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Red card Next month’s Russian sales by the major auction houses have been cancelled after UK government widened its ban on exports to Russia to include high-end luxury goods.

BRUTE FORCE A rare gold coin marking the 44 BC murder of Julius Caesar is expected to fetch more than £1.5m when it goes under the hammer this month in Zurich.

Called the Eid Mar, the coin was minted by Caesar’s betrayer, Marcus Junius Brutus, to commemorate the assassination on March 15 (the Ides of March) carried out by a group of Roman senators, led by Brutus.

Paintings, works of art, antiques, jewellery, watches and cars are among the 22 luxury goods categories included in the fourth round of sanctions agreed by the G7 countries and the EU. The ban on exports covers items with a value exceeding €300 (but €1,500 for musical instruments and €50,000 for cars).

London’s Russian Art Week has become an annual event in the summer, with last year’s series raising around £27m. The pre-pandemic series in June 2019 totalled £35.8m.

Sotheby’s confirmed it would

The coin has been on display for the past decade at the British Museum in London, where it was on long-term loan from a private collector. One side of the coin shows an inscription EID MAR, short for Eidibus Martiis, the Ides of March, along with two daggers and a liberty cap symbolising the fight for freedom.

Above The Eid Mar coin, © Numismatica Ars Classica

PICTURE PERFECT An early work by William Hogarth (1697-1784) has been bought for the nation following a successful public appeal to raise £25,000.

That was the sum required by Strawberry Hill Trust to acquire Hogarth’s portrait of Horace Walpole, later 4th Earl of Orford (1717-1797).

The National Heritage Memorial Fund donated £115,00 with the Art Fund coming up with £90,000 which was added to money from the trust’s coffers. The trust said the picture was of “exceptional interest” as it is the earliest surviving oil portrait of Walpole; a rare and significant example of Hogarth’s early mature pictorial work; the earliestknown commissioned picture of an identifiable sitter by Hogarth and his first-known portrait of a child.

Toy story The world’s largest toy auctioneers, based in County Durham, has taken centre stage at a new fly-on-the-wall documentary. Vectis Toy Auctioneers is the star of Scouting for Toys, on Yesterday channel, which sees the team of experts value and catalogue a range of toys ahead of a weekly auction. In the first episode Vectis’ Star Wars specialist Nick Dykes, evaluates a collection, sharing his knowledge on the most sought-after items. All episodes of Scouting for Toys are available for catchup on UKTV Play. Best cellar Tours of a little-known Roman bathhouse

Below A Vectis expert puts a lot through its paces hidden underneath a London office block have reopened after being closed to the public for two years due to Covid-19.

Discovered in 1848, Billingsgate Roman House and Baths is home to one of London’s best-preserved Roman remains. A model of what the bathhouse looked like in Roman times is also on view.

Located on Lower Thames Street, close to the Tower of London, the bathhouse was occupied until the end of Roman London in the early 5th century.

not be holding any Russian art auctions in London in June, with Christie’s and Bonhams following suit soon after.

Russian-owned Phillips donated £5.8m from its recent Contemporary art sale to the Ukrainian Red Cross. A number of UK regional firms are no longer taking bids from buyers in Russia.

Above Sotheby’s is one of the auction houses to ban Russian sales, image @haydonperrior

Above The portrait of Horace Walpole has been saved for the nation

Above Tours of the Billingsgate Roman House and Baths have resumed


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