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Stanley Gibbons purchase mooted

Stamps and coin dealership Stanley Gibbons Group announced it has received an approach to buy the company from private equity firm Disruptive Capital.

In a statement released on Friday, it described the discussions of a possible offer as an “unsolicited approach” and said “there can be no certainty that any offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any such offer might be made”.

The announcement follows a series of sales by the stamps group in recent weeks. Auction house Dreweatts and dealer Mallett were sold to Mark Law’s Millicent Holdings for £2.4m, while the stake in Masterpiece London was sold for £1.4m.

Stone is thanks for cathedral support


ATG publishing director Matt Ball accepts the Canterbury Cathedral gift on behalf of the company from the Dean of Canterbury, Dr Robert Willis.

The Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury, presented Auction Technology Group (Antiques Trade Gazette’s parent company) with a commemorative piece of stone from the cathedral to recognise thesaleroom.com’s support of an auction last September.

The sale was to fund a new south window in the cathedral and raised £210,000. It offered original pieces of stone from the cathedral and was run by The Canterbury Auction Galleries. Online bidders emerged from around the UK, USA, Europe and beyond.

The ATG gift was presented at a well-attended event held at The Canterbury Auction Galleries, and Dr Willis then gave a first-hand account of a typical day in the working life of a Dean.

Danish museum buys Hammershøi


Vilhelm Hammershøi’s 'White Doors' – £1.2m at Sotheby’s.

Ordrupgaard Museum in Copenhagen has purchased Vilhelm Hammershøi’s White Doors for the hammer price of £1.2m, well above its £400,000-600,000 guide.

The painting was bought at Sotheby’s 19th century European Paintings sale on June 6.

It was most recently owned by the late Jens Risom, the Danish-American furniture designer, having been handed down through three generations of the same family.

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2 Christie’s South Kensington to close sooner than expected

3 Parmigianino sketch from home town of Parma to be offered at Bonhams auction

4 Unique picture book made by Hans Christian Andersen bid to £270,000

5 Lady Spencer’s collection to be sold at Christie’s auction

Vaughan takes his place in the sun

Sunbathers, a 1948 oil by Keith Vaughan, overshot a £30,000-50,000 estimate to bring £120,000 at Woolley & Wallis on June 7.

The picture formed part of the 16-lot collection of 20th century British art assembled by the late Keith Allison (1925-2016), who co-founded the firm of London solicitors Allison and Humphries.

He bought many of his pictures in the 1970s and ’80s, later retiring to the Wylye Valley in Wiltshire.

While examples of Vaughan’s 1950s works have made more, the sum fetched in Salisbury was among the strongest for a picture from this period.

See next week’s Art Market for more.

Fond farewell to ‘Gentleman Jim’


The late Jim Collingridge.

James ‘Gentleman Jim’ Collingridge, one of Christie’s South Kensington’s first auctioneers and mentor to several senior auctioneer figures, died on June 3 at the age of 86.

Collingridge, a jewellery and silver specialist who began his career at Debenham Storr & Sons in 1944, trained several current auction house leaders. They include Phillips chairman and CEO Ed Dolman, Christie’s global president Jussi Pylkkanen and CSK chairman Nic McElhatton.

He remained with the company through its various incarnations, becoming deputy chairman of CSK in the late 1980s.

An obituary will appear in a future issue.

Le Corbusier lights off at last minute


One of the Le Corbusier light fittings withdrawn at the last minute from an auction in France sale. Photo: Artcurial.

A group of more than 100 metal light fittings designed for a French housing complex by Le Corbusier (aka Charles Edouard Jeanneret) was unexpectedly withdrawn at the eleventh hour from a May 30 Design sale held by French auction house Artcurial.

The wall lights were part of the Unité d’Habitation (housing unit) designed in 1965 at Firminy, near Saint Etienne. It is now listed as a Unesco Heritage of Humanity Site.

Extensive restoration was undertaken at the housing block from 2001-05 and these lights were replaced by replicas to conform with latest standards. The originals were kept on site until the owners, a public body that runs and manages the site, decided to sell them.

But, as a spokesman for the auction house explained, following pressure exerted at the last minute by the Fondation Le Corbusier and residents’ association, the vendors decided to withdraw them a few hours before the sale.

The decision to sell had been made in consultation with the cultural authorities and the owner of the lights, said the spokesman.

In Numbers


The overall total including premium from the Russian art auctions in London last week, improving on the £16.4m generated at the equivalent series last year. Nevertheless, the sales at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, MacDougall’s and Bonhams were still running at under half the value of the 2007 market peak.