Job Title:                   Department Artwork and Stock Coordinator, Asian Art

Reports to:                 Head of Department, Asian Art

Responsible for:        None

Purpose of job:          To provide full administrative support and coordination for the Head of Department and all the specialists in their consigning, cataloguing and selling of Asian art with an emphasis on effective management of the physical objects and artworks.

Main contacts:          Internal: Head of Department and specialists in the Asian art team, other department coordinators, other specialists, operational staff (especially photography, finance and marketing) and client liaison staff

External: collectors, dealers, corporations, institutions, galleries, other auction houses

Contract type:           Permanent

Hours:                        Full-time, 40 hours a week

Location:                   Based at Chiswick HQ

 

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 that cater for all levels of the market.

The main headquarters is based in Chiswick, with a showroom in South Kensington (CSK). During 2022, Chiswick Auctions will be relocating within Chiswick near to the current headquarters. Chiswick Auctions employs around 60 staff.

Our Asian Art department is one of the busiest and most successful departments in the house. The team curate four sales per year: the biggest sales occur in May and November, with smaller sales held in February and September, selling a total of around 3,000 lots per year. 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.

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.

 

 

Areas of Responsibility

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

 

Pre-sale:

  • Assist with receipting items onto Chiswick Auctions’ database system called Go Auction
  • Support the correct labelling of items, and take charge of the lot labelling of items prior to sale
  • Manage the physical storage of items according to size, type and sale
  • Send contracts and collect signed copies / pre-sale advice to vendors, with estimates and reserves
  • Assist with taking photos under natural light, assist with the numbering/ renumbering of a sale’s lot numbers and liaising with the designated Photographer to ensure that the completed catalogue is put online
  • Oversee the Art Handlers in bringing works down to the viewing rooms
  • Oversee a full stock check of items prior to sale
  • Assist the Specialists with sending out condition reports and answering general pre-sale enquires

 

  • Assist the Art Handlers with set-up of the sale preview display

 

  • Assist with the sale itself

 

  • In conjunction with the team, coordinate auction viewings, train interns and assist clients during viewing (2 weekends for May and November sales, one weekend for February and September)

 

 

Post-sale:

 

  • Complete a full stock check of sold and unsold items when they have been returned to their relevant storage areas
  • Take charge of the managing unsold items. Under guidance from the HOD
    • physically divide items according to vendor
    • arrange for unsold pieces to be either re-allocated to a future sale, or collected by clients
  • Settlement: be responsible for ensuring all terms for vendors are correct in Go Auction including correct payment details
  • Participate in the full after-sales analysis, and work with the team to implement any agreed changes

 

 

 

General

 

  • 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, art fairs, and other functions to represent Chiswick Auctions e.g. Chiswick Lates at CSK

 

  • Carry out other duties as required by the Head of Department, Directors and Managing Directors

 

  • Work to constantly improve operational function within the department

 

Person Specification

 

Essential skills and experience

 

  • Experience managing large quantities of stock within retail storage context

 

  • Meticulous commitment to tidiness and order

 

  • Instinctive ability to find lost objects

 

  • Care and attention in handling precious and delicate objects

 

  • Desire to systematically and incrementally improve administrative functions around the processing of artworks through auction sale at every stage of the process

 

  • Excellent team working skills

 

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English

 

  • First class interpersonal skills

 

  • Excellent administrative, organisational and time-management skills, including an ability to work to tight auction deadlines

 

  • 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 365 Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Outlook etc)

 

  • Superior client service skills

 

  • Strong follow-up skills with attention to detail

 

  • Ability to thrive within a fast-paced team environment

 

  • A ‘can-do’ attitude, an enquiring mind, and a willingness to actively seek out new responsibilities and opportunities

 

Desirable qualifications, skills and experience

 

  • A strong interest art and antiques and interest in learning more about Asian Art in general and Chinese art in particular