Olympia Auctions partners with institutions for fundraising initiative

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Olympia Auctions partners with institutions for fundraising initiative
A 15th century Italian marriage casket from the workshop of Baldassare Embriachi either Florence or Venice, estimated at 4000-6000 at Olympia Auctions.

LONDON.- Olympia Auctions will be working on an initiative in conjunction with these distinguished institutions, to raise funds following the damaging impact of the pandemic.

Whether musical, historical, architectural or decorative arts, each charitable organisation is of personal interest to Olympia Auctions. As 2020 progressed it became clear that there was an urgent need for fundraising resulting in this novel enterprise, where a percentage of the commission from the sale of lots will be donated by Olympia Auctions to the charities. Vendors are encouraged to donate additionally from the proceeds. The campaign is planned to run for the forthcoming three auctions in April, May and June 2021 which include Pictures, Works of Art, Ceramics, Silver, Jewellery, Arms, Armour and Militaria.

Directors Thomas Del Mar and Matthew Barton believe this initiative will make a positive impact on the three organisations that continue to face considerable financial challenges with their day-to-day running, as well as ongoing projects that have been halted.

Funds raised for The Wallace Collection will support the museum and its ongoing research into the collection of arms and armour from India, Iran and the Ottoman Empire, which has not been published in a catalogue format since 1914. Inevitably, due to staff furlough, this project was paused at the beginning of the pandemic and they are now seeking to redress this.

A huge 92% of income for Westminster Abbey comes from tourism; no visitors mean no income. From April 2020 to the end of March 2021, the Abbey had only 16k visitors compared to a normal 1.3m, and associated visitor income of 232k versus 17.8m. Our auctions are one of the fundraising initiatives the Abbey are pursuing in this critical time. The Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Rev Dr David Hoyle, has said that the coronavirus had dealt a “shattering blow” to the Abbey’s finances.

For The Grange Festival, funds received will help the Festival recover from the extreme challenges they have faced and continue to face. They will also help fulfil their long-held dream, to equip their theatre to match the needs of the 21st century and improve their digital resources, in order to reach school children, students and many at home and abroad, who are unable to come to the theatre.

At a time of redundancies and reduction of exhibition, publication and performance budgets in cultural institutions nationwide, the financial strain is unlikely to diminish for many years, even with the recently announced government grants.

Olympia Auctions are inviting consignments to benefit the Wallace Collection, Westminster Abbey and The Grange Festival for their auctions as follows:

• British and Continental Pictures and Prints on 28th April
• European and Asian Works of Art on 26th May
• Arms, Armour and Militaria on 30th June

The vendor’s commission will be reduced from 15% to 10%, and half of this will be given by Olympia Auctions to the designated charity. Sellers will be encouraged to match this donation, or indeed exceed it. All catalogue entries will highlight the charitable status of the lots, stating the benefactor where requested.

There have already been a number of outstanding consignments in recent weeks, including ‘A Portrait of a Boy and a Whippet’, by Godfrey Kneller and Studio, an Elizabethan silver-encrusted sword rapier, and a fine cased pair of flintlock duelling pistols by Joseph Manton.

Thomas Del Mar, Director of Olympia Auctions comments ‘It is a great pleasure to be working with these three remarkable institutions and I am delighted at the very positive response we have had at this early stage. It is an outstanding opportunity for people to support these charitable organisations and should be beneficial for everybody involved.’

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