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Rare Anglo-Saxon gold coin emerges

A gold coin of Ecgberht, king of the West Saxons (802-839) is expected to fetch £150,000-200,000 when it is offered on September 7-8 at Dix Noonan Webb.

The gold penny, or Mancus, of 30 pence bearing the title Ecgbeorht Rex around a monogram of the word Saxon was discovered by a metal detectorist at West Dean, on the Wiltshire-Hampshire border in March 2020.

It is the only late Anglo- Saxon gold coin in private hands; the other eight specimens are in institutions (the British Museum having seven and another being in Lausanne).

It was struck at a West Saxon mint, possibly Southampton or Winchester, using natural gold (neither refined nor artificially alloyed). Its considerable value (a mancus had the buying power of 30 silver coins and could have bought more than 360 loaves of bread) suggest it was probably produced for ceremonial use or for highstatus payments.

During his reign Ecgberht appears to have maintained the independence of Wessex against the kingdom of Mercia and his military successes, peppered by the odd setback, fundamentally changed the political landscape of Anglo- Saxon England. He was buried in Winchester, as were his son, Æthelwulf, his grandson, Alfred the Great, and his greatgrandson, Edward the Elder.

PAD London fair postponed to 2022

The annual PAD London fair scheduled for October 11-17 has been cancelled as the fall-out from the pandemic continues. While the restrictions that led to to the postponement of last year’s fair have been lifted, the organisers did not believe the conditions were right to proceed with the boutique fair next month. Sixty-one dealers had signed up.

Instead, dates have been proposed for next year: either October 3-9 or October 10-16.

The historical design, tribal art and modern art fair takes place in Berkeley Square, Mayfair. It typically takes over the marquee used for the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair in September, which will not be held until next year (the dates yet to be announced).

Department store becomes NY art hub

A former department store on Madison Avenue, New York, is to become a new home for art dealers.

The Art House development is planned by the team who helped bring the art fair TEFAF to New York: Artvest Partners’ Michael Plummer and Jeff Rabin and Touchstone Event Management’s Geoff Fox.

They plan to turn the Barneys New York store at 660 Madison Avenue into exhibition spaces and salon viewing rooms as well as hosting a series of events over five floors. It is designed to be an “epicentre of year-round activities for galleries, museums, artists, and collectors”.

Plummer said: “Art dealers and galleries need exhibition platforms that are more sustainable and flexible than the traditional modes of art fairs and brick-and-mortar gallery spaces.”

The launch of art fairs at the building is scheduled for the autumn with Art House New York Fall on November 4 featuring 60 exhibitors. It will be followed by a spring edition in May 2022.

Christie’s offers a curator ‘jumpstart’

Christie’s is offering an up-andcoming curator the chance to organise a two-week-long London art exhibition in January.

The non-selling group show at King Street titled Next at Christie’s: London 2022 is designed to showcase the talents of aspiring curators and artists either currently studying or recently graduated. The auction house describes it as “an exciting opportunity for [both] to jumpstart their careers in the art world”.

Applicants to fill the role (open until September 3) are asked to explain what this opportunity would mean for them, summarise an exhibition proposal, and confirm they are available to work in London on the project from September 2021 through to January 2022.

The successful applicant will select and liaise with 15-20 artists, choose the works for exhibition and present them to a committee for approval.

Christie’s will give the winning curator or curatorial team the necessary guidance and resources, and both the curator and the artists will be paid an engagement fee.

Auction firm opens in New Zealand

Aert van Antum

Heritage Art Auctions in Whanganui, New Zealand, are offering this oil painting by Aert van Antum on September 11.

A new auction house has been launched in Whanganui in New Zealand’s North Island.

Heritage Art Auctions managing director Henry Newrick says: “After just over 50 years of buying and selling art at other auctions and through my own gallery I have taken the plunge and set up a new art auction house here.

“Although a small country at the bottom of the world (not a bad place to be at the moment), we are nevertheless rich in quality art. I returned ‘home’ four years ago after 22 years in the UK (London and Hove).”

The first sale is scheduled for September 11.

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In Numbers


The money raised from the sale of a collection of 2300 antiquarian books left to an Oxfam shop in Tavistock, Devon – equivalent to its yearly profit. Collector Andres Nurmela, who died in January, had visited the shop every Tuesday. The books ranged in value from £20 to £1000 and included a first edition of the fourth impression of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management from 1866, The Times reported. The shop sold about 80 books and a private collector bought the rest.