Christie's King Street, London

Christie's has appointed a new head of Old Masters.

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An Old Master move at Christie’s


Andrew Fletcher of Christie’s.

After nearly 20 years at Sotheby’s, Andrew Fletcher has joined Christie’s as the global head of its Old Masters department in London.

Fletcher said during his time at Sotheby's he oversaw the transition to online sales and spearheaded the £150m Rembrandt to Richter sale during the pandemic in 2020 combining Old Masters, Impressionist, Contemporary and Modern British Art. In addition, he led the development of Sotheby’s strategy in Asia including initiating the series of private selling exhibitions in Hong Kong, A Brush with Nature.

He had worked at Sotheby’s since 2003 and had been head of auction sales for its Old Master and British Paintings department since 2012. He started his career in 2001 at Christie’s Paris.

Kelmscott Manor to reopen in April

Kelmscott Manor

Kelmscott Manor. Image credit: Society of Antiquaries of London.

Kelmscott Manor, the former Oxfordshire country home of William Morris and his family, has undergone an extensive £6m refurbishment and will reopen on April 1.

The work was funded with a £4.3m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund with £1.3m provided by the Kelmscott Manor: Past Present & Future Campaign.

Dealer Martin Levy of H Blairman & Sons is chairman of the campaign which continues to raise additional funds. “It is thanks to generous support, including at an early stage from members of the art trade, that the place Morris called ‘heaven on Earth’ is reopening with its historic integrity carefully conserved.”

Alongside structural repairs, a new learning and activity studio has been built on the footprint of a preexisting thatched byre. Visitor facilities have also been upgraded and improved and significant furniture and artworks conserved.

Scouting for Toys in Stockton-on-Tees

Vectis Auctions features in a BBC documentary series called Scouting for Toys focusing on the popularity of vintage childhood toys.

To be broadcast on the Yesterday Channel, Vectis’ team of specialists value and catalogue a range of toys ahead of its weekly auctions.

The series is broadcast from 9pm on March 31 and is a UKTV Original series, and has been produced by BBC Studios Documentary Unit and filmed at the saleroom in Stockton-on- Tees in County Durham.

Exhibition medals stolen in Colchester

Mining medal

The missing gold medal from the London International Exhibition of Mining and Metallurgy 1890.

Essex Police and Hollytrees Museum in Colchester are hoping to recover five 19th century medals stolen in a burglary earlier this month. During the incident on March 1, a man gained access to the museum and a display cabinet was forced open and the five medals were taken.

The medals had been awarded to local engineering firm Davey Paxman & Co in the late 19th century. They include bronze medals from the Paris Exhibition 1878 and from the Sydney International Exhibition 1879 plus gold medals from the London International Exhibition of Mining and Metallurgy 1890, the Crystal Palace International Exhibition 1882 and the Crystal Palace Electrical Exhibition in 1892.

The police have asked anyone with information about the incident to get in touch with Essex police by calling 101 quoting crime reference number 42/53042/22 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The name’s Bond - Ruth Bond


Ewbank’s partner Alastair McCrea with valuer Ruth Bond.

Ruth Bond has joined Ewbank’s as a valuer in the Entertainment & Sporting Memorabilia department. A former employee at Christie’s where she worked on the 50 Years of James Bond auction in 2012, she has also worked in the film industry. She will work with department head and Ewbank’s partner Alastair McCrea.

Export stop to raise the lute

Lute music manuscript

The music in the manuscript was likely to have been compiled and inscribed by or for its owner in the first half of the 17th century in Germany or Austria.  

A temporary export bar has been placed on an early 17th century manuscript of lute music in the hope a buyer in the UK can be found.

A UK gallery or institution would need to raise more than £200,000 to buy the music anthology.

The 285 leaf manuscript contains around 320 pieces in French lute tablature. The contents were likely compiled by or for its owner in the first half of the 17th century in South Germany or Austria.

The manuscript had sold at Sotheby’s 2021 sale of Early Music: Rare Music Manuscripts, Printed Music and Books from the Library of Arnold Dolmetsch (1858- 1940). It took a hammer price of £170,000 or £214,200 with fees.

The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest agreed the manuscript was vital to understanding how music spread throughout Europe during the 17th century, as well as how it was produced and replicated. A UK buyer must make an offer by June 13.

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In Numbers


The number of salerooms now owned by Bonhams globally following the company’s acquisition of Skinner. They are located in London (New Bond Street and Knightsbridge), Edinburgh, New York, Los Angeles, Paris (opened September 2021), Hong Kong, Sydney, Stockholm (Bukowskis, acquired in January 2022), Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts (both Skinner).