Curated Auctions, based in Eltham, is run by former Bonhams and Chiswick Auctions specialist Rachael Osborn-Howard.
Osborn-Howard worked at Bonhams until 2017 when she joined Chiswick Auctions to set up fine European works of art and sculpture sales. She left Chiswick Auctions last year.
She hopes now to “move away from the traditional idea of an auction house, with a large saleroom and lots of staff, to having a small premises where we hold a limited number of sales”. The focus will be very much on digital marketing and objects that are “expertly researched and footnoted in the same way that a gallery or museum would catalogue its works”.
The first sale is March 16 and is titled ‘The Classics: Including Fine Sculpture’ which includes a collection of works from the family of the sculptor Sir William Reid Dick (1879-1961). Read more about Curated Auctions in ATG No 2533.
Sworders has promoted James Pickup to its board of directors, bringing the total number to five. Pickup joined the business in 2015, running the fortnightly Homes & Interiors sales for three years before moving up to take the reins of the Fine Interiors department.
He has since overseen the transformation of this quarterly sale, developing it into a curated, interior design led operation. He will maintain his position as head of fine interiors. In a statement from Sworders’ managing director Paul Martin said: “The pace of change in our industry continues to increase, led by technology, and the way in which we present ourselves to our audiences is becoming ever more critical. Sworders will be concentrating efforts in this area in the coming months and years, and James’ input will be of great importance.”
Woolley & Wallis
Sam Hug has joined the jewellery department at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury. He most recently worked with Koopman Rare Art and had previously spent five years at Sotheby’s.
He will work with Woolley’s associate director Marielle Whiting (who has recently returned from maternity leave) and consultant Jonathan Edwards (who will continue to work with clients despite reducing his hours). “As a member of the jewellery department, I’ll be meeting with clients and valuing jewellery, as well as helping to research and prepare our sale catalogues. I have a particular interest in antique and vintage jewels, so I’m delighted to join a team with such strength and expertise in these areas”.
Hug’s appointment takes the Woolley & Wallis jewellery department to five employees alongside Charlotte Glyde and Emily O’Donnell.
Bonhams Los Angeles has appointed Joe Baratta as senior vice-president, head of trusts & estates for the West Coast. He will “support the region’s expansive market and pursue new areas of opportunity”.
Baratta, a licensed appraiser and auctioneer, will be responsible for “liaising with professional fiduciaries, attorneys, CPAs, trust officers, and providing advisement on the appraisal and sale of their clients’ estate collections ranging from fine art and jewellery to collectable motor cars”.
Before joining Bonhams, he spent 20 years at Abell Auctions as senior vice president, business development & valuations, where he brought to market numerous private collections and multi-million-dollar estate sales.
Ellis Willis & Beckett
A new auction house firm set up last year will hold its first country house sale this summer.
Ellis Willis & Beckett was relaunched by two former staff members of Derbyshire firm Bamfords and held its first auction in September 2021.
Ellis Willis & Beckett, originally founded in 1870, operated as a family business for more than a hundred years but closed around five years ago. Then last year the owner of the family firm, Nick Todd, agreed for Simon Billing and Max Bettney’s new auction company to trade under the Ellis Willis & Beckett name with Todd as a consultant.
Based in Arundel Street in Sheffield, Ellis Willis & Beckett now holds monthly auctions.
Its first two-day Country house sale will be the contents of Hassop Hall, a 17th-century country house near Bakewell, Derbyshire. The sale and preview days, planned for June, will be held on site at the hall.
Special Auction Services
Special Auction Services (SAS) is leaving its premises at Baylies Hall in Dudley at the end of April 2022. The saleroom was previously Aston’s Auctioneers & Valuers and SAS took it over in autumn 2020 when Aston’s closed, as reported in ATG No 2463 (founders Phil Aston retired from full-time work in 2016 and Chris Aston relocated to the French Alps).
SAS held auctions and valuation days from the venue and its last auction there will be Toys, Jewellery, Antiques & Collectables on March 30-31.
It is leaving the venue due to it being unable to agree terms with the landlord.
In a statement SAS said it “will very much remain present in the Midlands with regular valuation days and home visits”.
In January 2020, SAS expanded into a new saleroom in its home town of Newbury. The larger 18,000 sq ft saleroom accommodates all its staff under one roof.