The Ming vase stolen in Switzerland and now recovered in London by the Met Police.

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Stolen Ming vase recovered by police

A 15th century Chinese vase valued at around £2.5m has been recovered in London by the Met Police. The Ming dynasty vase had been stolen in a June 2019 burglary from a collection in Switzerland.

A specialist crime operation and ongoing investigation into the burglary is being conducted jointly with the Met and the Swiss authorities.

In a statement the Met said officers arrested two men aged 42 and 44 in Mayfair, London, on October 15. They were arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and have since been bailed to a date in mid-November.

Det Chief Insp Jimi Tele, of the Met’s Specialist Crime North team, said: “This is a significant step forward in what remains a complex investigation into a high-value burglary.”

BRAFA shifts to gallery exhibitions

BRAFA Art Fair, Brussels’ major international art and antiques show, is usually one of the earliest events in the European fairs calendar. However, due to the ongoing pandemic it has changed its format for 2021.

Rather than a fair in the Tour & Taxis exhibition centre in Brussels, dealers will invite guests to shows in their galleries across Europe.

The exhibitions will run from January 27-31, 2021. Videos of exhibitions will be hosted on BRAFA’s website to promote the initiative.

The project is being marketed as BRAFA @HOME in the galleries and a list of participants will be published in the coming few weeks.

The next proper fair will be BRAFA 2022, scheduled to take place from January 23-30, 2022.

Three promotions at US saleroom

Family-owned New York auction house Swann Galleries has promoted Nigel Freeman, Rick Stattler and Alexandra Mann-Nelson.

Mann-Nelson, who has worked within the Swann communications department since 2011 and served as director since 2015, will take on the role of chief marketing officer.

Freeman and Stattler have both been promoted to vice presidents of the firm founded in 1942.

Freeman created the firm’s African American Art department in 2006. Stattler joined Swann in 2007 and has served as the director of books and manuscripts since 2014.

Morse Limmer joins Hindman


Molly Morse Limmer has joined Hindman.

Chicago auction house Hindman has appointed Molly Morse Limmer as senior vice president of decorative arts and collectables.

Her career has spanned two decades at Christie’s, including 17 years in the New York office and, after a move to Chicago, working in business development for the Midwest regional office.

Most recently, she spent close to five years owning and operating 2050 Art Services, an art and antiquities appraisals and advisory consultancy firm.

Pandemic forces fair changes

Following the cancellation of the Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia organiser Clarion Events has launched a virtual showcase.

The event was set to run this week with enhanced health and safety measures but was called off in September with organisers citing the resurgence of Covid-19.

The virtual showcase, which is live on the fair website, features pieces that would have been available to buy at the fair.

Organiser Mary Claire Boyd says: “Our aim is to support our exhibitors and give visitors the opportunity to shop via the showcase. This is being widely promoted to our own loyal database and partners, as well as via other digital channels. This will run until mid-December to help drive sales in the run up to Christmas.”

Paris event cancelled

Meanwhile, Fine Arts Paris, which had been rescheduled to run in late November, has now been cancelled following the announcement of the four-week French lockdown. It has now launched an online viewing room from November 24-29.

Each of the 50 exhibitors will be able to showcase 10 items of stock. These will be listed at random on the site, to help give visitors the feeling of encountering items by chance as they would at a physical fair.

Participants include Rafael Valls, Xavier Eeckhout and Orbis Pictus.

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3 Artworks with a Suffolk theme feature in Ed Sheeran charity auction

4 An Arts & Crafts table and an early photography album are among the five lots to watch at auction this week

5 New anti money laundering cost to the art trade ‘entirely inappropriate’

In Numbers


The number of timed online auctions Sotheby’s expects to hold in 2020, a 319% year-on-year increase on the 129 such sales it held in 2019. See page 34 for more.