anthemion Auctions, was this Regency mahogany secretaire bookcase.

Dining on a grand scale appeals at £20,000

06 December 2002

Five days after Sotheby’s auction, a smaller, 152-lot Russian sale comprising works of art and pictures went under the hammer at Christie’s South Kensington’s rooms on November 26 and here too buyers picked over the contents with 60 per cent changing hands.

Kensington is new venue for Haughtons’ ceramics fair

02 December 2002

LONDON-based Brian and Anna Haughton are moving their International Ceramics Fair & Seminar from the West End to the Commonwealth Centre in Kensington where it will be staged in conjunction with a new event, The London Asian Art Fair.

Top-end Victorian art feels the pinch

02 December 2002

The market for high-value Victorian pictures took a downturn last week when Christie’s and Sotheby’s Important British Picture sales posted some worryingly high levels of bought-ins.

Dual effect of packed sales calendar

28 November 2002

The upside of Asian art in London is that the volume of sales pulls in all the Asian and international buyers. The downside of this concentration is that scheduling without overlap is difficult and buyers inevitably pick their way through all those goods selectively. Christie’s South Kensington, who fielded a marathon 600-plus lot Chinese auction on November 14, felt both effects.

Papier-mâché is the new black

28 November 2002

“Black lacquered papier-mâché is back in vogue after a couple of years in the doldrums,” said Bonhams’ David Houlston, hailing one of the most successful components of November Chester sale on 6-8 November. This material was a decorative complement to the crepuscular interiors of Victorian houses and Mr Houlston believes that its resurgence is due to the ingenuity of modern decorators who have found brighter uses for the black.

Rare Staffordshire pearlware model of a camel fetched £27,000

28 November 2002

A private collection of Wood family Staffordshire pearlware figures was the main focus of a sale of British ceramics held by Sotheby’s Olympia on November 19.

An unabashedly Copernican treatise

28 November 2002

A PRE-VESALIAN anatomy and a pioneering German surgical treatise are featured in the caption story below, while among the other scientific texts in an October 2 sale of early printed books held by Swanns were two important works by Kepler.

What do we do about brown furniture? NAVA ask members

28 November 2002

FACING up to the decline in demand for brown furniture was the central issue taxing the National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers (NAVA) at their annual general meeting in Cardiff.

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