Karen Taylor offers this portrait of a lady in a white headdress by Anna Tonelli (c.1763-1846), who was patronised by Lord Clive but whose works were subsequently confused by those of Hugh Douglas Hamilton. This pastel, dated 1796, is offered in its original frame for a price in the region of £10,000.

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Art week showcases many female artists

Highlights announced for the next edition of London Art Week (LAW) include several shows devoted to female artists.

Among the exhibitions already planned at the event opening at the end of June is British Women Artists (1750-1950) at Karen Taylor Fine Art, staged to coincide with Tate Britain’s Now You See Us: Women Artists in Britain (1520-1920). It includes scientific works by Sarah Stone, portraits by Penelope Cawardine, and landscapes by Amelia Long among others.

Colnaghi Elliott, meanwhile, stages In the Classroom: Women Artists at the Academy, 1870-1910. Solo shows include Philip Mould’s Fruits of Friendship on the life and work of Mary Beale and Ben Elwes Fine Arts’ celebration of Swedish artist Anna Boberg (1864-1935).

First-time participant Toby Campbell Fine Art offers pictures of men and women at work. Other shows are British Impressions 2024 at David Messum Fine Art, works by Swedish symbolist Ivar Arosenius, Equine - From Wild to Tame to Icon from sculpture specialist Sladmore gallery and a focus on Guercino from Stephen Ongpin Fine Art.

Old Master boost

LAW has announced a new partnership with Trois Crayons, which aims to boost London as a centre for Old Master drawings.

During the LAW summer event (June 28-July 5), the organisation established to champion drawing will provide a communal hub at 9 Cork Street, Mayfair, which is Frieze’s permanent exhibition space. It will host international works on paper dealers as well as talks on the subject.

Mr Darcy shirt makes a big splash


Colin Firth’s famous shirt worn in the role of Mr Darcy, £20,000 at Kerry Taylor.

Colin Firth’s famous shirt which he wore as the brooding Mr Darcy in the BBC’s 1996 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice has been bought at auction by a UK museum.

On March 6 it went under the hammer as part of a complete costume at Kerry Taylor Auctions’ Lights Camera Auction - Live Cosprop Sale. Estimated at £7000-10,000, it was knocked down for £20,000 (£25,000 with buyer’s premium). It was offered with a pair of associated boots and a signed photograph of Firth in the role.

The shirt is worn in the miniseries as Firth emerges from a lake clad only in the clinging wet garment. In the catalogue, designer Dinah Collin says that the moment was unscripted and was a workaround for the prohibition on onscreen male nudity.

The exact identity of the institutional buyer is yet to be announced.

The sale of the theatrical costume provider went to benefit an arts education charity. The top lot was a Christian Dior silk taffeta ball gown c.1953 worn by Madonna in Evita.

Arms fair set for March is cancelled

The next edition of the London Antique Arms Fair has been cancelled. The 105th edition was to take place on March 24 at the Prince Regent Hotel in Woodford Green. However, citing problems with dealer commitment, organiser John Wilson has called it off.

He told ATG: “Venues in London aren’t cheap, and it was down to the fact that I couldn’t get enough exhibitors on board to cover the cost. We needed around 40 and had less than 20 by the time I’d pulled the plug. I’d done a big push and emailed everyone.”

The Woodford Green venue was new for this edition. It previously took place at the RAF Museum in Hendon and in west London before that.

Wilson said he is “not sure” about the autumn fair, which is scheduled for October 6.

“When times are hard for people, the easiest thing to cut is collectables,” he added. “I’ll see what’s happening in the world closer to the time. I’m hoping it’s not the end of the London Antique Arms Fair but it could be.”

New department heads appointed

Chiswick Auctions has appointed two new heads of department.

Rick Parrish joins the west London firm as head of coins, banknotes and antiquities.

He started his career at TimeLine Auctions and later worked as a specialist for Numi smatic Guaranty Company (NGC) and as a consultant for auction houses including Tennants, where he was head of the coins and banknotes department.


Jo Lloyd of Chiswick Auctions.

Jo Lloyd, who joins Chiswick as a design specialist, was previously a senior specialist at Bonhams and most recently was head of decorative arts at fellow London saleroom Roseberys.

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1 Rediscovered George II period table takes 100-times estimate at Berkshire auction

2 Works fly at Lay’s sale of the Branfield collection

3 Ethiopian shield taken from Battle of Magdala withdrawn from auction

4 Early 16th century Flemish triptych emerges at Guernsey auction

5 Jack the Ripper items from police investigator come to auction for the first time

In Numbers


The number of lots withdrawn out of a total of 70 from Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary art evening sale in London on March 6. The withdrawals included a Blue Period Picasso portrait estimated at £5m-7m and a Josef Albers painting pitched at £800,000-1m.

Christie’s 20th / 21st Century evening sale had seven of the 80 lots withdrawn.