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Fresh Constable is irresistible

20 July 2004

IT was, perhaps, a telling sign of the current shortage of high-quality, market-fresh Old Master paintings in the salerooms that Bonhams (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) July 7 Old Master Paintings sale should be headed by this hitherto unrecorded John Constable (1776-1837) plein air oil on canvas sketch, right, of the artist’s home village, East Bergholt.

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The first book bindings fit for a Roman consul

13 July 2004

ROUNDING off a sale of Western Manuscripts and Miniatures at Sotheby’s on June 22 was what, at first glance, must have seemed an unusual inclusion in a manuscript sale – a 13 1/2in (35cm) high carved ivory plaque featuring a figure of a Roman Consul.

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Cast iron successes in a sticky market

13 July 2004

ROUNDING off the European furniture, carpets and works of art sale at Christie’s South Kensington (19.5/12% buyer’s premium) on June 15 was a 78-lot collection of hall stands, mostly made in cast iron.

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Look up, look down, look out – South Kensington goes Pop

13 July 2004

DECADES before Damien Hirst’s formaldehyde sheep and the 1990s explosion of Britart, London was swinging to the rhythm of Pop Art’s movers and shakers. Forty years have now passed since the height of this international movement prompting Christie’s South Kensington (19.5/12% buyer’s premium) to host the first of what they hope will become an annual Pop Art themed sale on June 30.

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Hevelius and Selenographia - all his own work

13 July 2004

SCIENCE books in a June 24 sale held by Bloomsbury Auctions included a 1647, Danzig first of Hevelius’ Selenographia, the first lunar atlas, illustrated with a portrait and 111 plates (one with volvelle), mostly engraved by the author from drawings that he made in the observatory that he had equipped with instruments he had built himself.

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Vermeer wows the crowds with £14.5m

13 July 2004

RIGHT: despite the occasionally negative press the antiques trade has received in recent weeks a media circus arrived at Sotheby’s on July 7 to watch the Bond Street auctioneers sell Young Woman Seated at the Virginals, a newly-acknowledged picture by Johannes Vermeer (1632-75).

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Markets shift as Hunt followers are moving inside…

13 July 2004

IN the eyes of many of today’s collectors, it is the realist interiors, which range from old farm buildings to grand rooms, and the figure subjects of William Henry Hunt (1790-1864), which are most desirable, a fact highlighted by the artist’s sale results.

When two low points of the market combine, who is going to shell out £500?

13 July 2004

THE problem with over-ambitious estimates does not just apply to the sort of significant paintings which consignors may be led to believe are worth sums in the £100,000-£1m range.

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More artists give power to Meek...

13 July 2004

WHAT do the Society of Women Artists (SWA), founded in 1855, and Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers (RMS), founded in 1896, have in common?

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…and the appeal of Rowlandson now lies at the affordable level

13 July 2004

THOMAS Rowlandson’s (1756-1827) watercolour Place des Victoires, Paris (estimated £60,000-80,000) failed to find a buyer when offered at Sotheby’s (20/12% buyer’s premium) on July 1.

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First of Keynes' General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money sold by Bloomsbury Auctions

13 July 2004

ON June 4, as part of the Fortunoff library, Bloomsbury Auctions sold a 1936 first of John Maynard Keynes’ enormously infleunetial General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money for £1700 (Bauman).

Poor trading climate continues for Partridge

13 July 2004

IN its latest published results, Partridge have recorded a significant fall in both turnover and profits citing again the very difficult trading conditions.

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The dealers through an artist’s eye

13 July 2004

IT is not often that an antiques dealer ends up on the walls of the National Portrait Gallery, but until September 19 that is just what is happening.

Chelsea to bloom again as Cindy and a harpist move in...

13 July 2004

THE Chelsea Flower Show may be just a fading memory, but Hove-based organiser Cindy Mainwaring, who has been putting together popular monthly fairs at Chelsea Old Town Hall for the past 26 years, is determined her fair this Sunday will be blooming.

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Quick return is poor return for Grendy

13 July 2004

IN the same week that Sotheby’s and Christie’s were offering their summer selections of English furniture, Bonhams’ Bond Street (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) offered a 224-lot English and Continental mix that also incorporated a sizeable selection of works of art. The broader mix didn’t result in a higher take-up: selling rates for this July 29 event were 54 per cent by lot and 65 in money on a £640,440 total.

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The not so humble Windsor chairs

10 July 2004

THE forerunners of their kind may have been a relatively humble form of seating, but, as two lots in the recent English furniture sales showed, it wasn’t long before the Windsor chair began to branch out.

Gladwell branch out after 250 years at top of their tree

07 July 2004

WHILE much of the art dealing world struggles to keep its galleries open, one City-based family firm is actually expanding to two London showcases.

Graduate selling exhibition is no casual affair

07 July 2004

FOLLOWING last year’s inaugural, successful summer show of graduate student’s work, The Metal Gallery at 90 Mount Street, London W1 have declared this an annual event and this year’s selling exhibition, The Graduate 2004, will run from July 21 to September 11.

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‘Younger and edgier’ mood helps new-look Bonhams to great start and £2.9m total

07 July 2004

HAVING spent millions of pounds revamping their Bond Street flagship saleroom, could Bonhams (19.5/12% buyer’s premium) succeed in attracting the sort of prestigious consignments of Modern and Contemporary art which are going to be the life-blood of any successful international auction house in the early 21st century?

Beady-eyed collectors

07 July 2004

I HAVE been asked to alert readers to the annual Beadwork and Bead Fair – and why not? There are many more arcane items which have societies devoted to them and beads obviously have staying power for the fair has been going for 15 years.

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