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OH BOY A century after it was last seen in the UK, The Blue Boy, one of Thomas Gainsborough’s (1727-1788) best known works, is to go on show in London.

On January 25, 1921, the American rail and property businessman Henry E. Huntington bought the famous 1770 portrait. Its farewell tour, before it left for the States a year later, attracted 90,000 visitors to the National Gallery. The painting, thought to be of Jonathan Buttall, the son of a wealthy merchant, has been on show at the Huntington Library, Art Museum in California for the last century. It returns to the National Gallery on January 22 next year.

Top The Blue Boy at the National Gallery, 1922 © courtesy of the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California

Above Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), The Blue Boy, 1770, © courtesy of the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California

Farewell to fairs After 45 years on the fair circuit the wellknown British pottery specialist, John Howard, has decided to take his business online, while maintaining his Oxfordshire showroom.

He said: “The past year has given me time to reassess my business operation and I have decided I will no longer exhibit at fairs. Buyers can still be assured of a warm welcome at the showroom in Woodstock.”

John and Linda founded Howard’s of Aberystwyth in 1976.

He continued: “The internet has become a significant aspect of my dealership and the loyalty seen through the website has been encouraging.”

For more details go to www. antiquepottery.

Right A delftware tulip charger on sale from John Howard

RACING AHEAD A Surrey auction house, known for its film and memorabilia sales, is launching its first standalone car auction this month.

At the sale on September 5, Woking-based Ewbank’s Auctions will put cars ranging from a Ford Capri to a rare Bentley under the hammer.

And, for those not in the market for a vintage motor, the sale will also feature a range of collectables, automobilia, and transport-related toys and models, including London Underground station signs.

The star lot, destined to draw attention from petrolheads around the world, is a Peterson 6.5-litre supercharged Bentley road racer on a 1952 chassis, which was rebuilt to order in 2014, and estimated to fetch up to £620,000.

A sought-after D-reg 1986 Ford Capri with 93,000 miles on the clock is expected to make between £15,000 and £20,000.

Above A Peterson 6.5-litre supercharged Bentley road racer has a pre-sale guide price of £600,000-£620,000 at this month’s sale

WRITTEN WARNING Three auctions have been put on hold while an appeal attempts to raise money to save a “lost library” of British literature, including poems by Emily Brontë, works by Robert Burns and Jane Austen first editions.

Sotheby’s halted three planned sales at which Brontë’s poems were expected to fetch between £800,000 and £1.2m, and where a first edition of Wuthering Heights had pre-sale expectations of £200,000 to £300,000.

The delay has allowed institutions including the Brontë Parsonage, British Library and Friends of the National Libraries (FNL) to raise the £15m needed to stop the works being bought by a private collector.

When the sale of the Honresfield Library was announced the Brontë Society said the “rightful home” for the manuscripts was the museum in the sisters’ former home in Haworth, West Yorkshire.

Left Emily Brontë and Anne Brontë, autographed manuscript, one of the works whose sale was put on hold

Daughter merest A painting by the French impressionist, Edgar Degas (1834-1917), of his friend’s 23-year-old daughter starts a three-stop tour this month.

Gallery Oldham in Greater Manchester is the first venue for the work, Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study – part of a National Gallery’s Masterpiece tour. It is followed by The Riverside in Glan-yr-afon and Merseyside’s Kirkby Gallery.

While the title suggests the young woman is the portrait’s subject, on closer inspection the painting appears to be all about her father, Henri – a patron of French artists at the time.

Aged 23 and married when the portrait was painted, Degas omits Hélène’s wedding ring, emphasising her status as a daughter rather than as a wife.

Right Edgar Degas (1834-1917) Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study © The National Gallery, London


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