TEFAF Maastricht now postponed
The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) announced that the 2022 edition of the Maastricht fair will be postponed due to the continued waves of coronavirus.
In a statement the organisers said the “mounting concerns around the global volatility of Covid 19” had led to the decision to postpone the planned March 12-20, 2022, event. It hopes to reschedule the European fair for later in the year.
The TEFAF New York event, scheduled for May 6-10 2022, is currently unaffected and will go ahead.
Harness pendant is one-millionth item
The British Museum has recorded a million individual archaeological finds discovered by the public and logged on the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS).
The one-millionth item was a medieval harness pendant from Lincolnshire.
The museum also announced almost 50,000 archaeological items were recorded in 2020 including over 1000 Treasure finds. The data was announced with the latest Treasure Annual Report for 2019 and the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) Annual Report for 2020.
The reports revealed that 49,045 archaeological finds were recorded throughout the first year of the pandemic (down on previous years due to restrictions).
Sotheby’s reports best-ever sales
Sotheby’s has reported total sales (including associated fees) for the year to date at $7.3bn (£5.5bn) – which it said is the strongest total in the company’s 277-year history.
This is a 46% jump on last year ($5bn). It was achieved by auction sales of $6bn (with 20 sales still to go) and private sales of $1.3bn.
Sotheby’s said expansion of its web and mobile platforms and a shift to a “hybrid” livestream auction format increased the number of bidders at auction in the past year. Since January 2021, 39% of buyers and 44% of bidders have been new to Sotheby’s.
More than 200,000 bids were placed online, which represented 92% of total bids, and online sales reached a record $800m.
BRAFA announces new date and venue
The organiser of the BRAFA Art Fair, Foire des Antiquaires de Belgique, has announced a new date and venue for the postponed fair.
BRAFA 2022 will now take place from June 19-26 to the north of the Belgian capital at Brussels Expo in Heysel.
McTear’s launches a design auction
McTear’s has created a new sale for 2022. The 19th & 20th Century Design auction will include ceramics, silver, glass and furniture “bringing together the best of British and international design”.
Specialists James Bruce and James Spiridion are calling for entries for the first sale in the spring with auction dates scheduled for March 17, June 9, September 1 and November 24 2022.
Stanley Gibbons: ‘slow but steady’
Stamp and coins dealership Stanley Gibbons Group reported its half-year results for the six months ending September 30, 2021. Sales for the period rose 8% to £4.81m including a 34% increase in stamps sales. It recorded a total loss for the period of £0.43m, reduced from £2.22m for the same period last year.
Chairman Harry Wilson said the “last six months have seen a slow but steady improvement in the trading environment as the impact of Covid-19 has lessened and mobility has started to increase” but added it is “not yet back to pre-pandemic conditions”.
The stock market-listed company, which also owns Baldwin’s auctions, is 58% owned by investment firm Phoenix Asset Management.
Phoenix provided funding for the purchase of the world’s most expensive stamp – the British Guiana 1c Magenta – that the firm bought at Sotheby’s New York in June for $7m (£4.97m) or $8.3m including premium.
The group offered shares via fractional ownership through a platform called Showpiece (built in partnership between Stanley Gibbons and Phoenix).
Shares in the stamp were open to the public on November 8 and more than 11,000 shares have been bought by more than 1300 collectors, equating to 27% of the total available. Collectors from over 50 countries have spent on average £750 each and 45% of all transactions originated from outside the UK.
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The number of unsold lots for the Phillips watches department in 2021. The 100% selling record across five live sales and more than 1200 watches totalling $209.3m was claimed as a first for any auction house.