We are looking for a Head of Sales (Maternity Cover) with strong knowledge of Old Master Paintings to work with an established Auction house in London.

Purpose of job: Overall responsibility for the sale of Old Master Paintings in line with the department and business year-on-year growth objectives

Main contacts:
Internal: Paintings department, Managing Directors, other specialist departments, client liaison and other business functions especially marketing and communications
External: collectors, dealers, galleries, other auction houses

Hours: Ideally full-time but could be 4 days a week

Salary: Depending on experience, £40-50K pa

Our Client is a rapidly expanding London-based auction house, which prides itself on its accessibility, breadth of knowledge and excellent customer service. A team of 20 specialist departments comprises experts who are skilled in championing artworks from all eras and media, and ensures that clients are always best served when buying and selling at auction. A full sales calendar of 120 sales per year also features regular Interiors & Design sales which encompass decorative arts, painting, furniture and other collectables; each sale averages 300 – 500 Lots.

We are seeking an Old Master Paintings specialist to join the fine art team for a maternity cover position. The postholder will put on three sales in the 12 month period; the department curates nine sales a year, with dedicated sales in Old Masters, modern and post-war British, and 18th and 19th century British and European fine art, including watercolours, oils, prints and portrait miniatures.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

Strategic and business development:

• Develop business contacts and strategic opportunities, including developing auction and private sales strategies
• Identify and maintain relationships with all client categories (collectors, dealers, galleries etc), and particularly the ability to work with major clients in the consignments and sale of Old Master Paintings in the £500 to £5000 category and above
• Liaise on material in the field with other internal Auctions’ departments: pre-press, marketing, public relations etc.
• Proactively research and gather information on the marketplace/trends/buying & selling patterns
• Liaise with the Head of Department to identify and grow the client base for the sourcing and selling of Old Master Paintings

Valuations, cataloguing, pre and post-sale responsibilities:

• Respond to incoming walk-ins, written, phone and photo enquiries to determine sale potential
• Arrange shipping for pre-sale consignments
• Work alone and with colleagues to research Old Master Paintings to determine provenance, authenticity, value, condition, and marketability
• Work with the photography team to coordinate photography
• Catalogue consignments and work on the production and layout of the catalogue
• Coordinate and drive pre-sale exhibition set-up
• Work with buyers during sale week, to provide condition reports, and attend weekend exhibitions, to market and sell the sale
• Work with the marketing and communications team, to help develop a coordinated marketing plan to achieve budgeted sale totals
• Participate in telephone bidding with clients during the auction
• Participate in the full after-sales analysis, and implement any agreed changes


• 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, valuation days, and other functions to represent the Auction house
• Carry out other duties as required by the Directors and Managing Directors

Person Specification:

Essential qualifications skills and experience:

• A qualification relevant to paintings and fine art
• Proven knowledge in the field of Old Master Paintings, gained both through study and work experience
• Experience in the field, preferably at auction, but also within the trade or at another relevant institution e.g. gallery or own business
• 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
• 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 Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Outlook etc)
• Ability to learn Auction house 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


Please fill in the form below and attach your CV to apply now.

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