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Gem of an idea from Fellows

Fellows is now providing photos of every item being worn as part of the cataloguing for its Fine Jewellery auctions, starting with the sale on July 11.

Polly Shave, photographer at Fellows, said: “The new photos show how the jewellery looks on a person and how particular pieces hang when being worn. If customers aren’t able to attend a viewing of the jewellery and will be bidding online, they can get a good idea of how the pieces look in real life.”

New faces at two auction houses

Nicholas Worskett has joined Bellmans as specialist head of its book and manuscripts department.


Nicholas Worskett, who has joined Bellmans.

He has 30 years’ experience in the auction world including 17 years at Christie’s as head of department at South Kensington and senior specialist.

Niven joins Phillips

Phillips has appointed Jamie Niven as a senior adviser to chief executive officer Edward Dolman in New York.

He spent almost 20 years at Sotheby’s including the role as chairman of the Americas.

Bibliography cash awards extended

The Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, organised by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), has received an additional endowment of $25,000.

This enables financial recognition of second ($5000) and third place ($3000) as well as the overall winner of the prize awarded every four years.

Founded in 1964, it was given its current name in 2008 after receiving a $100,000 grant in honour of Dr Bernard H Breslauer. Winners, including Dutch scholar Ina Kok who came top with Woodcuts in Incunabula Printed in the Low Countries (2013) in 2018, receive $10,000 in what is arguably the most prestigious prize in the antiquarian book world. The jury takes into consideration publications relating to descriptive and analytical bibliography, the history of the book, typography, paper making, historical and artistic bookbindings and more.

Submissions for the next prize, awarded in 2022, are now open.

Alert over bronzes stolen at Portobello

Antiques belonging to dealer John Langin of RA Barnes Antiques were stolen on two occasions from outside his stall at Portobello Road market.

He is calling on the trade to look out for a Japanese bronze tiger and a cat figurine that were stolen from the road behind Roger’s Antique Galleries in Portobello Road at around 6am on two concurrent Saturday mornings in June.

The Japanese, late Meiji period, 17in (43cm) high bronze tiger sculpture had been purchased at Mallams in Cheltenham in May for a hammer price of £450.

Watches auction house moves HQ

London specialist auction house Watches of Knightsbridge has moved offices from Knightsbridge to Michelin House on Fulham Road. The landmark building was completed in 1911 as the UK headquarters for Michelin Tyre Company.

The auction house says the new address will be used for all watch viewings, both those arranged by appointment and the venue for public viewing prior to auctions – the next on July 20 (viewing July 18-19). Sales remain at The Berkeley hotel in Knightsbridge.

Lovejoy TV show set for a comeback

Fictional antiques dealer Lovejoy is to return to screens in a new TV adaptation.

The character Lovejoy was the star of 23 novels written by John Grant under the pen name Jonathan Gash. Lovejoy then became a hit TV series starring actor Ian McShane in the 1980s-90s.

Nick Witkowski, director of Blue Sky Pictures who worked on the original series, has acquired the rights for a new series from literary agent Lisa Moylett at CMM Literary Agency.

Snuff shoe taken from Ardingly fair

A snuff shoe belonging to dealer J Collins & Son was stolen at the IACF Ardingly fair in West Sussex from a stand in the Norfolk Pavilion. J Collins & Son proprietor Jonathan Biggs is hoping a member of the trade will spot the object and alert the police.


An ebonised snuff shoe measuring 4½ x 1¼ x 2¼in (11.5 x 3 x 6cm) was stolen at IACF Ardingly fair in June.

The French ebonised snuff shoe with brass pique pins c.1880 has a value of £220. Anyone with information should call the police on 101 quoting crime reference number 47190108982.

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1 Buyer sought for auction house Wright Marshall

2 Arrests made in connection with €2m rare books heist

3 Medieval chess figure believed to be a ‘missing’ piece from the Lewis chessmen set sells at £600,000

4 Ministers block export of 18th century watercolour by ‘genius’ landscape artist

5 ‘Toulouse Caravaggio’ sold in private deal ahead of planned auction

In Numbers


The overall total from the Old Master sales in London last week at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams was £97m (including premium) with one day sale still running at the time of going to press.

This figure was above the £92.8m at the equivalent series last year. Added to the £361.2m combined total raised from the Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary art series, the total amount of money changing hands across these art auctions in the capital was £458.2m.