A miniature version of Wimbledon’s Renshaw Cup by silversmith Wakely & Wheeler, London, 1985 is part of the Boris Becker collection which is being auctioned by Wyles Hardy.

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Becker collection dispersed online

An auction of tennis legend Boris Becker’s collection of memorabilia is taking place as a timed online sale that runs until June 28.

Becker was declared bankrupt in the UK last year. The live online auction includes 81 lots which are being sold ‘on behalf of the trustees in bankruptcy of the estate of Boris Becker’.

The trustees have instructed business asset valuer and auctioneer Wyles Hardy & Co to sell the items, some of which carry reserves. The collection includes rackets, watches, photographs and awards including a miniature of the Renshaw Cup hallmarked 1985, the year Becker became the youngest-ever male Wimbledon singles champion at the age of 17.

Reward ad cited in Bulmer theft trial

An advert calling for information on stolen artworks placed in Antiques Trade Gazette has been cited during the trial of those accused of a robbery at a Somerset house.

Art and antiques valued at millions of pounds were stolen from the home of Esmond Bulmer, a member of the Bulmers cider dynasty, and his wife in 2009.

The trial of 11 men accused of involvement in the theft and storage of the artworks is being heard at Bristol Crown Court.

Following the crime, Dick Ellis – a former Metropolitan Police Art and Antiques Squad detective who now runs advisory firm Art Management Group – was hired to help recover the stolen property.

He placed an advert in ATG offering a £50,000 reward in 2010 which was published again in 2015.

Last week, the court heard that one of the defendants contacted Hiscox Insurance with information to claim the reward. The trial continues.

In Numbers


The declared increase in visitors to the 61st ABA Rare Book Fair London last month. The May 24-26 fair was the first held in Battersea Park.

Last week Becker, appointed an ambassador for the Central African Republic, declared diplomatic immunity in the UK and attacked the “bunch of anonymous and unaccountable bankers and bureaucrats” chasing him for money.

Buxton Fair on hold for refurbishment

Cooper Events’ annual Buxton Fair has been postponed until May 2019 due to late-running refurbishment at its venue.

Earlier this year, the event was rescheduled from May to September to accommodate the ongoing works at Buxton Pavilion Gardens.

However, fair director Sue Ede said that “the work is only now coming to the end of its building programme and we cannot guarantee everything will be ready for September”.

During the past two years the fair has been held in a temporary pavilion alongside the Octagon building, but it has not been available this year.

“Now we look forward to returning to the Octagon Hall for a major relaunch event,” Ede said. The next staging runs from May 16-19, 2019.

Ephemera dealer awarded OBE

Elizabeth Crawford, suffrage historian and book and ephemera dealer, has been awarded an OBE in the 2018 Queen’s birthday honours list.


Elizabeth Crawford, recipient of the OBE.

She received the award for services to education. Crawford launched her business – Woman and Her Sphere – in 1984, dealing in books and ephemera by and about women. Inspired by material passing through her hands, she has published six books on the women’s suffrage movement.

Also on the awards list, vice chairman for Sotheby’s in the US Hugh Hildesley received an overseas MBE for services to charity. The senior auctioneer joined Sotheby’s in 1961 and the firm credits him as playing “an integral role in the company’s formative years in New York”.

Insurance for centre owners

Dorking insurance firm Anthony Wakefield & Co has launched a new product specifically for owners of antiques centres. John Wakefield, senior underwriter at the firm said: “The most innovative aspect is the inclusion of legal liability for goods in the centre’s care (essentially the individual dealers’ stock).

“This is cover that can be offered at very reasonable cost and addresses a gap in cover that [some] other commercial insurance fails to provide”.

£12.5m porcelain record in a shoebox

An imperial Qianlong (1736-1795) mark and period vase, left to the vendor’s grandparents by an uncle and brought into Sotheby’s Paris saleroom in a shoe box, was knocked down at €14.2m (£12.5m) on June 12.


Qianlong vase – €14.2m (£12.5m) at Sotheby’s on June 12.

Against a modest €500,000-700,000 estimate, the lot took 20 minutes to set a new high for a piece of Chinese porcelain sold at auction in France.

The combination of form and yangcai enamel landscape decoration populated by deer, cranes and pine trees is particularly rare. Only one similar vase is known, although the Imperial inventories twice mention a pair of vases to this design: one pair commissioned in 1765; the other ordered as a birthday gift in 1769.

The price is the second highest for Chinese art in France next to the €17.8m (£16.2m) bid in March 2011 at Toulouse auction house Labarbe for a 24m scroll depicting the army of the Qianlong emperor.

Rubens emerges in South Africa

A portrait of an old man attributed to Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) has emerged at South African saleroom Stephan Welz & Co.

It was purchased in Amsterdam in 1925 by a German-Jewish doctor and, after being attributed to the Flemish master by the art historian Henk Peter Bremmer, it was subsequently taken to South Africa after the doctor f led Nazi Germany. Other works in his collection included a work by Pieter Bruegel the Younger, a Degas pastel and some Rembrandt prints.

The 21.25 x 15.5in (54 x 39cm) oil on oak panel is now being sold by his descendants in a timed auction that closes on June 29.

The estimate is 5-8m Rand (approximately £280,000-450,000) and the work will be put on view in Johannesburg from June 19-21.

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The most clicked-on stories for week June 7-13 on

1 Boris Becker’s collection seized and now offered in online auction

2 Two rare Fabergé flower ornaments sell for £340,000

3 Auction house Sotheby’s takes on Greece in landmark antiquities court case

4 Chinese vase brought for valuation in a shoebox sells at £12.5m

5 Rare 17th century English doll turns heads in North Yorkshire sale