Philip de László picture

Risaldar Jagat Singh and Risaldar Man Singh, 1916. Oil on board by Philip Alexius de László (1869-1937).

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Export block for de László portrait

A temporary export block has been placed on a portrait of cavalry officers in the British Indian Army by Philip de László, in the hope it can be purchased by a UK institution.

The unfinished portrait, valued at £650,000, depicts the cavalry officers Risaldar Jagat Singh and Risaldar Man Singh. The pair were junior troop commanders in the British Indian Army’s Expeditionary Force who served at the Battle of the Somme and are presumed to have died in action.

The soldiers sat for the artist in London two months before being sent to France and the painting appears to have been created for de László’s own collection.

It remained in his studio until he died in 1937, passing to Patrick de László and was later sold in 1975 to a private collector.

The decision to temporarily block the picture from export was made by the Arts and Heritage minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay as the painting is extremely rare in depicting active Indian participants in the First World War.

A British institution must raise £650,000 (plus VAT of £130,000 which can be reclaimed by an eligible institution) and must make a serious expression of interest by July 13.

Artcurial expands into Switzerland

Beurret Bailly Widmer

Swiss auction house Beurret Bailly Widmer.

The French auction house Artcurial, based in Paris, has bought Swiss auction house Beurret Bai l ly Widmer Auktionen which will become Artcurial Beurret Bailly Widmer.

Founded in 2011 in Basel by Nicolas Beurret and Emmanuel Bailly, then joined by Markus Schöb from Galerie Widmer, the firm also has offices in Zürich and Saint-Gall and specialises in Modern and Contemporary art.

The company will continue with its three annual sales (physical and online) with the next fine art sale to be held during Art Basel on June 21 in Basel.

Artcurial said it is also planning “several development projects over the next two years in Switzerland”.

New home for Bonhams Scotland

Melville Crescent

Bonhams Scotland’s new home in Melville Crescent.

Bonhams is moving its saleroom in Edinburgh.

The lease is ending at its current home in Queen Street in the Scottish city and it will move to a new saleroom in the New Town area of Edinburgh. Bonhams Scotland’s new home is a five-storey double-fronted 19th-century townhouse in Melville Crescent.

The building will house its specialist departments and the valuations team, lead by May Matthews, managing director of Bonhams Scot land (alongside her role as head of Scottish pictures).

Charles Graham-Campbell has been appointed director of private clients, Scotland.

Other new staff members include a new picture specialist, general valuer and a client services department.

Convelio buys UK shipper CIFA

Convelio, a provider of online platform services for art shipping, has bought UK fine art shipper Connoisseur International Fine Art (CIFA).

Previously Convelio, which operates an online service for the booking of logistics, worked with vetted partners so this acquisition will enhance its shipping expertise. CIFA was established in 2003 and specialises in the packing, transportation and shipping of fine art and antiques worldwide.

CIFA’s co-founder, Tim Gotts, said: “To add our team of art technicians, specialised art transport vehicles, and long experience of operating in the fine art market to Convelio’s refreshing approach and commitment will create a new service for the art market.”

Christie’s cuts carbon emissions

Christie’s and shipping firm Crozier’s sea freight initiative between London and Hong Kong, and London and New York, has reduced emissions by 43% since the trial started in 2021. The figure was revealed as part of Christie’s third Environmental Impact Report (2022).

Using measures approved by Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), Christie’s emissions in 2022 have been reduced by 37% since pre-pandemic 2019.

Julien Pradels, Christie’s global head of operation, said: “Having targeted some of the easier wins including the energy use in our buildings, a pilot to encourage wider industry use of sea freight and a dramatic 84% reduction in publishing emissions, we now must re-double our efforts on reducing our business travel and measuring accurate IT activities to keep to our promise of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030.”

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The inaugural edition of the Korean Art London fair taking place at Mall Galleries from July 6-22 will feature more than 30 exhibitors. It is organised by the dealer Rok Hee Hwang but it is the contemporary artists themselves who are taking solo booths.