Francis Bacon triptych

Three Studies for Portrait of Henrietta Moraes by Francis Bacon that led Sotheby’s Frieze Week evening sale at £20.9m.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Bacon triptych leads Frieze Week

The overall total from London’s Frieze Week auctions was virtually identical to the figures from before the pandemic.

The sales at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips raised a combined £232.3m including fees, compared to £232.1m for the equivalent figure in October 2019. However, the higher rate of inflation meant the turnover was less in real terms.

Sotheby’s Contemporary art evening sale on October 14 was the highest-grossing auction of the series, raising £85.7m.

It included the top lot of the Frieze Week sales: Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for Portrait of Henrietta Moraes from 1963. The small-scale triptych was Bacon’s second work in this format and was acquired in the year it was painted by American media mogul William S Paley (1901-90).

Consigned to Sotheby’s by the charitable foundation he established, it was subject to an irrevocable bid and sold to a phone bidder at £20.9m (£24.3m with fees).

The sale also set a record for Frank Auerbach when a study of his most famed sitter, Head of J.Y.M, was knocked down at £4.7m.

Five new faces at south London firm

Roseberys' Asian art team

Roseberys’ department head Bill Forrest with new staff members (l to r) Marie Ma, Ruixue Li and Rosa Assennato.

West Norwood auction house Roseberys has made a series of appointments across several departments.

In Chinese, Japanese & South East Asian Art, run by head of department Bill Forrest, Rosa Assennato joins as senior specialist.

Prior to maternity leave Assennato worked at Bonhams Knightsbridge. She joined the firm in 2010 and became its head of Asian Art in 2016. She has also appeared as an expert on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.

The department has also welcomed Ruixue Li who joins as associate specialist. Li previously worked at Chiswick Auctions specialising in Chinese art and prior to that worked as an artist assistant.

Marie Ma joins the team as a sale co-ordinator and junior cataloguer. She previously worked in museums in China and more recently with Alastair Gibson Auctions in the UK.

Nicole Schembre

Nicole Schembre has joined Roseberys.

In Roseberys’ Modern British & 20th Century department Nicole Schembre joins as associate specialist working with head of sale William Summerfield and fellow associate specialist Sophie Hetherton. Schembre was previously at Toronto’s Waddington’s Auctioneers specialising in Canadian and Indigenous art.

Madeleine White

Madeleine White has joined Roseberys.

In its Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples department, Roseberys has appointed Madeleine White as associate specialist working alongside head of department Ed Plackett. White has previously worked at auction houses including Chiswick Auctions, Woolley & Wallis and Wessex Auction Rooms.

Conference centres on forensic science

A conference organised by The Art Loss Register will focus on forensic science and technology and its use in the art world.

The event features panels of experts including from Cranfield Forensic Institute, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and the Rijksmuseum.

Topics covered throughout the day include the role of forensics in setting standards in the art world, the impact of forensics on condition reports and science and the connoisseur

The Application of Forensic Science and Technology in the Art Trade will take place on November 14 at The Apothecaries’ Hall in Blackfriars Lane in London, which is also the Art Loss Register’s new office.

Winterton opens a Burton branch

Richard Winter ton Auctioneers has opened a valuations unit in Burton Market Hall. It will offer valuations on set days and times for jewellery and watches as well as for auction consignment drop off. Special valuation events will also be held at the location such as toys and railwayana with toy specialist Jon Price on November 14.

The new unit is the family firm’s third Staffordshire premises, joining its headquarters at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Fradley Park, and The Tamworth Auction Rooms, which opened in October 2021.

Most read

The most viewed stories for week October 13-19 on

1 Coins discovered under kitchen floor in Yorkshire home sell for over £600,000 at auction

2 Chinese brush pot stars in our pick of five auction highlights sold this week

3 Lowry seascape takes high six-figure sum at North Yorkshire saleroom

4 A model of the Sir John Betjeman statue from St Pancras station is among five lots to watch

5 War dog Rob’s ‘animal VC’ Dickin Medal sells for record £140,000 in London auction

In Numbers


The number of carats in The Golden Canary diamond to be offered at Sotheby’s New York on December 7. With an estimate of $15m, it is the largest flawless or internally flawless diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).