Can’t help falling for this watch
A watch worn by Elvis Presley for his first major TV appearance in 1956 took £200,000 at Henry Aldridge & Son on June 25 (plus 20% buyer’s premium). It doubled the low estimate in the auction staged in Devizes, Wiltshire.
The 14ct gold filled Lord Elgin watch with a black face was owned and worn by Elvis from spring of 1955 to April 1956 and he also wore it to sign his first contract.
A replica of it features in the new Baz Luhrmann movie Elvis, out now.
McCulloch joins North Yorks firm
Picture specialist Rohan McCulloch has joined Ripon auction house Elstob & Elstob to head its pictures and sculpture division.
He previously worked at auction houses including Lyon & Turnbull, Sotheby’s and Bonhams.
Elstob & Elstob was founded in 2019 by David Elstob and his wife Beth, initially holding sales at Bedale Hall then relocating in early 2020 to Ripon Business Park David said: “We have been concentrating our efforts on finding the best experts in the field, in order to include a wide range of categories.”
The consignment deadline for the first Pictures & Sculpture auction (August 10) is July 20.
Stolen Dacian coins returned
The Metropolitan Police’s Art and Antiques Unit (AAU) has helped to recover and return a group of stolen Dacian gold coins to Romania.
Between 2014-17, the UK police force received requests for help from the Romanian authorities regarding the illegal excavation of artefacts including Dacian gold coins, known as Koson Staters, from the former Dacian capital Sarmizegetusa in Transylvania.
In 2016 seven Koson Staters were seized from London dealers and returned to Romania.
In the latest restitution a further two Koson Staters were recently identified in London by the AAU.
A Met Police statement said: “They were seized from a coin dealership which had recently bought them. The dealership was co-operative from the outset and said if these coins were illegally excavated, they would disclaim ownership.”
These two coins have now also been returned to Romania via the embassy in London. The ceremony in London (June 23) at the Embassy of Romania was attended by AAU’s DC Ray Swan and DC Sophie Hayes (attending on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service).
Alert over missing calligraphy picture
A collector has asked the trade to be aware of a missing Islamic calligraphy picture that was taken from an auction house in Suffolk.
The buyer purchased the item as part of a group of three pictures but following the sale the framed Arabic script was stolen.
CCTV from the auction house did not identify who had taken the item and the bidder contacted the police to register the theft.
The buyer paid more than £400 for the lot on June 11.
Anyone with information should contact Suffolk police by calling 101 quoting crime reference number 37/39036/22 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Heritage appoints London office MD
Dallas auction house Heritage has appointed Mark Grol as managing director of its London office.
He will be working with buyers and consignors to help Heritage expand its reach in Europe.
Grol will represent the firm at fairs and events as well as build partnerships with local galleries and dealers.
He was managing director at art fair PAN Amsterdam for the past three years and previously spent more than two decades at Sotheby’s in Amsterdam, Germany, Paris and London. He also worked at publisher Cahiers d’Art for two years.
Heritage opened its office in the Shepherd Market area of Mayfair in 2017 after taking over dealership London Coin Galleries.
The most viewed stories for week June 23-29 on antiquestradegazette.com
1 Thieves raid TEFAF Maastricht fair
2 A flurry of museum and private sales mark TEFAF Maastricht’s return
3 Record price set for a Louis Wain ceramic cat at Kinghams
4 Hints on Household Taste: Interior designer and antiques dealer to sell collection at auction
5 Three William Nicholson paintings emerge at Kent auction
The number of sculptures that will soon by recorded as part of art education charity Art UK’s digitisation of the country’s public artworks. Already, 13,500 public sculptures and monuments are available to view online and 140,000 photographs have been taken of sculptures by artists including Antony Gormley, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.