Job Title: Senior Department Coordinator, World Arts
Reports to: Head of Department, Asian Arts
Responsible for: None
Purpose of job: To provide full administrative support and coordination for a) the Head of Department and the specialist in their consigning, cataloguing and selling of Asian arts (2 staff) and b) similarly, for the Head of Department of Indian and Islamic Art.
Internal: Head of Department and specialists in the Asian Art team, Head of Department in the Islamic and Indian Art department, 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
Hours: Full-time, 40 hours a week
Location: Based at Chiswick HQ, Barley Mow W4 4PH, and 1 and 6 Roslin Square W3 8DH.
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, Interiors, Homes and Antiques sales contribute to a busy calendar of 80 auctions per year. The main headquarters is based on Chiswick High Road, and the auction house employs around 50 staff.
Our Asian Art department is one of the leading departments in the house. The team currently curate two main sales per year coinciding with Asian Art week in London; additionally there is a timed-online sale. The department also contributes regularly to the Interiors, Homes and Antiques sale. 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.
Our Islamic and Indian Art department offers three sales per year, featuring a varied selection of artworks dating from the 7th to the 20th century, and covering a broad geographic area from the Mediterranean shores through to Southeast Asia and China.
This role is split across the two departments, working approximately 75% in Asian Arts and 25% in Islamic and Indian Art.
Areas of Responsibility
Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
- Assist with receipting items onto Chiswick Auctions’ database system called Go Auction
- Support the correct labelling of items by specialists.
- Take overall responsibility for the management and location of stock in the department.
- Send contracts and collect signed copies / pre-sale advice to vendors, with estimates and reserves, and handle any enquiries when a Mandarin speaker is required.
- Track charges to be deducted from client’s settlement such as restoration and authentication.
- Assist with and oversee shipments of incoming consignments with shippers and clients.
- Assist with catalogue production: assisting with overseeing the photography including taking photos under natural light, assisting 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.
- Assist the designated Photographer with photographing particular lots.
- Lot and label prior to sale:
- Ensure all lots are lotted up with lot number stickers etc. correctly prior to a sale.
- Oversee the Art Handlers in bringing works to the viewing room.
- Make and put-up lot labels.
- Assist the Specialists with sending out condition reports to and answering general pre-sale enquires.
- Along with the rest of the team, assist the Art Handlers with set-up of the sale preview display.
- Assist with the sale itself, including participating in telephone bidding with clients.
- Translate the cataloguing of lot titles, dates and other info as required into Mandarin.
- Work with the marketing team on the following marketing activities:
- Liaise with Chinese language online marketing platforms, including the collation and preparation of suitable material for such platforms. Platforms include WeChat, XiaoHongShu promotion accounts, websites etc.
- Advise the Head of Dept on other suitable platforms for promotion and advertise accordingly based on the content of the sale, negotiating pricing as required.
- Coordinate auction viewings, train interns and assist clients during viewing (2 weekends for May and November sales)
- Under the direction of the Specialists, catalogue certain lots including the additional research as required. For calligraphy transcriptions, transcribe seals and inscriptions as required to support cataloguing and promotion.
- Maintain oversight of the stock in terms of solds, returns, uncollected, re-entries and clearing storage for the next sale.
- Support the Finance team and other functions in securing post-sale payments and be the main point of contact for Chinese-language clients for post-sale service issues.
- 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.
In support of the whole department
- Oversight of the contracts system, to maximize margins and increase revenues in discussion with the Head of Department.
- Be the first point of call for all enquiries when the specialists are not in the building.
- Produce regular posts for Weibo, WeChat and XiaoHongShu friend circles and circulate these to members of the 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, art fairs, and other functions to represent Chiswick Auctions e.g. Chiswick Lates at the Barley Mow.
- Carry out other duties as required by the Head of Department, Directors and Managing Directors.
Essential skills and experience.
- Experience in the field, either at auction, within the trade or at another relevant institution.
- A strong understanding of marketing for Asian Art (mostly Chinese Art) ideally including experience of using platforms such as WeChat/XiaoHongShu.
- Excellent team working skills.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English AND Mandarin.
- A good understanding of Chinese culture, ideally gained through living and working in the PRC or ROC.
- 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 in Asian Art in general and Chinese art in particular.
- A qualification relevant to Asian arts.
- Experience of working in a customer service context serving clients from China and South-East Asia, including an awareness of the culturally specific aspects of service relevant to the provision of excellent client service.
Please send your CV to Nick Greenwod directly email@example.com