Salerooms to stop selling rhino horn
Sotheby’s is the latest auction house to pull the sale of rhinocerous horn artefacts from its auction. It withdrew three items from an upcoming sale in Hong Kong.
Nicolas Chow, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, said the auction house will “no longer offer rhino horn artefacts in the future… Sotheby’s deplores any illegal slaughter and trading of endangered wildlife, and strongly supports conservation efforts.”
Bonhams announced it had stopped the sale of 21 Ming and Qing rhino horn carvings from a private collection due to be auctioned on November 27.
The decisions by the auction houses followed the campaigning by 37 wildlife conservation organisations who wrote to Bonhams demanding it cancel the auction and stop future sales.
Both auction houses said they will no longer sell rhino horn-related objects at any of their salerooms. Christie’s stopped selling rhino-horn related objects six years ago.
All of the withdrawn objects were antique works of art.
The UK does not allow the sale, regardless of age, of uncarved rhino horns including those mounted in silver as inkwells, clocks, etc, or those mounted as big game trophies on or off shields.
China Guardian Hong Kong has also issued a statement to say it will no longer offer rhino horn items at auction.
Adam Smith’s own Wealth of Nations
Adam Smith’s personal copy of the first edition of his great work, the Wealth of Nations, is coming up at Christie’s December 12 auction in London. Estimated at £500,000-800,000, it was one of just two retained by Smith (1723-90) for his own library.
The work, more formally known as An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, was printed in London for publishers W Strahan and T Cadell, 1776-84.
By 1988 this copy had entered the trade and graced one private French collection before its acquisition by its current owner, a private European collector. The other copy known to have been retained by Smith is now lost.
Cartier Portland Tiara stolen in raid
The police and the owners of a Cartier jewel-encrusted tiara are appealing for help to track it down after it was stolen from the Welbeck Estate in Worksop, Nottinghamshire.
Known as the Portland Tiara, it is estimated to be valued into six figures and was stolen from the Portland Collection in a raid between 9.45-10pm on November 20 on the Welbeck Estate.
There are fears the tiara and brooch will be broken down and the gems sold separately.
The 6th Duke of Portland commissioned Cartier to create the tiara for his wife, Winifred, Duchess of Portland, and she wore it to the 1902 coronation of King Edward VII. The tiara was previously loaned to the V&A for its tiara exhibition in 2002.
Its centre-piece is the Portland diamond, which dates to the 19th century.
Police ask anyone with information to contact police on 101, quoting incident number 856 of November 20 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Nevinson study surfaces in Surrey
A study for CRW Nevinson’s (1889-1946) famous work Returning to the Trenches sold for £43,000 (plus 20% buyer’s premium) at John Nicholson’s in Haslemere on November 28.
The 9¾ x 7½in (25 x 19cm) pastel and charcoal study, pictured right, was acquired by the current owner from the artist, art critic and writer Mervyn Levy in 1973.
The completed 1914 painting, now in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, is viewed as a landmark in both the development of Futurism and of war art.
It caused a sensation when it was first exhibited in a seminal show of Futurist work in London in 1915.
This study – one of a number made by the artist – will be included in a catalogue raisonné of Nevinson’s work penned by art historian Christopher Martin who was in the saleroom to see it sold. The auctioneers were assisted in the cataloguing of the picture by Dr Jonathan Black of Kingston University.
The most clicked-on stories for week November 22-28 on antiquestradegazette.com
1 Auctioneer to charge for condition reports
2 Art dealer and Fake or Fortune? presenter Philip Mould rediscovers Charles Dickens miniature
3 Rembrandt fingerprints discovered on painting ahead of Sotheby’s Old Masters auction
4 What lots caught bidders’ eyes this week? Six auction highlights including a rare Old Master landscape and pair of royal Russian shoes
5 LS Lowry leads Modern British art sales as rare racecourse scene sells at £4.5m
The hammer price at Christie’s for a Macallan 1926 60-year-old bottle of whisky hand-painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon. At £1.2m including premium, it set a world auction record for a bottle of whisky. A total of 24 artist-decorated bottles of the 1926 Macallan were made and offered for sale by Fortnum & Mason in London in 1999. A single shot would now be worth £48,000.