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Saleroom reopens after flood shock

Bamfords’ Derby saleroom closed temporarily after heavy flooding in the area last week.

The saleroom on Chequers Road had been due to hold a silver, jewellery, toys and collectables sale on November 12 and an antiques, interiors, ceramics and glass auction and a pictures and prints auction a day later. These were cancelled and all calls redirected to the Bakewell saleroom at the Peak shopping village.

Salvaged items that were due to be auctioned will be offered in an extra-large sale in Bakewell on November 19.

Bamfords CEO James Lewis said: “We have been through worse things. We are all OK thankfully. I have the best staff – I couldn’t ask for better. It was like Blitz spirit. Our office manager Jen climbed a fence and waded in at 1am on Sunday and the team were here shortly after.”

The saleroom is now open for business again.

Paris fair to expand in a new venue

As the third edition of Fine Arts Paris opened at the Carrousel du Louvre last week, the organiser of the event (and the Salon du Dessin) announced an “ambitious new development plan”.

Next year’s Fine Arts Paris will be held in the courtyard of the Dôme des Invalides on November 18-22, 2020. It will accommodate 65-70 exhibitors instead of the current 46. The larger space will also allow the fair “to open up to new specialties such as furniture and decorative arts dating from antiquity to the present”.

Louis de Bayser, president of Fine Arts Paris and Salon du Dessin, said: “Thanks to this new venue, Fine Arts Paris will be able to grow large enough to take its place in the calendar of major international fairs.”

Monet’s bridge view is best-seller

The top-selling lot from the New York Impressionist & Modern sales this month was Claude Monet’s Charing Cross Bridge (1903) at Sotheby’s which was hammered down at $24m (£18.7m).


Claude Monet’s 'Charing Cross Bridge' (1903) made $24m (£18.7m) at Sotheby’s New York.

The auction raised $208.9m including fees, within expectations, but down by a third on the same auction period last year.

Christie’s Impressionist & Modern art evening sale was down 31% from a year ago, at $191.9m (including fees).

The auctions were smaller events than previous years but sale rates were steady with 84% of works sold at Sotheby’s and 90% at Christie’s.

The combined total for the Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary art sales in New York, both held in the same week, was $1.46bn (£1.14bn) with premium. This compared to $1.99bn (£1.53bn) for the equivalent sales last year.

CITES musical instruments update

An exemption to the requirement of a CITES permit for the import and export of musical instruments containing rosewood will become effective on November 26. It applies to all species of dalbergia except Brazilian rosewood, which remains on CITES Appendix I.

CITES (Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna) introduced the law in January 2017 but following lobbying by the music trade it announced the exemption earlier this year which comes into effect later this month.

The fat of the band: Keith Flint sale

A sale of objects from the collection of Keith Flint, late frontman of techno group The Prodigy, has raised almost £350,000 to help settle the liabilities from the estate.

Leading the sale at Cheffins (27% buyer’s premium) on November 7 were three ‘Moon Man’ trophies presented at the MTV Music Awards in 1997. They were knocked down for £16,000.

Another top item was the singer’s custom-made oak bed surrounded by large twined iron thorns, which sold for £8500 plus premium.

Martin Millard, director of Cheffins Fine Art, said that the sale “surpassed all expectations”.

Spink stages big Polar exhibition

Auction house Spink is to host a comprehensive polar exhibition at its saleroom in Southampton Row, London.


'Grotto in an iceberg', a celebrated photo by Herbert Ponting from the 1910-13 British Antarctic Expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott, is one of the Polar items on show at Spink.

The free public show, 200 Years of Polar Exploration, runs from November 18-24 and features clothing, equipment, medals and other memorabilia from the leading explorations.

Relics from expeditions by Scott, Shackleton, Franklin and more recent explorations feature in the non-selling event that is in partnership with the Scott Polar Research Institute and private collectors.

The show marks the centenary of the end of the ‘Heroic Age of Exploration’.

Marcus Budgen, head of medals at Spink, said: “Any one of these individuals could easily command a dedicated exhibition in their own right, so to be able to present dozens of them together as a kind of polar fellowship in this way is truly extraordinary.”

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3 Rare Chinese teapot realises £800,000 at Dorset sale

4 Auction record for copy of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species

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In Numbers


The number of years the Met Police’s Art and Antiques Unit has been in existence. The team marked this milestone when it helped return to Afghanistan a collection of clay head sculptures dating from between 4th-6th centuries that were smuggled out of the country nearly 20 years ago. Det Con Sophie Hayes from the unit said: “It is fitting that, while celebrating our anniversary, we were also able to attend the event at the British Museum to celebrate Afghanistan’s cultural heritage returning to its rightful home.”


The collection of clay head sculptures dating from between 4th-6th centuries that the Met Police’s Art and Antiques Unit helped return to Afghanistan.