Among the highlights of the Ronald Phillips Chippendale exhibition is this George III ormolu-mounted satinwood, padouk, amaranth, tulipwood and marquetry serpentine commode from c.1770, which is offered for a price in excess of £500,000.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Chippendale show at London gallery

Ronald Phillips will host an exhibition of Chippendale pieces in its Bruton Street gallery and at Masterpiece London to mark the tercentenary of the furniture designer’s birth. The exhibition’s two parts run simultaneously with the dates of the fair (June 28-July 4) and include 35 key pieces ranging in price from £8500-£1.2m.

It includes some of Thomas Chippendale’s (1718-79) important commissions as well as the range of styles published in his The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director (1754).

“Public knowledge of Chippendale is wide but not wide enough,” says the gallery’s Simon Phillips. “The anniversary and the celebrations are exciting. This will help raise interest in English furniture.”

Instagram extends ‘Shopping’ feature

Instagram is making it easier for businesses to make sales by extending its ‘Shopping’ feature to eight new countries, including the UK.

The social media platform has operated this facility in the US since 2016.

It allows those with Instagram business accounts to tag up to five items which link through to a “seamless” purchasing experience, according to Instagram. BADA chief executive Marco Forgione hailed the move as “an important step forward for dealers”.

Most read

The most clicked-on stories for week March 15-21 on

1 Steeplejack ladders prove a hit at sell-out Fred Dibnah auction in Bolton

2 TEFAF Maastricht 2018: less footfall but fair expectations delivered in final sales report

3 London Underground map stolen from auction house

4 Perth auctioneer forced to move after ‘suspicious’ fire at saleroom

5 Exhibitor awards revealed as BADA 2018 fair opens to the public

Fred Dibnah sale is a sell-out success

The 440-lot auction of items from the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre in Bolton by Adam Partridge and Ashley Waller Auctioneers on March 17 was a sell-out affair.

The highest-estimated lot of the day was a beam engine by Manlove Alliott & Co which sold for £4000 against a £3000-5000 estimate.

Famed for his work as a steeplejack, climbing roofs, church spires, chimneys and clock towers, it was Dibnah objects that best portrayed the man and his life that were the best performers over estimate.

Ladders and signs containing the Dibnah name were strong sellers on the day, for example.

More details on this story

Famous diamond makes sale debut

A historic diamond will appear on the market for the first time, having remained in the same family for over three centuries.

The 6.16ct pear-shaped fancy dark grey-blue diamond known as The Farnese Blue has passed down through the Dukes of Parma. Kept secretly in a casket as its owners negotiated their way through the War of the Spanish Succession and the fall of the Habsburg empire, few knew of its existence.

It will be offered in Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva on May 15 with an estimate of SFr3.5-5m.

Dalí lobster phone sale is put on hold

Arts minister Michael Ellis has placed a temporary export bar on Salvador Dalí’s Lobster Telephone (White Aphrodisiac), commissioned in 1938.


This Salvador Dalí 'Lobster Telephone (White Aphrodisiac)' is subject to a temporary export bar from the UK.

It is the last example of the hand-painted Surrealist sculpture known to remain in the UK but will go abroad unless a buyer can be found to match the asking price of £853,047 plus VAT.

A decision on the application will be deferred until June 21, with a possible extension until September 21 if there is a serious intention to raise funds.

An extension was recently granted to a bar placed on Dalí’s Mae West Lips Sofa, sold at Christie’s in late 2016 – the same sale where the telephone is thought to have been bought.

Mossgreen court hearing update

A large number of Mossgreen consignors are rapidly preparing their case to challenge the collection fees being charged by the administrator of the collapsed Australian auction house.

A court hearing in Sydney has been set for this week where BDO Australia will seek formal approval of its charges of $353.20 per lot for vendors to collect their own goods. The hearing will take place on March 29.

Any consignors of items that were either unsold or awaiting sale at the time the firm folded in December have until 5pm on March 27 to lodge their objections and any documents with the court.

ATG understands that many consignors have engaged lawyers to represent them at the hearing, but individuals can also attend and make their arguments in person.

In Numbers


One of seven known examples of ‘the first gold coin struck in the US’ – the 1787 New York Brasher Doubloon – sold for more than $5m in a private treaty transaction involving Heritage Auctions, Monaco Rare Coins and an anonymous West Coast collector. The coin had the highest grade among the seven recorded examples.

The price is one of the highest ever for an American coin and exceeded the $4.58m (including premium) that the coin, fetched when it sold at Heritage in January 2014.


The 1787 New York Brasher Doubloon that sold in a private deal involving Heritage Auctions, Monaco Rare Coins and an anonymous West Coast collector. Image credit: Heritage Auctions,