Wedgwood First Day vase
Wedgwood First Day’s vase

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Fundraising boost for First Day’s vase

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent is hopeful of raising nearly half a million pounds to buy a Wedgwood First Day’s vase (above) after it was awarded a £90,000 grant from the Art Fund.

The museum launched an appeal to raise the £482,500 needed after culture minister Matt Hancock placed a temporary bar on the black basaltes encaustic-decorated vase.

It had been sold at Christie’s Exceptional Sale in London in July.

The temporary bar has now been extended to July 14, giving extra time to gather funds.

The Friends of the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery raised more than £83,000, including a £60,000 Arts Council England grant.

With the latest £90,000 grant from the Art Fund, it has now raised more than £173,000.

Tableau reveals exhibitor line-up

Paris Tableau (Brussels), the specialist fair for Old Master paintings which has now relocated from the French to the Belgian capital, has announced its exhibitor list for the first staging at its new venue.

It takes place at La Patinoire Royale in central Brussels in a new summer time slot in June.

Twenty exhibitors will stand at the fair from June 8-11. Almost half come from France, with the remainder from Belgium, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the UK.

Eleven of the participants also exhibited at the last edition to be staged in Paris, in November 2015, before the fair announced that it would merge with the Paris Biennale for its 2016 edition.

Auctioneer appointments

Miety Heiden

Meity Heiden who has joined Phillips as head of private sales.

Phillips has recently appointed Miety Heiden as deputy chairman and head of private sales.

The latest in a run of ex- Sotheby’s and Christie’s staff to join Phillips, Heiden previously held leadership roles in private sales, business development and managing client relationships for the New York and Hong Kong contemporary art evening and day sales at Sotheby’s.

“Private sales are an increasingly important part of our strategy,” said Phillips CEO Edward Dolman.


Francesca Ellis is now co-director at Humbert & Ellis.

JP Humbert of Whittlebury, Northampton, has appointed Francesca Ell is as co-director.

The company will now be called Humbert & Ellis (Auctioneers & Valuers) Ltd and Ellis will assume the role of operations director alongside auctioneer and managing director Jonathan Humbert.

“Having worked for me in the business for three years, Francesca’s well versed in the internal mechanics of a busy auction house,” said Humbert.

The company also announced that it has changed its monthly Antiques & Jewellery auctions to Saturday mornings, alongside improving vendor-payment times to 30 days.

Di’s wish for sleep on her honeymoon


Princess Diana’s letter to her personal secretary in 1981.

Letters written by Princess Diana on honeymoon and after the birth of Prince William are heading to Gloucestershire’s Stroud Auction Rooms on April 12.

Following a group of letters which generated a hammer total of £56,000 at Cheffins’ sale in January, Stroud is now offering letters that reveal details about the early days of her marriage to Charles.

Among the 25 lots is a letter the princess sent to personal secretary Jane Parsons during her honeymoon. Written on Royal Yacht Britannia crested paper and dated August 15, 1981, she wrote: “The honeymoon was a perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep…”

Guide prices for the various lots range from £30-50 to £200-500.

Hope for business rates rise rethink

A government U-turn on a proposed National Insurance rise has been welcomed by the art and antiques trade, giving hope that a review of business rates could follow.

Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed the change on March 15, scrapping a planned rise in National Insurance for the self-employed that he had announced in his budget just a week before.

Dealer trade bodies LAPADA and BADA hope the reversal will mean the chancellor could look again at his policy on business rates.

Many shops are set to pay increased rates under a revaluation.

Most read

The most clicked-on stories for week March 9-15 on

1 Christie’s to close South Kensington saleroom

2 Art and antiques industry reacts to impending closure of CSK

3 Swiss art dealer’s Easter Island figure sells for £95,000 at Berkshire auction

4 TEFAF 2017: more sales announced and one work removed for being too provocative

5 Prince in the Tower – Edward V coin found in field comes to auction (see result above)

In Numbers


The number of attendees at TEFAF Maastricht’s preview day on March 9.


While 7000 visitors attended TEFAF Maastricht on the first public day of the fair (March 10), footfall on day two (March 11) was down 10% on last year.