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New president for French association

Annisabelle Berès-Montanari (pictured top) has been elected as the new president of the Syndicat National des Antiquaires (the French antique dealers’ association) for the next three years.

She succeeds Mathias Ary Jan, elected in 2015, who chose not to stand for re-election (although he will remain as SNA’s vice president). Georges de Jonckheere will become president of La Biennale Paris, the annual art and antiques fair organised by SNA.

Two auction houses launch fresh sales

Coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialist Dix Noonan Webb will be holding its first auction devoted to Indian coins and historical medals on February 27, 2020 at its saleroom in Mayfair.

Meanwhile, Nantwich auction house Peter Wilson is launching specialist fine jewellery and watches sales in 2020.

The inaugural auction will take place on March 19.

Gauguin Tahiti work sold in Paris


Paul Gauguin’s Te Bourao II sold for €7.8m (£6.6m) at Artcurial.

Paul Gauguin’s 2ft 4in x 3ft (73 x 92cm) oil on canvas, Te Bourao II, was hammered down at €7.8m (£6.6m) in Artcurial’s Impressionist and Modern Art auction on December 3.

Painted in 1897 and signed, dated and titled to the lower right 97 Te Bourao P Gauguin, the picture is part of a cycle of nine works that the artist produced in Tahiti and sent back to Paris in 1898 for an exhibition at the Ambroise Vollard Gallery. The centrepiece was Gauguin’s famous Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

Te Bourao II remained with the Vollard family until the current owner purchased it 30 years ago. It is the only work from the cycle that is still in private hands, the other eight all being in institutions.

The latest US and UK appointments


Caitlyn Pickens of Bonhams.

Bonhams has appointed Caitlyn Pickens to the newly created position of regional director for Pennsylvania, Delaware and Southern New Jersey working in Philadelphia.

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation near Chichester, West Sussex, has appointed Hugh Morrison as collections manager. He joins from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) where he worked as collections registrar.

Dan Imler joins Dallas’ Heritage Auctions as vice president of its sports division, specialising in private sales and winning consignments working in California.

Pennsylvania’s Alderfer Auction has hired Leon Castner as trusts and estate specialist and senior appraiser.

AAfE plans range expansion

Organisers of Art & Antiques for Everyone at Birmingham’s NEC are looking to expand the range of disciplines at the fair to include Mid-century modern, vintage, statuary and salvage wares.

Dan Leyland, fair director at MaD Events, said the venue – Hall 12 at the NEC – had room for a wider range of exhibitors (see fair review, p40-41).

For the three AAfE fairs scheduled for 2020 (April, July and November) MaD is freezing stand charges and will move the November event back a week to avoid a clash with Black Friday.

The winter edition (November 28-December 1) got off to a strong start, with sales including a 19th-early 20th century model of a galleon, from a private collection, for £3000 by Hickmet Fine Art.

Bronze helmets return to Spain

A British collector has returned a set of ancient bronze warrior helmets to Spain. According to media reports, Christian Levett, a retired investment manager and founder of hedge fund Clive Capital, paid £250,000 for the collection of helmets – buying seven at auction in 2008 and one from a London dealer in 2009.

The items had been on display at Levett’s Mougins Museum of Classical Art (MACM) in the south of France.

But following media reports in Spain that the objects had been looted, Levett worked with Spain’s ambassador to Unesco to return the helmets, signing an act of voluntary surrender. The helmets were made between 400-200BC.

He said he will now attempt to get his money back from the vendors.

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2 Sotheby’s wins court case over a disputed €10m ‘Frans Hals’

3 Major Old Master sale in France as New York’s Met Museum buys late-Gothic painting for €5m

4 Chinese porcelain vase is surprise star of dedicated Asian art sale

5 Daoguang vase up to the mark after lengthy bidding battle

In Numbers


The award given by the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund to be split between two institutions.

One is the Victoria and Albert Museum, for the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kaufmann Office, a complete interior by the 20th century architect. The other recipient is The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which will use the prize to restore Pietá by Melchor Pérez Holguín, the first Bolivian picture to enter LACMA’s collection of Spanish colonial art