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By Terry Ingram on 15-Dec-2013 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Bonhams Australia is closing its decorative arts department following a stall in the market place which has lasted for more than its four years of direct operation in Australia and shows little sign of reversing.
The move also signals a change in direction for the global group of which it is part and which is now taking on the two major fine arts companies, Sotheby's and Christie's in a serious manner in Europe and the US.
By Richard Brewster on 28-Nov-2013 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
An 18th century portrait of Lady Anne Montague (lot 243), daughter of the Earl of Manchester Robert Montague and wife of James the Earl of Suffolk, from the School of Sir Peter Lely will be a highlight when the contents of David and Judith Conroy’s home is auctioned on site at 21A Hill Street, Toorak from noon December 8.
By Terry Ingram on 21-Nov-2013 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Number 149 was a lucky number for Mr Robert Bleakley, founding CEO of the first Sotheby's International branch in Australia , at Mossgreen in Melbourne this week. The Chinese buyer holding that number bought most of the top lots including those consigned by Mr Bleakley, the now Byron based beekeeper with a fascination for Buddhism.
By Terry Ingram on 13-Nov-2013 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
A lavishly decorated Japanese hand scroll sold for $74,000 plus buyers premium or more than 10 times its top estimate at Vickers and Hoad Auctioneers in Sydney on November 11. Sold to a telephone bidder against competition from one of the several locally based Japanese players in the room, the interest suggests there is life yet in the faded Japanese antiquities market although the scroll was also important as a piece of Buddhist art which sometimes has a following of its own.
If anyone has the credentials for collecting maritime memorabilia it must be Desmond Adcock, writes James Cockington in the Sydney Morning Herald. He's a professional fisherman, now semi-retired, based in Redcliffe, Brisbane. He's spent a lifetime gathering crabs from the shallow waters of Moreton Bay. His vast collection of scrimshaw, whalebone objects, paintings of ships and naval weapons sold at Mossgreen auctions in Melbourne on October 29.
ABC Online reports that the National Museum of Australia has emerged as the mystery bidder that paid $38,000 for a pair of shears once owned by shearing great Jackie Howe. In a fiercely contested bidding process at Sotheby's in Melbourne the estimated value of between $15,000 and $25,000 was dramatically exceeded.
A pair of carved rhinoceros horns has sold at auction for close to $NZ800,000. The 19th century Chinese carvings were offered at Webb's Auction House in Auckland on Thursday evening. Webb's said the sale price of $NZ797,300 is the highest price paid for an antique at auction in New Zealand. The horns had a pre-sale estimate of $NZ120,000 - $NZ150,000.
Police in India have confirmed a 1000-year-old statue on display at the Art Gallery of NSW was stolen from a temple in southern India, most likely in 2002, increasing the likelihood that a slew of antiquities in Australia's pre-eminent art galleries will have to be surrendered, writes Michaela Boland in <i>The Australian</i>.
By Supplied on 06-Sep-2013 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Over three days, on September 13, 14 and 15 Scammel Auctions of Adelaide will sell a lifetime collection of medical instruments and apparatus, magic lanterns and slides, microscopes, cameras and photography accessories.
By Terry Ingram on 30-Aug-2013 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
What promised to be one of the most firmly contested lots of Australiana ever to appear in the international saleroom, has been withdrawn from a London auction because it is unlikely to be what it appears.
An "early Australian silver-mounted fruitwood and stained cedarwood inkstand (bearing the) mark of J. Josephson, NSW circa 1820" has joined Captain Cook's boomerang in a limbo-land of troublesome objects with questioned Australian connections.
By Terry Ingram on 28-Aug-2013 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Attendance at this year's annual Australian Antique and Art Dealers Association (AAADA) Sydney Fair at the new Royal Randwick grandstand from August 21 to 26 was about 20 per cent higher than last year's.
Two previously unknown documents unveiled today at the State Library of NSW are the "holy grail of Australiana collectables", according to State Librarian Dr Alex Byrne. Had they succeeded in their purpose we would today be speaking Spanish rather than English. Known as the Queiros memorials, they are the earliest printed records relating to the discovery of Australia.
ABC News Online reports that a former employee of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery who admitted stealing more than $16,000 worth of antiques, memorabilia and historic artefacts has avoided jail time. Anthony James Curtis told the court he had "torpedoed his own career" when he began stealing from the Markree Collection.
By Supplied on 08-Aug-2013 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
A new antique centre opened in early July on the Gold Coast. Runaway Bay Antique & Arts Centre has 300m2 of selling space and is situated on the northern end of the Gold Coast, and about one hour south of Brisbane.
By Terry Ingram on 17-Jul-2013 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Bonhams Australia's Sydney office was besieged with calls from potential vendors this week following the sale by its London parent on July 11 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK of a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 Single-Seater for £19.6 million.
Thousands of investors have been caught up in the collapse of a rare currency dealer, which a liquidator says held stock valued at about $240 million.Though customers who typically paid hundreds of thousands of dollars each for coins and banknotes stored at The Rare Coin Company are likely to get them back, the value of their investment is under question.
By Terry Ingram on 05-Jul-2013 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Four panels from an altar- piece which went through a Melbourne auction room for $30,000 in March this year sold for £181,875 including BP at Christie's in London on July 3.
The result pointed to a highly rewarding piece of arbitrage of the kind that has been lacking in the Australian saleroom since the early days of the internet made easy global communications available to all, writes Terry Ingram.
You know the story … the op shop bargain that sells for a fortune. This actually happened at an auction in Melbourne last week when Sotheby's Australia sold a 17th-century Chinese ''libation cup'' carved from rhinoceros horn for $75,640
By Terry Ingram on 23-Jun-2013 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
A New Guinea wooden carved roof figure designed to ward off evil cast its spell at the Christie's auction of tribal art in Paris on June 19. Expecting some excitement from this well known great rarity, the packed room was entranced, giving the lot a rapturous round of applause when it sold for an unprecedented €2.5 million (AU$3,520,000) including buyers premium. The sum was a new record for any piece of Oceanic art and more than doubled the estimates which ranged from €750,000 to €1 million, writes Terry Ingram.
Last week the Mossgreen auction house in Melbourne sold what was modestly described as 'A Private Collection of Antiques and Decorative Arts', writes James Cockington. The majority of items were ornate Sevres vases and gilt clocks from the Louis XVI period but hidden deep in the catalogue was something even more bizarre - a selection of animal-skin rugs, plus a zebra trophy head and a pair of suede armchairs decorated with stag antlers.