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The Fine Art Group buys Pall Mall firm

Art and finance adviser The Fine Art Group has bought US appraisal firm Pall Mall Art Advisors. The group, run and founded by Philip Hoffman, now incorporates art advisory, agency, finance, investment and valuations to offer services “for every stage of the art collecting cycle”.

Hoffman will be working with Anita Heriot (Pall Mall Art Advisors’ president) and her team of specialists who are joining The Fine Art Group.

Mod & Contemp duo in Hong Kong

Sotheby’s has appointed Alex Branczik to the role of chairman of Modern & Contemporary art in Asia and colleague Max Moore will become head of Contemporary art sales in Asia.

Branczik and Moore will move to Hong Kong from London and New York respectively.

At Sotheby’s since 2004, Branczik became head of Contemporary art for Europe in 2016.

Yuki Terase, the current head of Contemporary art, Asia, leaves in July.

Charles F Stewart, Sotheby’s CEO, said: “Asia is our highest growth region at Sotheby’s, and there is immense potential for further expansion in Modern and Contemporary art. As such, it makes sense to send some of our strongest specialists to further invest in the region and ensure global integration.”

Mary Queen of Scots relic stolen

Rosary beads carried by Mary Queen of Scots at her execution in 1587 were among rare gold and silver treasures stolen in a burglary at Arundel Castle. Thieves broke into the castle on the night of May 21. More than £1m worth of artefacts were taken including the rosary beads, several coronation cups owned by Earl Marshals and other gold and silver antiques.


The Arundel Castle cabinet that was broken into and the Mary Queen of Scots rosary beads stolen.

A spokesman for Arundel Castle Trustees said: “The stolen items have significant monetary value, but as unique artefacts of the Duke of Norfolk’s collection have immeasurably greater and priceless historical importance.”

Det Con Molly O’Malley of Chichester CID said: “If you are offered or hear of anyone offering for sale any of the items stolen, we would also like to hear from you.”

Anyone with information on this incident should call 101 quoting Operation Deuce or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Artists not affected by new 5MLD rules

HMRC has confirmed that artists do not fall under the scope of the 5th Money Laundering Directive.

The Treasury recently announced that it is not intended that artists – persons who create original art – are in scope of the art market participants (AMPs) definition and therefore they are not required to register as an AMP.

If an artist has already registered as an AMP they can contact mlrcit@hmrc.gov.uk to arrange a refund of the fee.

All other AMPs are due to register with HMRC for anti money laundering supervision by June 10 (read more about this in ATG No 2494).

Two institutions will share portrait


Portrait of Dr Ferdinand Mainzer, 1899, by Lovis Corinth. Image copyright: The National Gallery, London.

The National Gallery in London and Birmingham’s Barber Institute of Fine Arts will both benefit from the acquisition of a portrait by German artist Lovis Corinth (1858-1925).

The painting is the first item under the Acceptance in Lieu scheme to have been allocated to more than one museum or collection.

The portrait of Dr Ferdinand Mainzer (1871-1943), a German-Jewish gynaecologist, historian and writer, and a key cultural figure of early 20th-century Berlin, was painted by Corinth in 1899.

Mainzer had fled Germany to the US, where he died. Later his granddaughter Gisela Stone settled in London, eventually bringing the portrait to her home, where it hung until her death in 2016.

The picture was acquired by the government in lieu of Inheritance Tax from the estates of Evan and Gisela Stone, settling £87,600 of tax.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, director of the National Gallery, London, said: “The Barber Institute of Fine Arts and the National Gallery already share a portrait by Van Dyck of the artist’s friend François Langlois and now we jointly own Corinth’s portrait of his friend Dr Mainzer.”

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In Numbers


The number of years since the Louvre opened in Paris. Its next president Laurence des Cars takes up her new role on September 1. She is the first woman to hold the post.