Job Title: Head of Asian Art

Responsible for: Specialists (2); Department Coordinator (1)

Purpose of job: To contribute towards the consigning, valuating and cataloguing of Asian Art in line with the department and business year-on-year growth objective

Main contacts: Internal: Executive and Managing Directors, other specialist departments (especially Interiors, Homes and Antiques), client liaison and other business functions especially marketing and communications, and photography

External: Collectors, dealers, galleries, other auction houses

Contract type: Permanent

Hours: Full-time

Location: Based at Chiswick HQ (Barley Mow)

Background to the post:
 

Our Asian Art department is one of the busiest and most successful departments in the house. The team currently curate four sales per year: the biggest sales occur in May and November, with smaller sales held in February and September. The bigger sales often involve a theme, such as paintings or bronzes, or something more conceptual such as ‘monochrome’ or ‘Chinese stories’ where objects display a narrative or hold interesting provenance.

We have plans to reduce the number of sales to two, in May and November to coincide with Asian Art Week in London. The department will also contribute regularly to the Interiors, Homes and Antiques sale, and The Expert Eye.

Asian Art sales involves a huge range of objects, including ceramics, large pieces of furniture, paintings and scrolls, many of which are very valuable and some of which are fragile. 

 

Context

Chiswick Auctions is a privately owned, well-established London auction house which is fast becoming a major player in the international art market. With 20 specialist departments, regular dedicated and themed sales are held across a breadth of specialisms. In addition, monthly Interiors, Homes and Antiques sales contribute to a busy calendar of 100 auctions per year.

The main headquarters is based on Chiswick High Road, and the auction house employs around 50 staff.

 

Areas of Responsibility

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

 

Strategic and business development

  • Identify and maintain relationships with all client categories (collectors, dealers, other auction houses especially the main three in London)
  • Liaise on material in the field with other internal Chiswick Auctions’ departments: pre-press, marketing, public relations etc.
  • Identify and grow the client base for sourcing and selling of Asian Art

 

Consignments, valuations, cataloguing, pre and post-sale responsibilities

 

  • Lead on the consignment of Asian Art
  • Respond to incoming walk-ins, written, phone and email enquiries to determine sale potential, along with other members of the department
  • Work with colleagues to determine provenance, authenticity, value, condition, and marketability
  • Work with the Department Coordinator with respect to the photography of the art works
  • Catalogue consignments and work on the production and layout of the online catalogue, and any associated e-catalogue with the Department Coordinator
  • Work with the team on pre-sale exhibition set-up
  • Alongside colleagues in the team, work with potential buyers to provide condition reports, and attend weekend exhibitions, to market and sell the sale
  • With the marketing and communications team, take the lead on developing a coordinated marketing plan to achieve budgeted sale totals
  • Participate in telephone bidding with clients during the auction, as required
  • Participate in the full after-sales analysis, and implement any agreed changes

 

General

  • Ensure compliance with all internal policies and procedures and any relevant external bodies or processes 
  • Participate in organisation-wide meetings, activities and processes, and develop internal contacts, networks and interactions as appropriate
  • Actively participate in events, valuation days, and other functions to represent Chiswick Auctions e.g evening events to promote the sale
  • Carry out other duties as required by the Directors and Managing Director

 

Person Specification

 

Essential qualifications skills and experience

 

  • A qualification relevant to the field
  • Proven knowledge in the field of Asian Art gained both through study and work experience
  • Experience in the field, preferably at a top auction house
  • Proven ability to develop relationships with the major collectors, dealers, auction houses and galleries
  • Excellent writing skills in English, and ability to combine an understanding of the material with a commercial sense of marketing and promoting value
  • Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills, including first class spoken English
  • Ability to work to tight auction deadlines, balancing photography, cataloguing, sale organisation, marketing and promotional details
  • Experience working on projects of all sizes, long- and short-term; demonstrated ability to prioritise a variety of concurrent projects
  • Excellent knowledge of the Microsoft 365 Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Outlook etc)
  • Ability to learn Chiswick Auctions’ systems, with excellent IT proficiency
  • Superior customer service skills
  • Strong follow-up skills with attention to detail
  • Ability to thrive within a fast-paced team environment

 

Desirable qualifications skills and experience

  • Knowledge of Mandarin – both speaking and written

 

Please send your CV and cover letter to Nick Greenwood, nick.greenwood@chiswickauctions.co.uk