Stephen Brooks

Stephen Brooks has left Phillips.

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Brooks steps down as Phillips CEO

Phillips’ chief executive officer Stephen Brooks has left the firm for personal reasons.

Edward Dolman, executive chairman of the firm, said: “After nearly three years with Phillips, Stephen Brooks has made the decision to step down for personal reasons. Stephen has led the company through a remarkable period of growth during his tenure and his contributions have helped to build the infrastructure for Phillips’ continued success. I thank him for his many contributions to the company and wish him all the best.”

Phillips told ATG it produced $1bn in global sales in 2023 which is 23% down on the previous year’s reported sales of £1.3bn. Phillips said the 2023 result “marks the third highest in company history, and also the third consecutive year Phillips’ totals have achieved $1bn or more”. Phillips added that 50% of buyers were first-time buyers with the firm and a third of its buyers were Millennial and Gen Z collectors.

Shaw takes new role at Wilbys saleroom

Liam Shaw

Liam Shaw of Wilbys.

Wilbys in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, has appointed a new auctioneer, valuer and saleroom manager for its art and antiques department.

Liam Shaw, 28, has taken over from Pierre Maciag who retired in 2023 after more than 50 years in the art and antiques sector.

Maciag had run the antiques and collectables part of the business since the 1980s.

Shaw has worked in auctioneering since leaving school, working for Bamfords and Sheffield Auction Gallery previously.

Wilbys Chartered Surveyors also runs property auctions and farm sales.

Thieves target two homes in Kent town

Mantel clock

The stolen mantel clock.

Investigators from Kent Police are appealing for information on two separate thefts in Sevenoaks when artworks and an antique clock were stolen.

The first break-in happened overnight between December 26-27, 2023, at a property in the Hitchen Hatch Lane area of the town.

Anyone with information about this clock should call Kent Police on 01622604100, quoting reference 46/226875/23 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.

Stolen paintings

The paintings stolen in Sevenoaks.

Then in the new year, between January 2-4, at a home in Kippington Road in the town, three paintings were taken along with other valuables including porcelain and jewellery. The house was broken into and a fire was started in one room. A black Saab estate was also stolen from the driveway.

Anyone with information should call the west Kent appeal line on 01622604100, quoting reference 46/2704/24 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.

TV regular Balmer goes independent

Izzie Balmer

Izzie Balmer.

Auctioneer and valuer Izzie Balmer, who is a regular on BBC’s Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip, has become an independent auctioneer, valuer and agent.

Alongside probate and jewellery valuations, Balmer offers her services on a freelance basis as a consultant and auctioneer to other salerooms. She was previously a senior valuer and head of the jewellery and silver department at Wessex Auction Rooms.

Sculpture stolen before London sale

Kenneth Armitage sculpture

The stolen 9 x 10in (23 x 25cm) Kenneth Armitage sculpture numbered 3/6 and signed K A 3/6 / 1972/5 belonging to a private client.

A sculpture due to be offered at Sloane Street Auctions has been stolen from its gallery.

The work by Kenneth Armitage (1916-2002) was taken on January 15 from its premises at 158-164 Fulham Road. The auction house reported to police that CCTV footage showed a woman wearing sunglasses and a hat visiting the saleroom and putting the sculpture into her bag. The theft was reported to Met Police. Anyone with information should contact the Met, quoting reference 5601018/24 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.

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The number of advance bids worldwide for two original scripts – The One With Ross’s Wedding Part I and Part II – from American TV comedy Friends sold at Hanson Ross on January 12 for £22,000. The Hertfordshire auction house said: “They should have been destroyed straight after filming in 1998. However, they were found by chance at London’s Fountain Studios, Wembley, by a former staff member – and ended up in her bedside drawer for more than 20 years.” The estimate was £600-800.