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Junior Specialist/Specialist – Sculpture

Art Sales, Auction Houses
   Location: London
   Salary: DOE
Experience: DOE
  Organisation: Christie's
Deadline: 02/02/2020

Two job descriptions for junior/specialist listed below, role be hired at one level or the other, dependent on applicants;

Junior Specialist Position summary
To manage effectively the movement of Decorative Arts property through sales.  To support the Head of Sale with cataloguing, business-getting, valuations, sale set-up and catalogue production. To work within the wider international sculpture team and support sales in New York and Paris.

Key Responsibilities and tasks
(Duties include but are not limited to the following)

  • Cataloguing sale content as specified
  • Organise hilling sessions with the Head of Sale and other colleagues
  • Assist in selecting items for sales at given value points
  • Serve as the specialist contact for consignors throughout the sale process (giving pre and post-sale advice on occasion, answering queries, etc.)
  • Oversee the processing and submission of consignments, liaising with relevant teams to ensure a smooth client experience
  • Responsible for full Chart of Art completion, JDE entry and other system requirements
  • Complete Condition Reports for each lot at time of cataloguing (updated where necessary after Hilling)
  • Complete photography list and coordinate with photographers
  • Assist with catalogue layout and production (including proofs, etc.) for each sale
  • Work with Art Handlers and Operations team to ensure effective organisation of property in warehouse and during the set up and display of sale views
  • Assist during weekend and late night views when required
  • Provide guidance to clients when sales on view via email and in the saleroom.
  • Telephone bid when required
  • Liaise with outside experts/consultants when required
  • Assist with E-mail and photo valuations in liaison with Senior Specialists
  • Respond to general telephone and e-mail enquiries
  • Act as an ambassador for Sculpture sales within Christie’s and externally
  • Participate in international sculpture conference calls and support sculpture colleagues in Paris and New York
  • Communicate with colleagues in Decorative Arts, other colleagues in different departments at Christie’s King Street and other Christie’s offices to foster teamwork within the global team

Skills and Competencies

  • Bachelor’s degree in Art History or Decorative Arts or equivalent
  • Preferably Auction House experience in the Sculpture field
  • Must be a team player with strong organisational skills, ability to work to tight deadlines
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, smart presentation
  • High degree of accuracy and an eye for detail
  • Efficient work manner with aim of delivering high quality service to clients and colleagues
  • Proficiency in Word, Outlook and Excel
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and at least one other European language

Specialist Position Summary:   
Proactively drive the selling and buying activity for London sculpture sales as well as contribute to sales in Paris and New York. Build a pipeline of business by consolidating short and long term relationships with key collectors, heirs and trade clients. Manage a portfolio of clients representing them as Client Team Leader. Develop a strong, consistent presence in the EMEA Region to promote the Sculpture Department and act as an external ambassador for Decorative Arts and Christie’s.

Key Responsibilities and Tasks:
(Duties include but are not limited to the following)

Business Relationships/Business Getting/Client Management

  • Act as a business-getter, primarily for London and Paris sales
  • Participate in international sculpture conference calls, and support sculpture colleagues in Paris and New York
  • Contribute to building a healthy departmental pipeline of short-term and long-term business from the UK and continental Europe in collaboration with the International Head of Sculpture, business management and co-chairmen. In tandem with them, drive the top prospects for major business, masterpieces and top collections as appropriate
  • Develop long-term relationships with buyers, and look for new ways to expand current client relationships
  • Identify strategic opportunities, including developing auction and private sales strategies with the International Head of Sculpture and Business Manager for clients in EMEA
  • Attend key valuations/appraisals of works from private collections, estates and international clients
  • Handle specialist enquiries related to the Sculpture Department
  • Work closely with business management, marketing, client strategy and business intelligence to maximise channels (e-comm, auction, private sales) and client opportunities

Sale-related responsibilities 

  • Responsible for catalogue production and layout, which will include the preparation of catalogue entries, the researching and writing of catalogue notes, photography, and comparative images under the mentorship of the International Head of Sculpture
  • Work with Art Handlers and Operations for the set up and display of sale views
  • Actively promote the Old Master Paintings and Sculpture Evening and Day Sales, as well as any relevant collection sales, in the lead-up to and during sale week while working closely with regional representatives, internal departments and external clients
  • Assist the Marketing Team with digital media and other marketing initiatives
  • Lead and contribute to key hilling sessions, agreeing next steps for attribution, condition and restoration requirements
  • Liase with museum curators/academics where appropriate, in relation to questions of attribution
  • Participate in relevant public relations activities including interviews, writing articles and lecturing as appropriate
  • Identify potential bidders, in conjunction with Client Strategy, and actively drive sales
  • Monitor sales targets with business management team to ensure delivery
  • Lead deal-making for sale where necessary, with support from senior colleagues, and ensure alignment with sales targets


  • Contribute to activities that support the smooth running of the sales – e.g. pre and post-sale debriefs, views and any exhibition requirements
  • Provide subject matter expertise on pricing, valuations cataloguing, researching etc.
  • Maintain and continually update own specialist knowledge in European Sculpture in order to build credibility in your specialist area
  • Maintain effective communication with senior colleagues in Decorative Arts and other groups, including attending key department meetings, e.g. Monday morning meetings

Skills/Competencies Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree required/ Masters preferred
  • Minimum of five years expertise in the Sculpture field including proven commercial awareness
  • Proactive approach and proven acumen in business development with a measureable track record
  • Confident, mature individual with excellent communication skills
  • A multi-tasker with an eye for detail and accuracy
  • Proficient computer skills including Outlook, Word, Excel
  • Written and oral fluency in English and at least one other European language

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