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In the international art and antiques calendar, January and early February traditionally mean the US.

Dealers, collectors and curators head to New York in search of the best in Old Masters, Chinese Export porcelain and British ceramics. In Florida the focus is very much on silver and jewellery.

The winter months of 2021 will be different. There will be no large gatherings in New York or Florida. A few dealers and galleries will be open by appointment but most shows will be accessible only from a computer.

Sixty dealers will take part in the online Winter Show (Jan 22-31), no Ceramics Fair takes place this year, while Master Drawings New York (January 22-30) will be a hybrid event instead, with much of the attention on digital viewings.

In Florida the traditional trip south for the Original Miami Beach Antique Show and its ancillary events has been postponed until the spring (provisionally March 12-16 at the Miami Beach Convention Center), although Palm Beach Show Group is still hoping to go ahead with the 18th Annual Palm Beach Show on February 11-16.

Auction emphasis

Instead, the emphasis will be on the auctions that go ahead much as planned, albeit as either online only or live online sales.

While much of the traditional New York arts scene will be modified for the start of this year, the late January focus on auctions of Old Master paintings and drawings continues in the city’s major salerooms as a mix of online only and live auctions.

Sotheby’s Masters Week series hosts no fewer than seven live and online only auctions of paintings, drawings and sculpture from January 22-30 including two single-owner offerings (Drawings from the collection of Dr John O’Brien and the Collection of Hester Diamond).

Christie’s will hold its usual sale of Old Master and 19th century drawings but running online from January 14-28. Doyle too will offer Old Masters and 19th century paintings and drawings as part of its sale on January 21.