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Wife and husband launch art firm

A new art dealership and consultancy has been launched by married couple Benedict Tomlinson and Amelia Higgins.

Higgins Tomlinson Fine Art will focus on the higher end of the Contemporary, Modern and Old Master art markets, working with collectors and museums.

Tomlinson has worked in the art world for over 20 years in a number of galleries including Robilant+Voena, while Higgins began her career with Old Master dealer Johnny van Haeften and then became a director at London Art Week.

Higgins Tomlinson Fine Art will function as advisers, agents and consultants to clients buying and selling art.

Based in Wiltshire, the firm also has access to London premises through its network of contacts to hold viewings on an ad hoc basis.

Tomlinson said that following lockdown the need for a full-time London gallery space has reduced and instead the couple will focus on working with clients to help build their collections rather than operating as a traditional dealership with a large stock.

Museum targets Herschel memoir

Herschel’s manuscript

Caroline Herschel’s manuscript memoir. 

Image copyright: 2022 Christie’s Images Limited.

The Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath has launched a fundraising campaign to buy a Caroline Herschel memoir.

Owned by a private individual in the UK, it has been valued at £108,000.

Auction house Christie’s is negotiating the private sale and the museum has until the end of October to raise the funds.

German-born Herschel (1750-1848) moved to the UK to be with her brother William Herschel (1738-1822) and they began as musicians before later becoming famous astronomers.

They lived at 19 New King Street in Bath, which is now the home of the Herschel Museum of Astronomy dedicated to the many achievements of the siblings.

William discovered the planet Uranus in 1781 using a telescope of his own design from the home. Later the pair were joined by William’s son John (1792-1871), who also became an astronomer.

Among Caroline’s achievements was the discovery of several comets including the periodic comet 35P/ Herschel–Rigollet.

Claire Dixon, director of Museums for Bath Preservation Trust, added: “By securing this object and putting it on display at the museum, here in Caroline and William’s former home, visitors will be able to directly engage with Caroline’s story, literally through her own words.”

Studio pottery support initiative

Marijke Varrall-Jones, who is behind auction house Maak Contemporary Ceramics, has launched a charity initiative with the primary purpose of supporting and promoting studio ceramics.

Maak Foundation’s board of trustees will award grants of between £1000-5000 with submissions welcomed twice a year. Grants will provide focused funding for primary research, with supported projects resulting in the publication of books and literary material that will be available to the general public and have a clear art-historical perspective.

French gold coins stolen in Germany

A large number of French gold coins have been recently stolen in Germany. Close to 500 coins, mainly 19th century 20 franc pieces, were taken in Osnabrück in north-west Germany.

Gold 20 franc pieces are among the most emblematic French coins although, as their intrinsic worth is high, many are priced close to bullion values. The stolen coins include 250 Napoleon I 20 franc pieces plus 40 similar coins minted during the reign of Louis XVIII and 80 with the bust of Louis Phillipe. An additional 120 40 franc coins with various 19th century dates were also missing.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the officer in charge of the case, Marco De Winder, at marco.dewinder@polizei.niedersachsen.de

Classic car expert joins Hansons

Jim Ronan

Jim Ronan of Hansons.

Jim Ronan has joined Hansons Auctioneers as head of classic cars based at Bishton Hall in Staffordshire. He has been a classic car auctioneer for more than 25 years.

Charles Hanson said: “Hansons has sold vehicles periodically as part of other sales. Now it will be a specialism. I want to put Hansons on the map as a place to buy and sell classic cars.”

Ronan added: “We have two sales planned for 2023 with more to follow.”

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2 Collection from Sir Terence Conran’s home comes to auction

3 UK buyer sought for Elizabeth I roundels

4 A new art dealer, auction house and a book: updates from across the world of art and antiques

5 A Grand Tour marble and an early Whitechapel foundry bronze are among six lots to watch

In Numbers


The number of firms taking part in the 25th edition of Asian Art in London, comprising eight auction houses, 33 dealers and seven non-exhibiting/ overseas participants. The programme has two sections: Indian & Islamic art on October 20-29 and East Asian art on October 27 to November 5.