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Bonhams’ new managing director Patrick Masson.

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Masson joins Bonhams as MD

Bonhams has appointed Patrick Masson as its managing director in the UK and Europe.

Masson, who will be based at Bonhams headquarters in New Bond Street, will report to executive chairman Bruno Vinciguerra.

Masson, who was born in Brittany, was business manager for Christie’s France from 1996-2006 and at Sotheby’s he worked in senior roles in London and Paris. “I have long admired Bonhams as a business. I believe my extensive international experience in delivering effective change will help propel the company to further success,” he said.

Matthew Girling, Bonhams’ global CEO since 2015, had recently left the company.

Coronavirus: Paris book fair cancelled

The Paris’ book fair Salon du Livre scheduled for March 20-23 at Porte de Versailles has been cancelled due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus.

However, organisers of the Salon du Dessin drawings fair scheduled for March 25-30 at Palais Brongniart insist it will go ahead. A spokeswoman said: “[As] the French government has announced that only events with gatherings of more than 5000 persons should be cancelled, the Salon du Dessin is not concerned by this decision.”

Sotheby’s sells Valls stock in online sale

London art dealer Rafael Valls has consigned a group of works to Sotheby’s which will be offered in an online sale next month.

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'Ostend, with the Fort Saint Philippe' by Hendrik van Minderhout – £20,000-30,000 at Sotheby’s sale of works from the Rafael Valls gallery.

The sale running from April 1-8 will feature around 100 works with estimates from under £1000 up to £30,000.

Sotheby’s has staged several stock sales for leading Old Masters dealers in the last five years, including those of Fabrizio Moretti (in 2015) and Otto Naumann (2018).

Valls has spent nearly four decades as a dealer. His St James’s gallery, which he owns and runs with his wife Caroline, specialises in Dutch, Flemish and Spanish works.

Association for jewellery valuers

An independent membership organisation for jewellery, watch and silver valuers in the UK and Ireland has been launched.

The Jewellery Valuers Association will focus on the training and continued professional development of jewellery valuers.

Expansion at 1818 auctions base

Cumbrian auction house 1818 Auctioneers has expanded its premises to create a second saleroom in its building at the Rural Auction Centre on the Cumbria-Lancashire border.

It will hold its monthly two-day sales in a new 3010 sq ft saleroom on the first floor.

Regular general sales will continue in the existing ground floor saleroom which has also been refurbished.

Hires for top US regional firms

Hindman Auctions has opened new offices in San Diego and Washington DC.

In San Diego, jewellery specialist and business development director Katie Guilbault will focus on southern California, while business development director Maura Ross will cover the mid- Atlantic area from DC.

Meanwhile, Swann Auction Galleries has hired Harold Porcher to head a new Modern and Post-war art department. Porcher, who had worked at Doyle New York since 2004, aims for a first sale in autumn.

British Museum acquires drug jar

An Italian Renaissance maiolica albarello from a well-known set made in Siena has been acquired by the British Museum.

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A maiolica albarello, Siena, c.1520, acquired by the British Museum from Sam Fogg.

The 14in (35cm) high jar, sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2013 and then bought by dealer Sam Fogg in 2014 from Paris fi rm Galerie Vandermeersch, was one of a distinctive series made for the Monastery of Santa Chiara c.1520.

A total of 12 pieces from the set survive. This jar has been donated by Fogg through the Cultural Gifts Scheme in honour of former curator Dr Dora Thornton.

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In Numbers

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The length in years of the sponsorship programme announced by auction house Dreweatts with the Pallant House Gallery. Will Richards, Dreweatts deputy chairman, who has supported and worked with the Chichester museum in various capacities for 20 years said: “Our sponsorship is a natural fit as 20th century British Art is also at the heart of Dreweatts’ passion and expertise.”