UK

The United Kingdom accounts for more than one fifth of the global art market sales and is the second biggest art market after the US.

Through auctioneers, dealers, fairs and markets - and a burgeoning online sector - buyers, collectors and sellers of art and antiques can easily access a vibrant network of intermediaries and events around the country. The UK's museums also house a wealth of impressive collections

The Rothschild millions

12 July 1999

UK: LIVING up to its billing as one of the sales of the century The Rothschild Collection netted a hammer total of £52 million at Christie’s in London last week, the highest ever realised for a single-owner collection in Europe.

Kent dealers plan to block registration bill

12 July 1999

UK: GROWING concern has led to calls for action among dealers in Kent faced with a new law which would make it a criminal offence not to register and keep detailed records when buying and selling secondhand goods in the county.

Pressing the flesh

12 July 1999

UK: THE ENORMOUS wheel screw on this simulated oven gives some clue as to the gruesome purpose of the plated contraption which turned up at the Salisbury salerooms of Woolley and Wallis on June 23.

Extra sparkle for London in June

05 July 1999

UK: June saw London re-affirm its position as one of the world’s two premier venues for selling top quality Impressionist and Modern art with record-breaking sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

A gilt and carved fauteuil by Georges Jacob

28 June 1999

UK: DISCOVERED in an English collection, this French, gilt and carved fauteuil sold to a private buyer at Christie’s in London on June 23 for £350,000 (plus premium).

Scapin and Columbine sell for £30,000

14 June 1999

UK: THE SECOND half of last week saw a selection of top quality antiques fairs in London that is not matched anywhere.

Dresser table sells for £16,000

07 June 1999

UK: THE WEEK before Harry Lyons of New Century opened his exhibition of Dresser at Kensington Church Street, the Leicester rooms of Warner Auctions sold this gilt-lined ebonised side table attributed to Christopher Dresser.

Noseley Hall art recalled

07 June 1999

UK: AN appeal is likely this week against a council’s decision to enforce the return of nine paintings sold in the major dispersal at Noseley Hall in Leicestershire at the end of last September.

Lively bidding for dodo

07 June 1999

UK: IT may have been a touch risky for Phillips (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) to illustrate a dodo on the front cover of a catalogue for the sale of 19th and 20th century design in Edinburgh on May 21, but thankfully for the auctioneers it proved to be anything but a dead duck when it came to the bidding.

Torpedoed by the Maxim Gun

07 June 1999

UK: ROBERT Gatling presented his rapid fire gun to the killing fields of the American Civil War – sparking a race between rival generals, statesmen and technicians to develop an automatic weapon with the capacity for achieving the most kills in the shortest time.

Halls take over Chester business

24 May 1999

UK: HALLS of Shrewsbury have acquired Boothmans in the heart of Chester. The saleroom and fine art business belonging to Peter and Sally Williams once housed Sotheby’s Chester branch – where Richard Allen of Halls was director.

Collector lured to cast net wider

24 May 1999

UK: BY the mid-19th century Redditch in Warwickshire had become the centre of the world for the production of fishing hooks and needles, supposedly skills handed down by the monks of Bordesley Abbey, who learnt their metalworking talents from links with Spain.

Going shell, going well

17 May 1999

UK: THOSE decorative pieces worked by amateurs using seashells have always come low down in the art world pecking order but of late their attractions have become more and more appreciated as seen when an Irish pair of shellwork botanical studies took £26,000 at Mallams, Oxford, on February 3.

Dog-eared tea table makes £13,400

17 May 1999

UK: A DOG had bitten one of the legs... and possibly worse, and two parts were knocked off by individuals at the viewing, but neither of these detractions put off Smith the Rink of Harrogate from bidding £13,400 plus 12 per cent buyer’s premium for this George III tea-table at Patrick Cheyne of Altrincham on May 8. Why?

Dutch undeterred by strong sterling

17 May 1999

UK: OVERTLY Continental pieces of furniture are not the most commercial proposition in the current trading environment (the strength of sterling have limited the overseas presence for many months now), but Bellman’s West Sussex rooms had no difficulty in selling a fine example of Dutch/Flemish cabinetmaking at their April sale.

Another decorative brick in the wall

17 May 1999

ARCHITECTURAL specialists Thomas William Gaze & Son (7.5 per cent buyer’s premium) included these 19th century decorative wallbricks, right, at their sale in Diss, Norfolk April 17.

Tin-glazed earthenware charger

10 May 1999

UK: AUCTIONEER John Goodwin of Ledbury in Herefordshire sold this polychrome tin-glazed earthenware charger, 33/4in (35cm) diameter, decorated with a portrait of King George, to London specialist Jonathan Horne for £13,750 (plus 10 per cent premium) on April 28.

Bailey to launch Manchester fair

10 May 1999

UK: EXPERIENCED organiser Robert Bailey is set to take on one of the biggest challenges of his career with the launch next year of a quality antiques fair in the heart of Manchester.

£150,000 for a pair of George III card tables

10 May 1999

UK: WEST Country auctioneers Lawrence’s of Crewkerne posted a house record on May 6 when they sold this pair of George III marquetry inlaid rosewood and satinwood card tables to a New York dealer for £150,000 (plus 12.75 per cent premium).

EBay buy Butterfields and launch their UK website

03 May 1999

US: EBAY, the giant Internet auctioneer, has announced that it is to acquire San Francisco-based auction house Butterfield & Butterfield in a deal expected to be in the region of $260m.

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