The Pedestal, founded by former Bonhams furniture specialists Sally Stratton and Guy Savill, has held biannual furniture auctions at Moor Park, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire since 2016. Recent catalogues have evolved to include rugs and carpets and vernacular furniture.
However, recognising the importance of a London presence, the directors have taken a South Kensington office (55 Prince’s Gate, Exhibition Road) and are expanding the firm’s roster of specialist staff.
The two new specialists joining The Pedestal are Charlotte Rogers (handbags and luxury branded accessories) and Michael Prevezer (silver).
“With furniture you are typically visiting the consignor. With expanding content it became more apparent that a London office would be needed,” said Savill.
More hires at Chiswick
Chiswick Auctions has plans to expand to 100 staff and is hiring to take its specialist departments to 21. Managing director Leigh Osborne said: “Part of our business model is to have the same departments that the major auction houses have in London.” Photography is the next department that Chiswick will set up.
Chiswick has 75 staff, up from 20 five years ago. Last year it hired 12 former Christie’s South Kensington staff – opening its own South Kensington office – and took on five Bloomsbury staff in January.
Chiswick plans to expand to 100 staff and 21 departments
Osborne said: “Our strategy is to continue this pace of growth. It is hard to find good staff to keep up with our growth plans.” Chiswick is currently looking for a third specialist for its jewellery department, a cataloguer for its books team, an impressionist and modern picture specialist, a photography specialist and an Asian art cataloguer. Its most recent Asian art sale took a premium-inclusive total of £1m – the first time the firm has achieved a £1m sale.
Tennants in St James’s
Tennants of Leyburn has taken space in a serviced office block at 33 St James’s Square. Press officer Harriet Hunter Smart said: “We wanted a presence in the heart of central London to make it easier for clients.” The company has an office in Harrogate but closed its Oakham office in the Midlands earlier this year.
Meanwhile The Pedestal’s inaugural Luxury Design auction will take place in Knightsbridge on October 16 at Kent House, Rutland Gardens. In addition to designer handbags and accessories, the sale will include silver by makers such as Jensen, Baccarat, Tiffany, Asprey and Dunhill.
Prevezer, who worked at Phillips for 30 years and was head of the silver department at CSK for 10 years, will bring Georgian and Victorian table silver to the sale at Moor Park on November 20. Rogers has over 10 years’ experience as a handbag consultant to a number of UK auctioneers. However, this will be her first stand-alone venture.
Savill told ATG the firm’s business model would allow for additional specialists to contribute to future sales. “We will look at any specialist with the right kind of experience. The market is polarised. We are at the point where many disciplines can’t necessarily sustain a stand-alone sale. But we can bring those specialist areas of perhaps 60-80 lots each together.”