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In the past we have had occasions where we have lent paintings to clients to sell on our behalf. I was reading an article where an art dealer is suing an auctioneer after it turned out that the work had been stolen from a private collection.

This painting was bought for £1100 and was subsequently identified as being painted by a minor old master. However, the art dealer’s plan to sell it for £25 000 was scuppered when police officers informed him that the painting had been stolen

Now the dealer is planning to sue the current auction house for the £23,632 profit he says he could have made from the sale.

The court was told that the painting, since returned to its owner, was entered into an auction in April 2010.

There was no problem with the painting until police took it for a criminal prosecution which was later dropped. He is suing the auctioneers as “agents” for the person who entered it in in 2010. The police dropped that case but gave the painting back to the original owner. Should he own it as he bought it? Should the initial auction house shoulder the blame for not showing due to diligence as to where the painting came from?

We have had similar situations where paintings have been sold on our behalf, agreements signed as to the property being ours until funds are received in full, yet we have never received the payment. We have seen our paintings in auction but the police do nothing as they say that the ownership belongs to the person who bought it from our agent who has since absconded. Should they be sued for not showing due diligence? Where should an auction house stand?

This is a very complicated issue which seems to show us the murky side of art ownership. When an expensive painting is purchased provenance is key to establishing authentication and transparency. At what point or value should this be overlooked?

There’s nothing better than going into a prospective house purchase and smelling the aroma of recently brewed ground coffee or the freshly baked bread emitting those childhood memories. It is a trick much used by estate agents. It appears that recently agents and developers have arrived in the modern world and realised that art can do the same.

Brands such as ‘Ralph Lauren’ (who we closely work with) have been doing it for years. There logo is a figure on a polo horse so they decorate their stores with…. paintings and photos of horses, figures and polo scenes. It seems fairly logical.

Hotels do the same to create the image and style of their hotel, using paintings and furnishings in keeping with the design.

In Europe you can buy the house in much the same way as in this country but you can also buy the content and artwork thus increasing the price. Why would an estate agent not maximise its commission and get the highest price?

Recently, however, it appears that things are changing. Houses are being used for art exhibitions where you are able to buy not only the art, but also the property that it is hung. A carefully created exhibition, where you are individually shown around, allows a potential house buyer to spend more time viewing the home.

There is a distinct association between art and luxury homes. The sort of potential buyer that comes to a house like this is the sort of person who collects art. Many of these buyers’ frequent art exhibitions. This has led to artists being headhunted to find the right artwork to showcase and compliment the home.

Developers have started to call in interior designers with close links to art galleries to boost the appeal of their properties. They will brief architects and designers on creating apartments for art lovers and collectors, they will sometimes include having walls large enough and strong enough to hold a number of works. Designers will collaborate with retailers and galleries to use art as part of the whole design concept, offering something different in terms of appeal and style to potential buyers. These projects appear polished and beautifully thought out compared with typical show developments, and the art adds value, as well as often being offered in the purchase of a property as part of the investment.”

It has been a long time coming…

Framing makes the difference between buying and selling of a painting

Empty Frame for the Sargeant
Image in original disrepair

This American Civil War portrait will most likely be displayed in the very prestigious Union League of Philadelphia. It was built in 1865 in honour of Abraham Lincoln and the republic. Lincoln was schedule to do the opening ribbon cutting ceremonies but was killed three weeks before the event.
The Union League has one of the largest collections in the world of Civil War related items. Open to the public one day a week for viewing.

We were charged with restoring these and bringing them back to their former glory!

Optimized-Piece of Bottom corner


We only had a partial piece to create the bottom plaques

Shield with sole piece of plaque incorporated
Newly created Shield with Inverted Indian

After all the work the frame was ready for gilding. More photos to follow...

Prior to Gilding
Picture of a Hunting Dog

St. Marie


Dogs have been with us for centuries – as companions, or working dogs, they really are man’s best friend. We see them everywhere in pictures, on TV, in magazines, we read about them online, and Facebook and Twitter bombard us with those ubiquitous photos of the family dog in numerous funny poses, caught in a moment of pure delight, a vaguely human facial expression, or caught in the act of doing something users think everyone will find delightful. They’ve appeared in film and cartoons and gone on to be household names.

Back in the day, another way to appreciate the appeal of a dog was as ornamentation and they’ve appeared in various pedigrees, forms and artwork over the centuries, the brass dog cigarette lighter, or the dog heads on the top of a walking stick. They’ve appeared in artwork since time immemorial and it’s evident that man worshipped his dog as much as the Egyptians worshipped their cats.

Coming back to the ornaments, show me any person that doesn’t have at least one dog ornament, however small it may be. Personally, I have a bronze of a greyhound as it reminds me of my own.

 The imagery of dogs is featured on pottery, vases and jewellery and sometimes associated with religion back in Roman times. By the time the Victorian times arrived dogs were very much part of art and design and featured in portraits that had been commissioned by owners to show off their hunting dogs, sometimes posing with their masters.

If you’re a bit of a dog lover and a fan of any canine related art then take a look at our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/VictoriaFineArt ) where you can see a new album ‘Dogs in Art’ showing a number of our nineteenth century pieces currently for sale. www.facebook.com/VictoriaFineArt as you’re bound to find something that you’ll like within an excellent price range.

'The New Arrival' by Bernard Pothast

Welcome to the new Victoria Fine Art website!

After many months of work, we've upgraded our site to be the best website for buyers of traditional and contemporary Fine Art in the UK - possibly the whole world!

We've made it easier for visitors to zoom in on pictures to explore details, textures and brushwork like never before. We've also enhanced our search engine so it's now possible for art lovers to search for pictures by artist, title and categories of subject matter, size, period and price bracket.

Promoting the work of contemporary artists is one of our missions,  so we've created a new feature - the Artist Showcase . Why not bookmark this page so you can see the work and track the career progress of new artists as we update it monthly?

And we didn't stop there. Our powerful new content management system makes it possible to curate artworks by artist, theme, period, country of origin, style - even size! See our Online Exhibition feature. We can't wait to display our fabulous collection of literally thousands of beautiful, covetable paintings - many of them never before seen on the internet.

You are welcome to browse our site. Once you've found something you like, you can easily generate an online enquiry direct from the page.

We hope you enjoy our site and we look forward to hearing from you !

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