A Lucie Rie 1980s bowl sold for £100,000 at Sotheby’s.

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Lucie Rie bowls over expectations

Demand for Lucie Rie’s studio pottery is on a roll. The latest example in the saleroom came at Sotheby’s Made in Britain auction on September 13 when a yellow and bronze glazed bowl from the 1980s sold for £100,000 (plus premium).

The bowl, which measures 6in (15cm) in diameter and 4¼in (10.5cm) high, came from the collection of the late Emmanuel Cooper.

He was a well-known studio ceramicist in his own right who also wrote extensively about contemporary ceramics and was Rie’s biographer.

It was the object of a three-way battle on the day, eclipsing its £8000-12,000 estimate to take the highest price of the auction.

Phillips also raises buyer’s premium

Auction house Phillips has raised its buyer’s premium with the changes effective immediately.

The new rates apply to all sales categories and follow rises recently announced by both Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

The amended fees structure broadly mirrors Christie’s new charges in particular, with the only difference being the level at which 25% threshold applies (up to £180,000 at Phillips but up to £175,000 at Christie’s).

Phillips’ new buyer’s premium schedule is: 25% of the hammer price up to and including £180,000 ($300,000), 20% of the portion of the hammer price above £180,000 ($300,000) up to and including £3m ($4m), 12.5% of the portion of the hammer price above £3m ($4m).

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Top horologist gets stamps of approval

Horologist Dr John C Taylor OBE will have his life celebrated with a set of postage stamps in the Isle of Man where he lives.


One of the Isle of Man postage stamps dedicated to horologist Dr John C Taylor.

Taylor, who has one of the most comprehensive collections of early English clocks, is a successful inventor with 400 patents to his name, including those for electrical safety components and switches used in the electric kettle.

A set of six postage stamps issued by the Isle of Man Post Office focuses on different areas of his career and life, from his inventions and philanthropy to his clock collection.

Fresh director at Darlington firm

Darlington auction house Thomas Watson has appointed a new director.

David Elstob, 32, becomes the youngest director in the firm’s 177-year-old history, joining husband-and-wife team Peter and Stephanie Robinson. He joined Thomas Watson in 2012 as business development manager and, earlier this year, became a RICS-validated arts and antiques surveyor. The Robinson family acquired the business from the Watsons in 1950, and Peter and Stephanie have been the sole directors since 2004.

Chiswick South Ken look revealed


The new Chiswick Auctions branch in South Kensington.

Chiswick Auctions has opened its new branch in South Kensington at 127 Fulham Road. It will name the new operation Chiswick South Kensington (CSK).

The firm will use the showroom as a consignment and valuation office and a viewing and live-streamed bidding space for forthcoming sales. It will also look to expand into retail of some high-end goods.

New appointments at auction houses

Bonhams has appointed Deborah Ripley as director of the prints and multiples department. Based in New York, she will lead a team including members in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Ripley started at Pace Prints in the 1980s before joining the print department at Christie’s.

More recently, she was director of prints for Artnet Auctions, Auctionata and Paddle8, and, having also been a director of Landfall Press in New York, she has written and lectured about print collecting and contemporary art.


Deborah Ripley, who has joined Bonhams.

Bonhams has also appointed two directors to its modern decorative art and design department. Jason Stein and Dan Tolson are both returning to Bonhams and will be based in New York.

Stein most recently worked as chief curator at Viyet and as a senior design specialist at Paddle8 in Los Angeles. Tolson was a vice president and senior specialist at Sotheby’s New York.

Meanwhile, Sotheby’s has appointed Mikael Wallhagen and Tony Frank to its global watches team. They previously worked at the Swedish auction house Bukowskis.

In Numbers


The difference between the estimates on two ‘Pope’ studies by Francis Bacon being offered at Christie’s contemporary art evening auction on October 6. Head with Raised Arm from 1955 is pitched at £7m-10m, while Study of Red Pope from 1962, which measures over twice the size, has an estimate ‘in the region of £60m’.