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Detail of page from the William Peckitt notebook bought by the University of York.

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University buys teenager’s diary

A 90-page journal kept by a 15-year-old boy has been purchased by the University of York for a hammer price of £3200 at auction.

The teenager was Yorkshire-born William Peckitt (1731-95) who went on to become a celebrated stained-glass craftsman.

He counted George III among his patrons and the vivid colours of his work can been seen in many churches and grand houses across the UK.

The 1746 notebook was offered at auction with a £100-150 estimate at Toovey’s (24.5% buyer’s premium) in West Sussex on August 13.

The university emerged as the buyer in December. It funded the purchase with help from the Terry Trust, the York Glaziers’ Trust and Friends of the Library and Archive.

Gallery seals Gentileschi deal

London’s National Gallery has raised the final sums required to buy The Finding of Moses by Orazio Gentileschi (1563-1639) from its owner, entrepreneur and founder of the DFS furniture retailer, Graham Kirkham.

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London’s National Gallery has raised the final sums required to buy 'The Finding of Moses' by Orazio Gentileschi.

The painting, the only Orazio Gentileschi work in a UK public collection, has been on loan to the gallery since 2002. However, Kirkham is selling part of his collection, having put five Old Masters up for sale at Sotheby’s in July.

The cost of acquiring The Finding of Moses was £22m, though the net cost to the gallery would be £19.5m through a private treaty sale being arranged by Sotheby’s and Pyms Gallery. Grants towards this purchase included £2.5m from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and £1m from Art Fund.

Search for French Cimabue buyer

The French government has blocked the export of The mocking of Christ, a medieval panel by Cenni di Pepo (known as Cimabue) that sold in October for €19.5m plus premium at auction house Actéon.

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The mocking of Christ by Cimabue has been temporarily blocked from export in France.

Now classified as a ‘national treasure’, the state has 30 months to make an offer to acquire the work from its current owners.

Under French law, the painting cannot leave the country during this period and the authorities have the right to renew the export restriction if the owner refuses to accept the state’s purchase offer.

At the sale in Senlis, around 50 miles from Paris, on October 27, the Cimabue panel was estimated at €4m-6m but drew dramatic competition well above this level, setting a record for a medieval panel. It became the eighth most expensive Old Master ever sold.

Beadman joins Dorset saleroom

Duke’s has hired Cristian Beadman to lead its quarterly Fine Art auctions at the salerooms in Dorchester. Previously at Dreweatts and Christie’s, he will focus on auctioneering and valuation work.

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Cristian Beadman has joined Duke’s.

Gainsborough painting export bar

The owner of a Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) painting has been temporarily prevented from exporting the picture by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Going to Market, Early Morning was painted in 1773. It was bought at a Sotheby’s auction in July 2019.

The export bar follows the advice of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest. The committee agreed that the painting was a brilliant example of Gainsborough’s finest work, and that the unbroken provenance was extremely rare.

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'Going to Market, Early Morning' by Thomas Gainsborough has been temporarily blocked from export.

The painting’s significance for the study of Gainsborough’s relationships with his patrons and landscape art was another factor.

The decision on the export licence application for the painting will be deferred until March 22.

This may be extended until September 22 if a serious intention to raise is made at the recommended price of £7.96m plus £234,200 VAT.

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In Numbers

50%

The promised reduction in the number of printed catalogues to be produced during 2020 by Christie’s. The auction house said this will be paired with “increased investment in digital capabilities and experiences”. Already 52% of all lots acquired at Christie’s were purchased by clients who did not receive any printed materials.