Miniature of Thomas Cromwell, one of three still portrait miniatures missing from Hever Castle.

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Castle theft info plea 20 years on

Twenty years ago a man walked into Anne Boleyn’s bedroom at Hever Castle and stole five miniature portraits from a glass vitrine cabinet.

The castle is now reissuing its plea for help to track them down.

Following the theft, a castle steward raised the alarm after seeing the open cabinet. Five miniature portraits of Anne of Austria, Queen Mary I, Thomas Cromwell and Mary Queen of Scots were taken.

In the intervening years two have been recovered: a circular miniature of Anne of Austria, in the style of Rubens, and a circular miniature of Queen Mary, in the style of Lucas de Heere. But the other three have never been found. They are: Thomas Cromwell from the studio of Hans Holbein and two portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The three items are all on the Art Loss Register’s database.

Hever Castle in Kent was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. A Yorkshire family, the Guthries, are the current owners.

Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr dies at 84


The late Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr.

Auctioneer Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr has died at the age of 84. He founded the French auction house Cornette de Saint-Cyr in 1973, which he sold to Bonhams last year.

Bonhams said “his name will forever be associated with int roducing the fi rst Contemporary Chinese art, photography and comic art sales in France”.

Among the auctions he led were the collection of abstract paintings belonging to French actor Alain Delon (2007); the estate of the painter Foujita (2011-13); furniture from the Hotel Royal Monceau (2008) and the Couture Collection belonging to Hélène Rochas (2016).

Following the launch of his auction house Pierre was later joined by his two eldest sons, Arnaud and Bertrand.

Arnaud, chairman of Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr alongside Bertrand, director of valuations, said: “My father was a luminous, enthusiastic man who taught us passion, courtesy and love of others. His commitment to contemporary art guided his life, from his first sales to his presidency of the Palais de Tokyo. A tireless discoverer, he kept his youthful curiosity intact right to the end.”

Pierre was born in Meknès, Morocco, on January 1, 1939. A collector of old drawings and photographs, he studied to become an engineer before taking up the profession of auctioneer.

He was chairman of the Palais de Tokyo Association from 2003-12 and was also the author of several books, including L’art c’est la vie: Souvenirs d’un commissaire-priseur (Editions Michel Lafon 2004).

Flight and Barr book released


The new book on the Worcester Flight and Barr Porcelain Factory.

Ceramics specialist Charles Dawson has self-published a new book on the Worcester Flight and Barr Porcelain Factory. The book tells the story of the Flight and Barr families, the history of the factory (1783- 1840) and its wares, the painters, its customers and the manufacturing process.

Henry Sandon, who wrote his book about the factory in 1978, has written the foreword to this book which is available via

Business event invites politician

The Art Business Conference will welcome shadow secretary for culture Lucy Powell for a ‘keynote fireside conversation’ at its event on September 12.

The conference, which will take place at Church House Con f e renc e Cent r e, Westminster, will host a day of speakers on topics including sustainability, the impact of AI and art market standards and due diligence. Announcements on the day will also include the results of the UK Art Market Conf idence Survey, in association with the Society of London Art Dealers (SLAD), with findings presented by SLAD’s Paul Hewitt.

New joiners at Fellows

Birmingham auction house Fellows has made two new appointments.

Alison Snowdon joins as a general valuer in its antiques and collectables department. With more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, she most recently worked at Fieldings Auctioneers for more than 12 years.

Also joining the firm is Patricia Preuschoff who has joined as catalogue manager for Fellows’ quarterly specialist designer handbags and accessories auctions. She has previous experience in authentication of designer handbags and accessories, having worked at the online consignment plat form Consigned Sealed Delivered.

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1 Guinness family collection to be auctioned in rare on-the-premises sale at Elveden Hall

2 Mystery woman sets auction record for artist Harrington Mann

3 Police appeal for stolen Ming dynasty Chinese doucai cup

4 Obituary: ‘The ultimate business getter’

5 Investigation launched after gold jewellery and gemstones stolen from British Museum

In Numbers


The number of works that Chinese collector Liu Yiqian, who founded the Long Museum in Shanghai, has consigned to Sotheby’s Hong Kong for sale later this year. The works reportedly include pictures by David Hockney, René Magritte and Amadeo Modigliani with a further tranche from the collection following at Sotheby’s in New York at a later date.