Christie’s Paris
Christie’s Paris. Image by Erwmat via Wikimedia Commons.

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The auction firm has announced that the current president of Christie’s France, François de Ricqlès, will be standing down in the summer of 2019 after 16 years with the company to set up an art advisory business.

The new president will be Cécile Verdier who worked at Sotheby’s France from 2008 leading its decorative arts and design department. She will take up her position in summer 2019 following a non-compete period.

De Ricqlès will continue his close relationship with Christie’s as a member of its European Advisory board. Of his time with the company he said: “I am most grateful to François Pinault, whose trust enabled me to embark upon this extraordinary adventure and to the talented teams at Christie’s, in Paris and around the world, as the joint force that spearheaded Christie’s to the forefront of the French auction market.

I recount with pride many marvellous successes: the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé sale at the Grand Palais in February 2009, the ground-breaking price achieved for the stone head by Modigliani in June 2010, still the most expensive work of art ever sold in France, and the 2016 cultural milestone when we orchestrated the private sale of two portraits by Rembrandt to leading institutions in France and the Netherlands.”

François de Ricqlès

François de Ricqlès on the rostrum at Christie’s for the avant-garde sale in 2017.

For Cécile Verdier, who began her career at the Drouot auction centre in 1994, this will be a return to Christie’s France where she worked from 1997-2007, first in valuations and then in the 20th century decorative arts and design department.

More recently she was responsible for orchestrating Sotheby’s sales of the Félix Marcilhac collection in 2014 and the Jacques Grange collection in 2017.

Commenting on her new role she said: “I look forward to joining Christie’s next year, to manage Christie’s France and participate in the company’s international development. I am already aware of the exceptionally talented team in place, and very much look forward to contributing my experience and passion for work, towards Christie’s common goal to provide our clients with the best possible service.”