London


Alexandre Iacovleff’s Dessins et Peintures d’Afrique

26 February 2001

UK: ONE of 50 coloured illustrations from Alexandre Iacovleff’s Dessins et Peintures d’Afrique of 1927, which sold for £800. One of 100 copies, it comprised a text volume in leather-backed satin covers painted with an African design and a pigskin portfolio containing the loose plates.

Spencelayh leads a gold mine’s motherlode

26 February 2001

UK: A COUPLE of weeks ago the Antiques Trade Gazette recorded the sale of the Joe Marshall Collection which put an extra sheen on the January sales at Sotheby’s South (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium). Among the goldmine of antiques veteran dealer Mr Marshall had shown Billingshurst chairman Tim Wonnacott in 1996, in a secret vault at his Blackburn shop, were a couple of oils by Charles Spencelayh R.M.S. (1865-1958) one of which was Mother shown here, which led the sale.

Dracula’s issue and more Hobbits found in New Bond Street

26 February 2001

UK: THE FIRST Phillips sale of the year gets a largely pictorial treatment here, but not everything that I selected for report was illustrated in the catalogue and a number of other highlights are described elsewhere (see "Job lots with a difference", above).

Via Crucis

26 February 2001

UK: ONE of the scarcer plate collections in the Phillips sale was Via Crucis, novellamente eretta nell’ Atrio del Santissimo Crocifisso della chiesa parochiale, e collegiata di S.Polo. Engraved throughout, this small quarto Venetian volume of c.1780 comprises 16 full-page illustrations of the Stations of the Cross by Leonardis after Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, plus 29 pages of text.

New V&A director named

20 February 2001

LONDON: DESPITE there being no official announcement from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the papers have been full of the news that Mark Jones is to be the new director of the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The Mysteries of Alchemy

19 February 2001

UK: THE English Literature and History sale held by Sotheby’s on December 19 opened in unexpectedly dramatic fashion when an English alchemical manuscript drawn up in 1624 by Leonard Smethley, miraculously transmuted an estimate of £6000-8000 into something just as welcome as the gold or silver that ancient practitioners hoped for – a huge bid of £180,000!

Jade chicken cup flies to £19,000

12 February 2001

UK: When a private UK vendor consigned a Chinese celadon jade cup to Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) at £400-600, he could not have hoped in his wildest dreams to sell it for almost 50 times the low estimate.

Buyers warm to February art date

12 February 2001

UK: Last week London saw Sotheby’s and Christie’s first ever round of major Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary sales in February.

An exotic blend for coffee

05 February 2001

UK: IT WAS standard case furniture: tables and other useful pieces of mahogany that made much of the running in the 224-lot sale of furniture held by Christie's South Kensington on January 10, topped at £12,000 by a good Georgian library bookcase from a private deceased estate.

The French connection in the English tradition

05 February 2001

UK: TAKE a look at this meuble d’appui right, mounted with gilt, painted with flowers and inlaid with olive, plum, rosewood, purpleheart and ebony – a sumptuous piece of late 19th century Gallic furniture, n’est-ce pas?

Bidding farewell after 56 years

01 February 2001

UK: Veteran auctioneer Jim Collingridge of Christie’s South Kensington retired last month after a 56-year career at the rostrum.

The more unusual, the better it went at Battersea

29 January 2001

UK: AFFIRMING its place as the London fair which reaches the parts other fairs do not reach, the winter version of the thrice-yearly Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair, held in its trademark marquee in Battersea Park, SW11 from January 16 to 21, once again made its distinctive mark among the first fairs of the year.

Riddle of the sphinx

22 January 2001

UK: THIS 63/4in (17cm) high striking table clock proved to be the most expensive lot in a sale of clocks and watches held by Christie’s South Kensington 17.5/10 per cent buyer’s premium) on December 14.

Scientific breakthroughs

22 January 2001

UK: CLOSE to 640 lots were packed into the catalogue of the last Bloomsbury sale of the old year – half of them scientific and medical – but compared with the sale of the previous week, reported in Antiques Trade Gazette No. 1473, four-figure bids were few and far between.

Powers of persuasion

08 January 2001

UK: IF you stood fuming on the cocktail party sidelines over the festive season as your wife/husband got on famously with a lecherous member of the opposite sex, then something like this oversized (18in) metal syringe and vial which appeared at Christie's South Kensington on December 12, would have come in rather useful.

Ack Ack in an early form

01 January 2001

UK: IN THE days when thousands of game birds would be shot in a morning on the moors by the likes of Walsingham and Ripon, it might have come as a shock to learn that no records of this gun ever making a successful kill existed, even more so when the target was many thousand times the size of your average pheasant.

Sotheby’s to open saleroom at Olympia

19 December 2000

LONDON: SOTHEBY’S have signed a five-year lease to open a new 54,000 sq ft year-round saleroom at Olympia in west London from June next year. The first sale is expected to take place in September.

Early 17th century Roman inlaid marble and hardstone table top

19 December 2000

A protracted telephone duel saw this striking early 17th century, Roman inlaid marble and hardstone table top go from a starting bid of £500,000 to a final price of £1,030,000 to top Sotheby’s Continental Furniture sale in London on December 13.

Agnew’s open new gallery in Bond Street

11 December 2000

UK: AGNEW’S are set to open a new gallery for Contemporary art in Old Bond Street in January.

A little too fiddly?

04 December 2000

Imagine being serenaded at your dinner table, preferably by one of the Python team, with the world’s smallest playable violin.

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