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

$200,000 for first (lunar module data) book on the moon

14 May 2003

It hardly qualifies as a book, but the data card book in which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin recorded critical values for input into the lunar module computer during the Apollo XI mission of 1969, autograph data that enabled them to make the first moon landing, certainly qualifies as an historical technical document.

Dublin sale bodes well for upcoming London events

14 May 2003

THE London Irish sales are the annual litmus test of the very top end of the Irish picture market. Upcoming at the time of writing, this year’s sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s (May 15 and 16) seem to lack the numbers of big hitting pictures seen over the past ten years, reflecting the reluctance of vendors to come into today’s nervous market in which estimates are based upon realities rather than the wishful thinking that used to be good enough.

£90,000 goes up in collectors’ smoke

14 May 2003

AFTER the successful sale of items consigned by the Austrian State Tobacco Museum to Wiener Kunst in Vienna last October, European pipemen had another chance to add to their collections when nearly 500 pipes and pipe bowls came under the hammer at Tajan (14.35% - 20.33 % buyer’s premium) on April 26.

Oui, Minister... 210 years on, the name of a French politician – and his eye for art – still have a real power to impress

14 May 2003

THE NAME of Jean-Baptiste de Machault d’Arnouville (1701-94), Finance and Navy Minister under Louis XV, provided lustrous provenance to the top lots at the sale of art and furniture held by Beaussant-Lefèvre (14.35-17.94% buyer’s premium) at Drouot on April 25.

Orpen and Turner draw specialists to Essex

14 May 2003

ON the same day as Whyte’s Dublin sale, the Irish theme continued this side of the water at Essex when Sworders (15 per cent buyer’s premium) offered a drawing by Sir William Orpen (1878-1931) at their Stansted Mountfichet rooms on April 29 – a 16 by 14in (40 x 35cm) signed pencil and coloured washes piece entitled The Furniture Painter.

Some French things are still popular in New York

13 May 2003

THERE was a collective sigh of relief in the New York salerooms last week when, after a long period of uncertainty following the war in Iraq and turmoil in the stockmarkets, both Sotheby’s and Christie’s held impressive Part I Impressionist and Modern sales. Any fears that anti-French feeling would spill over in the salerooms proved unfounded after French artists took the top honours at both houses.

Della Robbia collection brings wide interest at Nottingham sale

13 May 2003

IT’S hard to say whether modern studio potters find the Della Robbia story inspiring or depressing. Established by Harold Rathbone and Conrad Dressler in Birkenhead in 1894, in its 12-year operation the factory became a key part of the Arts and Crafts movement but also went broke.

Bill Bertoia, pioneering toy auctioneer

13 May 2003

WILLIAM S. ‘Bill’ Bertoia, antique toy authority and founder of Bertoia Auctions in New Jersey, has died at the age of 52, after battling with cancer.

Compensation for those who have been grounded

13 May 2003

MAGRITTE'S Oiseau du Ciel, pictured right, commissioned by Belgium’s Sabena airline in 1965, was sold at auction in Brussels on May 5 for a triple-estimate €3.4m (£2.3m).

It’s business as usual

13 May 2003

FOR more than one reason, one might have expected the latest series of Islamic works of art sales in London to be a downbeat affair. Added to the prevailing economic gloom, this could surely be a sector of the market where the war in Iraq and its aftermath would have a depressive effect on prices.

Bowled over to the tune of 20 times the estimate

13 May 2003

SLEEPERS among saleroom sections of Oriental ceramics are a regular feature at auctions around the country and at Charterhouse Auctioneer's 28 March auction (15% buyer's premium) one came in the form of a late 18th/early 19th century Chinese lotus bowl.

Novelty cigarette box lights up the day

13 May 2003

SPECIALIST collector markets provided the highlights at Locke & England's Warwickshire salerooms where the 524-lot mixed sale on April 3 (12.5% buyer's premium) included sections catering to special interests in textiles, 20th century pottery and porcelain, toys and games and novelty silver.

Specialist spots oak sleeper in garden venture

13 May 2003

A TIMELY debut for a garden and architectural items section at Andrew Hartley's April 9-10 sale (10% buyer's premium) brought in private buyers who usually fire this market but also a specialist who spotted a sleeper – a pair of carved oak corbels, each depicting the head of a cherub over an acanthus leaf and scroll base.

Bronze beats the rest

13 May 2003

WHILST the rest of the antiques trade has taken a marked downturn, niche collecting areas remain largely unaffected. This was proved when the March 29 sale held by David Stanley Auctions (10% buyer's premium), specialist Leicestershire tool auctioneers, went on to be one of their best ever.

Bidders frustrated as Spanish State pre-empts Goyas

13 May 2003

THERE were suppressed cries of irritation from the public at the May 8 sale held in Madrid by Alcalá Subastas as the Spanish State pre-empted all the important lots of the evening, including two newly-discovered paintings by Goya.

100 years on the move

13 May 2003

BRITANNIA Chapmans, the firm of removal specialists serving major auction houses, museums and art galleries, are celebrating 100 years in business.

Successes rolling on

13 May 2003

The regular specialist carpets and textiles sales at Salisbury auctioneers Woolley & Wallis (15% buyer’s premium) have shown what can be achieved in the provinces even in the most esoteric subjects, and the latest 560-lot event put together by June Barrett and Ian Bennett on April 10 underlined this. War in the Middle East seemed more likely than most to hit this market, but after a creditable 60 per cent turnover and a total just shy of £100,000, June Barrett was more than happy.

Towering inferno

12 May 2003

THE Hindenburg archive, which includes the famous Leica and accessories recovered from the wreckage by Fritz Deeg, the steward onboard the airship when disaster struck on May 6, 1937, is being offered by WestLicht on May 23 and 24.

Battersea: power to the people…

12 May 2003

BATTERSEA dealer Robert Young, the country’s only specialist in English and European folk art, holds his fourth annual Exhibition of Antique Folk Art from May 16 to 24 at his showrooms at 68 Battersea Bridge Road, London SW11.

Antiques Roadshow at Chilworth Manor

09 May 2003

ON Sunday, 18th May 2003, antiques enthusiasts can have their objects of virtue, jewellery and paintings appraised at Chilworth Manor, Chilworth, from 11:00am to 4:00pm.