Art consultancy and valuation firm Gurr Johns bought auction house Dreweatts and Bloomsbury in October and later bought the brand name of Mallett for £100,000 in December from former owner Stanley Gibbons Group.
‘Totally fresh start’
George Bailey, previously the chairman of Dreweatts and Bloomsbury, was brought in by Gurr Johns to run the auction house and is now working on plans to relaunch Bloomsbury and Mallett.
He told ATG: “It is a totally fresh start and a really exciting opportunity to breathe fresh life into three renowned brands and build a modern focused business which offers clients both auction and private sales.
“An excellent second-tier art business that serves traditional markets
“Bloomsbury and Mallett give us the opportunity to re-launch in specialist sections of the market.”
Mallett is to be relaunched with a focus on pictures, led by James Harvey, out of Donnington Priory and viewing rooms on the first-floor office at 16-17 Pall Mall in London. Bloomsbury will launch a sales calendar in the spring, to include specialist sales of Islamic and Western manuscripts, and is finalising a new auction location in London.
Bailey said the company is now investing in the infrastructure and systems for the companies. Gurr Johns is the majority shareholder of Dreweatts but the company is run independently.
Keen to pay down debt, Stanley Gibbons had first entered into an agreement to sell Dreweatts and Mallett together to Mark Law’s Millicent Holdings in May 2017 and Law ran the auction house for a number of weeks. However, the deal did not complete due to lack of funds (ATG No 2303).
Stanley Gibbons sold the ground-floor lease on the Pall Mall property to a fashion brand last year, with Gurr Johns taking the first floor as an office, meeting and valuation space for the Dreweatts group of brands.