Melvin Besbrode, owner of Besbrode Pianos.

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Besbrode joins BADA

Besbrode Pianos, one of the largest piano dealers in the UK, has become a member of the British Antique Dealers’ Association. The Leeds firm is run by Melvin Besbrode in four floors of a 1780s-built mill in Holbeck.

Stock includes 250 new and pre-owned pianos as well as rare, art cased pianos. There are several examples from the ‘golden age’ of piano-making such as The Richard Strauss, an Ibach Grand Piano with a chequered, cherry case and gate legs with black spindles designed by Emanuel von Seidl for the composer.

There is also the 1899 King Edward VII Bluthner Grand Piano with a rosewood case and bevelled glass music desk. The cabinet is decorated with Art Nouveau and Empire-style features. It which was showcased at the Paris Exposition Universelle (1900) and was bought by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in the coronation year (1902) and situated in the ballroom of Marlborough House.

New dealer platform launched


Marcus Westbury.

Dealer Marcus Westbury has launched a new platform for buying and selling antiques and fine art.

Dubbed deWestbury, it is pitched as an alternative to salerooms and the practice of charging both buyer’s and seller’s premiums.

The online platform, which is now open for use, currently charges no fees for registering, listing or selling.


A screenshot of the new deWestbury site.

Mostly aimed at the top end of the market, there is also a ‘brocante’ category where lower-end items can be listed.

Trade users can sell in any country, language and currency and are encouraged both to publicise the name of their business on the platform and to add notes to their catalogue entries.

Sellers are asked to keep their catalogue entries as high quality as possible, writing professionally and adding good, relevant images.

Westbury says that “we’re trying to go for the higher level” with the “private collector in mind”.

Ken Bolan retires after 50 years in the trade 


This marble figure of Hebe from the mid-19th century after the original by Antonio Canova was knocked down at £45,000 in the Ken Bolan sale at Dreweatts against a guide of £15,000-25,000.

An auction at Dreweatts earlier this month marked the retirement of seasoned dealer Ken Bolan.

He started dealing in 1973 before opening Talisman, his popular shop, in the 1980s. It started in the West Country before he moved it to a 22,000 sq ft garage in Fulham in the early 2000s.

In 2019, the huge King’s Road shop closed (ATG No 2399) as Bolan returned to the West Country.

Now he is retiring. He says he made the decision late last year after 50 years of dealing, and will now focus on working the 150 acres of ancient meadow, bog and woodland connected to his home.

Ken Boland: My Mind’s Eye took place at the Newbury auction house on May 14 with several strong results in sculpture as well as furniture, garden items and decorative arts.

Rodin on the road with Bowman Sculpture


Crowds at the Taibei Dangdai booth run by Bowman Sculpture.

Bowman Sculpture is taking its specialist subject, Rodin, around the world this year.

Most recently, it attracted crowds at the opening of its first outing to the fair Taipei Dangdai (May 10-12), when it hosted a booth dedicated to the sculptor, coinciding with the inaugural exhibition on Rodin at the Fubon Art Museum. It followed a dedicated Rodin show at TEFAF Maastricht in March with another one set for the London gallery this summer.

Dealer Robert Bowman says: “These solo Rodin booths not only celebrate the enduring legacy of one of history’s greatest sculptors but also demonstrate our commitment to providing audiences around the world with unparalleled access to exceptional works of art.”

Andrew Wyeth exhibition runs in New York


Bradford’s House, 1939, by Andrew Wyeth is among the works at New York’s Schoelkopf Gallery.

An exhibition dedicated to 20th century artist Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) is taking place at New York’s Schoelkopf Gallery.

Running until June 28, it features 25 works that he painted from 1939-94 including those in tempera, watercolour, drybrush and pencil.

Prices range from $50,000-6.5m.