Job Title: Specialist
Reports to: Head of Interiors, Homes and Antiques
Responsible for: None
Purpose of job: To help consign, value, catalogue and process works of art for Interiors, Homes and Antiques sales and Design sales in line with the business’s year-on-year growth objectives
Main contacts: Internal: Head of Interiors, Homes and Antiques, Interiors team, Director and Executive Directors, other specialist departments, client liaison and other business functions especially marketing and communications, photography and the art handlers. External: customers, members of the public, collectors, dealers, galleries, other auction houses
Contract type: Permanent
Location: Based at Chiswick HQ but with visits to Chiswick South Kensington (CSK) as required
Chiswick Auctions is a privately owned, well-established London auction house that 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.
The main headquarters is based in Chiswick, with a branch in South Kensington (CSK), and with regular valuation events held in the UK, Italy and Greece. Chiswick Auctions employs around 55 staff.
The Interiors, Homes and Antiques department hold monthly sales, with a separate Design sale held approximately 3 times a year. These contribute to a busy calendar of 100 auctions per year that cater for all levels of the market.
The monthly Interiors, Homes & Antiques sale offers a range of modern, mid-century and antique furniture and furnishings for the home and garden. The sale features a wide range of lifestyle categories including jewellery and watches, ceramics, glass, British and European art, sculpture, rugs and other collectables.
The Design sale offer furniture, lighting, studio ceramics and sculpture from the most influential design movements of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
Areas of Responsibility
Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
- Respond to incoming written, phone, photo and direct enquiries from regular clients and members of the public
- Value, consign, label and receipt marketable property
- Ensure all paperwork is completed in full and items receipted on the system
- Work alone and with colleagues to determine provenance, authenticity, condition, and marketability of property
- Write and prepare full catalogue descriptions within the department set guidelines
- Ensure that property is handed over to the photography team in a timely manner
- Write and respond to condition reports, which may include taking additional images, along with other members of the team
- As appropriate, work with the Head of Department on the monthly sale, assisting with:
- Online catalogue production and layout
- Coordinating pre-sale exhibition set-up
- Assisting buyers during the viewing and sale period to market and sell the sale, which will include some weekend working
- Carrying out post sale administrative duties including after sale offers, vendor queries, re entries and the implementation of any agreed changes.
- Maintain control of incoming and outgoing stock by regularly contacting clients post sale to collect unsold items and buyers to collect their purchases promptly.
- Under the guidance of the Head of Department, contribute to a full after-sales analysis
- Participate in Chiswick Auctions’ external valuation days and other relevant events, as required by the Head of Department
- Ensure compliance with all internal policies and procedures and any relevant external bodies or processes
- Participate in organization-wide meetings, activities and processes, and develop internal contacts, networks and interactions as appropriate
- Actively participate in events and other functions to represent Chiswick Auctions e.g. Chiswick Lates at CSK
- Carry out other duties as required by the Directors and Managing Directors
Essential skills and experience
- Extensive experience in the field, either at auction, within the trade or at another relevant institution e.g. gallery or own business, in appraising and valuing the full range of property that the business deals in
- Superior customer service skills, follow-up skills and attention to detail
- Ability to work by oneself and within a team
- Ability to learn Chiswick Auctions’ systems, coupled with high IT literacy
- Ability to thrive within a fast-paced team environment, and to work to tight auction deadlines
- Proven ability to develop relationships with the major collectors, dealers 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
- Experience working with on projects of all sizes, long- and short-term; demonstrated ability to prioritise a variety of concurrent projects
- Excellent knowledge of the Microsoft Office 365 Suite
- A full UK driving license
- A qualification relevant to the field
- A second modern foreign language, e.g. French, Italian or Spanish
- An existing network of private individuals and dealers related to the main themes of the Interiors and Design sales