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

Closed shop pays a £112,000 dividend

05 November 2002

Auctioneers Walker Barnett & Hill (buyer’s premium 15 per cent) were understandably celebrating their decision not to break up the contents of WTM Snape’s Tea and Coffee Merchants of Queen Street, Wolverhampton, right, when they were put up for sale on September 30.

Disaster of a collection, triumph of a sale

05 November 2002

FINE ART buyers may recoil from bloodied dead game or memento mori skulls on still lifes, but the rest of the market knows no such delicacy. Death and disaster, after a suitable lapse of time, become marketing opportunities, as was demonstrated at the Chiswick rooms of Harmers (15% buyer’s premium) on October 22 when their wide reputation as philately auctioneers brought them the remarkable Günther Heyd Disaster Mail collection from Germany.

US price-fixing compensation can go ahead say courts

05 November 2002

EC fine Sotheby’s £13m – Christie’s escape penalty: THE US courts have given the go-ahead for compensation settlements to be paid in Sotheby’s and Christie’s $512m price fixing case. The green light came last week after the 90-day appeal period set by the US Supreme Court expired with no challenge to the ruling.

RICS want masters course for graduates

05 November 2002

UK: THE RICS Antiques and Fine Arts Faculty is working on a plan to develop a masters degree for graduates who hold a degree not accredited by the RICS.

William Morris wallpaper designs

05 November 2002

Edinburgh’s Royal College of Surgeons was the venue on the evening of October 29 for the sale by Thomson, Roddick and Medcalf of four important and original wallpaper designs by William Morris (1834-1896).

Frayling in the chair for Parker Knoll

05 November 2002

The fourth Frederick Parker lecture, held last week at Church House, Westminster, confirmed the potential of this event as an important annual fixture when Christopher Frayling, Rector of London’s Royal College of Art, spoke on the evolution of art and design education in Britain since the 1830s.

Pleased to do their duty by Nelson

30 October 2002

Few historic characters are guaranteed to generate more interest than the one-armed, one-eyed figure of Britain’s most celebrated admiral, Lord Nelson. Sotheby’s (19.5/10% buyer’s premium), Bond Street, 93-lot auction of Nelson memorabilia from the Alexander Davison collection sold on Trafalgar Day (October 21) to a room so packed that buyers had to spill over into an adjacent gallery.

Horse head with everything in its favour sees bidding gallop ahead

30 October 2002

The second-eleven sale that followed on from Christie’s main Islamic auction, was held in their South Kensington rooms on October 18, with 324 of its 417 lots changing hands, and saw the highest take-up of all the sales in this autumn’s series.

Tuai and Titere – Maoris from the Marsden Missionary School

30 October 2002

Seen here are two black ink silhouettes of Teeterree and Thomas Tooi that sold for £2500 as part of the book and ephemera section of an antiques sale held on October 5 by Finan & Co. of Mere.

Oh what a beautiful mourning

30 October 2002

The fastest growing area of the jewellery market, mourning apparel has become “hot property in the past 12 months”, says Jethro Marles of Bearne’s. Pointedly excepting the sort of heavy black jewellery produced in large quantities during the post-Albert period, he says that the material that has doubled in value over the past year is the earlier, more delicate mourning jewellery of the sort shown right.

Extensive buying base may store up trouble

30 October 2002

The COINEX week of sales was kicked off by Dix Noonan Webb with a 1928-lot sale on a long October 8. This marathon took ten hours to disperse, making a total of £483,639; this, exults Chris Webb, was their best ever sale.

Bligh relics acquired by National Maritime Museum, but it is not all plain sailing and there were other…

30 October 2002

Pick of the Bligh relics sold at Christies King Street last month was the cup that he used to hold his meagre rations of bread and water, a coconut shell that bears his incised initials, the date April 1789 and, inscribed in ink around the rim, the words “The Cup I eat my miserable allowance of”.

BACA launch their trade award scheme for 2003

30 October 2002

THE next British Antiques and Collectables Awards ceremony will be held at the Dorchester Hotel in London on June 24 next year. Unveiling details of the scheme last week, the organisers revealed a number of changes in the award categories – a process they promised to continue last year as they assessed how each category worked.

Valuable stolen atlases were broken up and maps sold off

28 October 2002

UK: A man who stole two extremely rare atlases to remove maps and sell them individually over the Internet has been jailed for 15 months.

Trade alerted over spate of church brass thefts

28 October 2002

Thieves plagued West Country churches over the summer, stealing monumental brasses and, in one case, a misericord. Experts suspect the thefts are the work of one gang, targeting villages close to the M4 and M40. It is thought the thief must have at least one accomplice to act as lookout as several of the churches are popular with summer visitors.

‘Film props’ scam hits centre dealers

28 October 2002

UK: A man calling himself Terence Lucas has disappeared without paying for antiques hired in antique centres to use as props in a film. Mr Lucas, who is described as white, around 40-45, 6ft tall, slim and with very short grey hair, visited three dealers in Antiquarius on the Kings Road, London on October 2, claiming to work for a company called Fine Art Research.

Has the time come to put new values on aesthetic judgments?

23 October 2002

GREATLY influenced by the opening up of Japan to Western trade and acknowledged as the prelude to Art Nouveau, the Aesthetic Movement has an assured place in the annals of decoration and design in the second half of the 19th century.

Hepworth doubles hopes

23 October 2002

Over the last 10 to 15 years, the market has undergone a slow but steady shift towards 20th century painting in particular the Post-War abstraction of the St Ives school whose geometric shapes and pure blocks of colour are wholly in tune with contemporary tastes.

Muted sideshow

23 October 2002

Presented with individual estimates of €35,000-50,000, two male and female Urhobo figures – just as large as the Urhobo figure sold at Sotheby’s, and possibly a matching pair – were the chief casualties at the mixed-provenance sale of African art (principally from Nigeria) assembled by Marie-Catherine Daffos and Jean-Luc Estournel for Lombrail-Teucquam (buyer’s premium 15%) at Drouot on the afternoon of September 30.

Girl’s revealing tassel

23 October 2002

“Marvellously dotty” was how Peyton Skipwith of The Fine Art Society chose to describe this 14 by 12in (36 x 30cm) oil on panel by Rex Whistler (1905-1944). Entitled Miss Muffet, the panel depicts the moment when, sat upon her tuffet eating her curds and wey, a spider sits down beside the well-known nursery rhyme character.

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