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Stephen Brooks, the new CEO at Phillips.

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Brooks appointed CEO of Phillips

Phillips has appointed Stephen Brooks as the company’s next chief executive officer, from September this year, with current CEO Edward Dolman becoming executive chairman of Phillips’ group of companies. Dolman and Brooks will work with Phillips’ global chairwoman, Cheyenne Westphal.

Brooks was previously at Christie’s and was most recently deputy chief executive there. Before joining the art world, he worked in financial services at accountancy firms.

Dolman, who joined Phillips in 2014, will continue to work in developing company business strategy.

Separately, Phillips announced the launch of an advisory team called Phillips Art Advisory (PAA). The division will focus on private collectors and clients, particularly in Asia, and will be run by Kevie Yang, head of PAA.

Phillips has appointed Sara Payne Thomeier as head of jewels in the Americas and Cristel Tan in Singapore as international jewellery specialist for South East Asia.

Thomeier will join the team in New York. Her most recent role was as executive vice president and jewellery specialist at Gurr Johns International. Tan has more than a decade of experience including Christie’s and Sotheby’s. She was most recently head of sale, jewels, for Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

Colnaghi to help on ‘Caravaggio’ work

Old Master dealership Colnaghi has taken on the role of overseeing the research and restoration of a work believed to be a Caravaggio (1571-1610) which was withdrawn from a Spanish auction last month.

The painting of Christ with the crown of thorns appeared at Ansorena catalogued as ‘circle of’ José de Ribera (1591-1652) and estimated at €1500. With dealers and Spain’s ministry of culture becoming aware of the painting’s significance, it was pulled from the April 8 sale and blocked from export by the Spanish government.

It has since been reported in the newspaper El País that the painting had been owned by the founder of Madrid’s IADE design school Antonio Pérez de Castro and is now the property of his three children. The family is descended from the Spanish politician and diplomat Evaristo Pérez de Castro (1769-1849) who helped write the Constitution of Cádiz of 1812, the first written constitution in Spain.

It has been suggested that the work is The Crowning with Thorns, documented as having been Caravaggio’s entry into a competition arranged by the aristocrat Massimo Massimi in 1605. The Pérez de Castro family are reported to have already received two separate offers of €3m.

Oppenheimer Meissen on offer

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Meissen clock case modelled by George Fritzsche, dated 1727 and photographed in Berlin, 1927, in the collection of the Oppenheimer family.

A collection of Meissen porcelain assembled by the Oppenheimer family and recently restituted to their heirs is coming to auction this September.

The 100 lots of early 18th century Meissen, estimated in excess of $2m, will be offered at Sotheby’s in New York, which describes it as the most “significant collection of Meissen porcelain to come to auction in the last half century”.

It had been owned by the late Dr Franz and Margarethe Oppenheimer. In 1927, the collection was recorded in a two-volume catalogue published privately and authored by ceramics scholar Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld, curator of the then Schlossmuseum, Berlin.

Following persecution in Germany by the Nazis because of their Jewish heritage, the Oppenheimers fled to Austria in December 1936. They had to move again after the Nazis took control of Austria following the Anschluss in March 1938. The family then settled in New York from 1941.

Leaving many of their possessions behind, this porcelain collection changed hands several times.

It eventually became part of the holdings of the Dutch state from which it was loaned to three museums in the Netherlands.

Many of the 100 lots have royal and noble provenances, including pieces from the collection of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, King of Poland and founder of the Meissen porcelain factory.

Watch specialist Lewis joins DNW

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Joanne Lewis of Dix Noonan Webb.

Joanne Lewis has joined Dix Noonan Webb (DNW) as a watch specialist. She has 20 years’ experience in the auction world, most recently at Sotheby’s.

DNW’s next jewellery and watches sales are on June 15 and September 14.

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In Numbers

$50m

The price (£36.2m) Sotheby’s paid when it acquired the art advisory firm Art Agency, Partners (AAP) in 2016. It was announced last week that, after five years, one of APP’s founders, Amy Cappellazzo, was leaving Sotheby’s.