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Stewart-Lockhart to be managing director of Woolley and Wallis

20 February 2012Written by ATG Reporter

CLIVE Stewart-Lockhart, deputy chairman of Dreweatts, is to become managing director of Woolley and Wallis, the Salisbury-based salerooms.

He will take up his appointment at the beginning of May.

The appointment comes at the same time as Woolley & Wallis director John Axford is promoted to deputy chairman.

Paul Viney, the current managing director and chairman, will continue in the latter role, but has decided to hand over the day-to-day running of the business to Mr Stewart-Lockhart so that he can concentrate on the increased number of probate valuations he has taken on since the retirement of former principal Tim Woolley.

The appointment of Mr Stewart-Lockhart to head what is currently the most successful exclusively provincial auction business in the UK seals a longstanding friendship and working relationship with Mr Viney. Both have been chairman of the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers (Mr Viney is the current chairman), they have lectured together on cruises and both, along with Mr Axford, are longstanding members of the Antiques Roadshow team.

"I am delighted that Clive, who has been a good friend for many years, has decided to join us," Mr Viney toldATG. "I have been managing director at Woolley and Wallis for 17 years, so it's high time I passed on some of the day-to-day running of the company to a fresh pair of hands."

The pair's friendship mirrors that of Tim Woolley and the late Richard Barton, the former chairman of Dreweatt Neate, the firm that went on to form the basis of Dreweatts.

Mr Stewart-Lockhart has extensive experience as a generalist and is noted for his expertise in pictures, but is also seen as bringing valuable Orientalist knowledge to strengthen further Mr Axford's Asian art department, which has twice set the record for anything sold at auction in the provinces.

"I'm very happy to act as a sounding board for John, but I wouldn't dream of getting in his way. He has developed his knowledge in the most amazing way in recent years," said Mr Stewart-Lockhart.

Looking back at his time with Dreweatts - he has been at Donnington Priory for 30 years - Mr Stewart-Lockhart said that he was most proud of his role in the private treaty sale of a collection of First Fleet drawings to the National Library of Australia, and the sale of a pair of portraits by Jean Baptiste Greuze for £900,000 six years ago.

He said that he admired the way Dreweatts had been at the forefront of adopting online auctioneering, saying it had "transformed" the business.

He also said that his move came at a time when Dreweatts were continuing to focus on building their profile as a big British player on the international scene, but he felt that he wanted to concentrate now more on consolidating a strong regional business and Woolley and Wallis gave him that opportunity.

"My long association with the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers underpins my belief that there is a great wealth of auctioneering in the British provinces and we should build on that," he told ATG.

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