The Guennol Stargazer.

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Turkey ‘overslept’ over Guennol idol

A US judge ruled that Turkey cannot recover a $12.5m Anatolian marble idol known as the Guennol Stargazer (above) from Christie’s and the hedge fund billionaire Michael Steinhardt. US district judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said Turkey “inexcusably slept” on its rights by not suing until April 2017, shortly before Christie’s put the idol up for auction. She said the Turkish state should have known of the idol’s whereabouts decades earlier and said there was no proof that the 9in (23cm) figurine, dating from 3000-2200BC, was excavated from Turkey after 1906 (which would have given Turkey ownership rights under that year’s Ottoman Decree).

Steinhardt and his wife paid $1.5m for the idol in 1993. The buyer at $12.5m (£9.7m) in New York in April 2017 (ATG No 2303) subsequently did not proceed with the purchase due to the legal case. Christie’s still possesses the idol.

Richard Feigen sale at Sotheby’s


Sotheby’s sale of the Richard L. Feigen collection includes Richard Parkes Bonington’s oil of three palazzi on Venice’s Grand Canal estimated at $2m-3m.

Sotheby’s is staging a dedicated sale of 55 works from the collection of the late New York art dealer Richard L Feigen (1930-2021) who died in January at the age of 90.

Amassed over the dealer’s 60-plus years in the art world, the paintings and works on paper range in date from the 14th to the 20th century and have a combined estimate of $11.5m-17m (though a few estimates are subject to change).

The auction will take place in New York on October 18.

Works include Italian gold-ground paintings by Domencio Beccafumi and Lorenzo Monaco; British landscapes and portraits by Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Thomas Lawrence, George Romney and Sir David Wilkie; and two German Expressionist works by Max Beckmann, of whom Feigen was an ardent supporter.

Sotheby’s also announced an other major consignment being offered in New York – the Modern & Contemporary Art collection from divorcees Harry and Linda Macklowe.

The 65 lots, including works by Alberto Giacometti, Mark Rothko and Cy Twombly are estimated to raise in excess of $600m – the highest estimate ever placed on any collection at auction.

The collection will appear in two tranches at Sotheby’s New York, on November 15 this year, and in May 2022.

Pearson collection shines at Sworders

An exhibition of highlights from the Pearson collection of post-War and contemporary British silver will be held at Sworders’ London gallery in Cecil Court, Covent Garden from October 4-15.

Comprising more than 900 pieces by nearly 300 silversmiths, the Pearson collection is the largest of its kind in private hands, and tells the story of the development of silver design from 1945 to the present day.

The collection’s founder and curator, John Andrew, said he has a mission to “bring Britain’s contemporary silversmithing to a wider audience”.

Hires at Hansons

Hansons has hired two new valuers. Katy Beardmore joins with 25 years’ experience working with her family of antiques dealers. She specialises in 20th century ceramics and glass and Art Deco.

Oli Thomas has joined as a general valuer based at Bishton Hall, Staffordshire. He is a specialist in arms and militaria and leads the firm’s Country Pursuit sales. He previously worked at Bonhams.

Hansons, which runs salerooms in Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Oxfordshire and London, also promoted Sonya Marshall to the position of company secretary.

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In Numbers



A 1818 first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in uncut original boards sold for $950,000 (£687,120) or $1.17m including buyer’s premium as part of the collection of Theodore B Baum at Christie’s New York on September 14.

A 1818 first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in uncut original boards sold for $950,000 (£687,120) or $1.17m including buyer’s premium as part of the collection of Theodore B Baum at Christie’s New York on September 14. The price was three times the top estimate and more than 11 times the price this copy had fetched when last sold at Sotheby’s in 1991 ($85,000). The new price sets a world auction record for a printed work by a woman. The book which made Shelley (1797-1851) famous was first published anonymously in a run of just 500 copies.