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Expired Vacancy
Associate Specialist role at International London Auction House

Please note that this vacancy has expired and you can no longer apply.

Role Summary:
Phillips is an international auction house, conducting sales of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Modern & Contemporary Editions, Jewels and Watches. Phillips is currently seeking an ambitious and motivated individual to fill a full-time Associate Specialist position within our Photographs department.

Role Description:
Based in London, the primary focus of the position will be to lead the cataloguing of property for auctions, valuations and private sales and conduct research to determine authenticity, provenance, bibliography and exhibition history, liaising with outside experts where relevant, while cultivating networks among collectors, dealers, curators and others in order to develop and maintain best-in-class knowledge of the Photographs market and to support the department in sourcing and selling property.

In addition to this, the Associate Specialist will be responsible for supporting the department co-heads with business getting efforts by driving and handling the groundwork for department business getting trips, undertaking client research and assisting with client development tasks in collaboration with the global client development team, working with the department administrator to finalise a schedule for client visits and handling estimate requests.

The remit and responsibilities of the role will also include, but not be limited to, the following:

• Prepare and proof condition reports and scholarly essays to be reviewed with the Associate Specialist, Head of Sale, when appropriate.
• Liaise with the department’s Property Manager, Administrator and Photographer for special requests with catalogue photography.
• Support the selling process by highlighting key selling points of property, creating detailed ‘selling packs’, where relevant, and assisting clients during the viewing.
• Handle estimate requests by researching edition status, last sold price, current retail price and auction history to determine saleability and auction estimate, working closely with the Associate Specialist, Head of Sale, and presenting findings to the co-heads at estimate request review sessions.
• Liaise with the Associate Specialist, Head of Sale, Property Manager and Administrator to examine property upon arrival at the warehouse or gallery, confirming condition and auction estimates with the co-heads and Associate Specialist, Head of Sale, and input information and upload images on to Auction Tools.
• Maintain cataloguing spreadsheets and chase any missing information in a timely manner, presenting the cataloguing status report on a regular basis to the Associate Specialist, Head of Sale.
• Recruit and oversee departmental interns.
• Spearhead the organisation, cataloguing and augmentation of the departmental library.
• Proactively work with the co-heads to extract feedback and update spreadsheets, post travel.
• Undertake telephone bidding in Photographs sales and sales for other departments, as required.
• Perform any other ad-hoc duties as requested.

The successful candidate will have superior time management and organisational skills, with the ability to prioritise effectively and keep calm while dealing with multiple tasks in extremely high-pressure situations, whilst working to strict deadlines. Meticulous attention to detail and accuracy skills are also required alongside superior verbal and written communication skills. With exceptional research and essay writing skills, the successful candidate should also possess the ability to communicate in a professional manner with a wide variety of people and be able to work collaboratively across the business. The ability to manage confidential information discreetly and responsibly is essential, as is the ability to work on their own initiative and as part of a global team. With a proficiency in Microsoft office software, the candidate will be computer literate and have the ability to learn Phillips’ internal processes and systems.

A Bachelor’s degree in the History of Art or a related field is required, with a Master’s degree in the same subject, or similar field, being preferred. A proven interest in, and a sound understanding of Photographs, is essential. A minimum of three to four years of professional experience within the same industry, in a similar role, is required. A fluency in the English language is essential with additional languages being desirable.

Hours of work are 40hpw (9am to 6pm) with the flexibility to undertake additional hours on evenings and weekends, during catalogue deadlines as well as pre-sale exhibitions and sales, being essential. Frequent travel to our warehouse and occasional travel to libraries will also be required.

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