Mount Everest memorabilia

Memorabilia from the ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 amassed by cameraman Tom Stobart – £12,000 at Hansons.

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Messner buys Mount Everest 1953 memorabilia group

Memorabilia from the first successful ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 has been bought by Italian mountaineer, explorer, and author Reinhold Messner.

It sold within estimate at £12,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) at a Hansons auction in Teddington, London, on October 29. The archive was amassed and owned for decades by Tom Stobart (1914- 80), official cameraman on the 1953 expedition.

The items, which included an Everest Expedition food packet signed by John Hunt, who led the expedition, and fellow mountaineers Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, will now go on display at The Messner Mountain Museum in northern Italy.

Messner was the first person (with Peter Habeler) to climb Mount Everest without the aid of oxygen, in May 1978, 25 years after the Hillary and Tenzing conquest. Two years later Messner made the first solo ascent.

The seller was Tom’s son Patrick, 77, a company director from Nottingham. Tom, a British cameraman, filmmaker and author, captured the footage to create The Conquest of Everest, a film of the event. He received an OBE for his efforts.

The collection sold also included a painting of the Wheel of Life given to him by a Tibetan Buddhist monastery on the slopes of Everest and carried throughout the expedition; an original letter of invitation to meet members of the Everest Expedition at London Airport, dated June 30, 1953; black and white photos; a pickaxe Tom used during a Tibetan hunt for the Abominable Snowman in 1954; and camera equipment.

Capital Gains Tax change hits antiques

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has significantly reduced the capital gains tax allowance (CGT) in the UK government’s Autumn Statement. The taxfree allowance will be reduced from £12,300 per year to £6000 from April 2023 and then to just £3000 from April 2024.

CGT – a tax on the profit made on the disposal of assets – is payable when people sell or gift certain items worth more than £6000 such as antiques or art. Individuals in the basic income tax band pay 10% on their gains (18% on gains realised with a residential property) while higher and additional rate taxpayers pay 20% on gains and 28% on residential property. The decision to cut the tax-free allowance could lead to a decline in the number of disposals during unfavourable conditions or encourage sales before the new rates come in next year.

W&H Peacock is back in St Neots

W&H Peacock in St Neots.

W&H Peacock's new St Neots premises.

Bedfordshire auction house W&H Peacock is returning to Cambridgeshire af ter revamping its St Neots premises.

Following years of planning and months of building works it will re-open on November 30 for a first sale on December 1.

The venue on New Street in St Neots has been closed since April to allow for works that included upgrading a Victorian barn and adding a new building, creating two salerooms, a first floor café, display areas and facilities.

The site will hold two weekly auctions every Thursday comprising more than 1000 lots, as well as occasional specialist sales, valuation days and events throughout the year.

Beckmann could make German high


Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa by Max Beckmann – estimate €20m-30m at Grisebach.

A Max Beckmann (1884-1950) self-portrait being offered at Grisebach in Berlin could set a German auction record for an artwork.

Selbstbildnis Gelb-Rosa (Self-Portrait in Yellow and Pink), an oil on canvas from 1943, is described by the saleroom as “a masterpiece of international rank”. The firm also stated that no comparable artwork has been offered on the German auction market since 1945.

It is guided at €20m-30m on December 1, the highest pitch for any artwork ever offered at a German auction.

Measuring 3ft 1in × 22in (95 × 56cm), it was created by Beckmann during his exile in the Netherlands after he fled the Nazi regime.

He gave it to his wife Quappi and it remained with the Beckmann family for more than 40 years until later entering a Swiss private collection, from where it has been consigned to auction for the first time.

Beckmann self-portraits have made notable prices before, most prominently Self Portrait with Trumpet that sold for $20.5m (£14.2m) at Sotheby’s New York in 2001 and Self-Portrait with Crystal Ball that fetched $15m (£7.92m) at the same saleroom in 2005.

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The estimate on the original mechanical model of ET. The film prop from Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic was originally created by Italian special effects designer Carlo Rambaldi. It will be offered by Julien’s Auctions and Turner Classic Movies’ Icons and Idols: Hollywood auction on December 17-18 in Beverly Hills to coincide with the film’s 40th anniversary year.