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Artcurial launches Morocco auctions

Paris auction house Artcurial is opening a permanent subsidiary in Marrakesh and will hold regular sales at the city’s famous La Mamounia hotel starting from December 30 this year.

The new Moroccan operation will also enable buyers to pay in dirhams for the first time.

Artcurial’s Morocco director Olivier Berman and Soraya Abid, who will take charge of day-to-day operations, lead a team of three people from new 200sq m premises in the Hivernage district. They will develop “several sales sessions per year” from the location and aim to build on their existing specialities of Orientalist paintings and African Contemporary art.

They intend to organise further sales of Moroccan decorative arts featuring items such as ceramics, glassware, furniture, textiles, jewellery and antique arms.

Artcurial has been active in Morocco since 2011 and has already held a number of exhibitions and sales in the country in conjunction with the Paris office.

Gold dinar hits a joint coin record

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Gold dinar, sold for £3.1m at Morton & Eden.

A rare Umayyad gold dinar dated 105AH (723AD) made a joint Islamic coin auction record when it was knocked down at £3.1m (plus 20% buyer’s premium) at Morton & Eden.

The coin, estimated at £1.4- 1.6m at the October 24 auction, was purchased by an anonymous phone bidder.

The price it fetched matches the 2011 result, also at Morton & Eden, when another Umayyad dinar from the same year was sold to a London dealer.

This also makes it a joint record for any coin sold at auction in Europe.

Similar dinars sell for a few hundred pounds. However, what makes these examples rare is the inscriptions. Morton & Eden said it is the first Islamic gold coin to name a location in Saudi Arabia and indeed the earliest from the Gulf region as a whole.

Books association secretary change

Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association secretary Camilla Szymanowska is to leave to join the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers as its first female clerk. She is succeeded by Riley Grant, formerly the British Antiques Dealers’ Association’s membership manager and vetting coordinator.

First catalogue raisonné meet-up

The first annual conference of the International Catalogue Raisonné Association (ICRA) will take place on November 22 at Christie’s.

The conference offers a full day of presentations and panel discussions by international experts working on catalogue raisonné projects. To apply for membership or to buy tickets for the conference visit icra.art

Trade bodies issue Brexit advice

Dealer association LAPADA, with the support of BADA, has issued a free advice guide specifically tailored to art and antiques dealers, helping ensure businesses are aware of changes they will need to make to continue trading smoothly with the EU in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

Details on importing, exporting and travelling through Europe are featured in the guide, together with case studies of common scenarios dealers will face.

The document can be downloaded free by registering at lapada.org/Brexit-readiness

Freya Simms, LAPADA CEO, said: “We recognise the concerns that the current situation affords. It is imperative for us to advise, guide and support, not only our membership, but all dealers within our trade to ensure that the UK retains its focal position within the international art and antiques world in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”

Auction house free shipping offer

Fellows Auctioneers will be offering free shipping to all its customers from November until the end of the year across watch, jewellery and designer sales, in a move which will be watched closely by other auction houses.

In September, Fellows offered customers from the US free shipping and now the auction house, headquartered in Birmingham, is offering the same service worldwide.

Terms and conditions apply – see Fellows’ website for more details.

New hires at Hindman

Most read

The most viewed stories for week October 17-23 on antiquestradegazette.com

1 Art and antiques dealers take government to court over Ivory Act

2 Export block for £3.5m Wright of Derby picture bought by Getty museum

3 Dealers attracted by ‘new pricing policy’ return to Art & Antiques for Everyone fair

4 Ancient Cypriot jug, Suffragette porcelain tea service and Remington number 1 typewriter – five auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes

5 Unknown portrait of British naval hero Nelson is discovered by auctioneer Charles Miller

In Numbers

£1.2m

The hammer price of a single bottle of whisky that sold at Sotheby’s The Ultimate Whisky Collection auction in London on October 24 (plus 21% buyer’s premium). At triple the top estimate, the bottle of Macallan Fine & Rare 60-Year-Old 1926 set a new auction record for any bottle of wine or spirit.