The art of the perfect fit

Head of Pictures, Auction House

Posted: 13.05.2024
Contract Type: Full-time
Job Type: Permanent
Pay: Competitive Market Salary - Negotiable
Location: South East UK
Tenure: Permanent
Job description:

Our client is one of the UK’s leading regional auction houses. Due to growth in the business, an exciting opportunity has arisen for a dynamic and ambitious Head of Pictures to join the business.

As Head of Pictures, your primary responsibility will be to establish a standalone Pictures department which will be expected to hold four sales per year. The business currently sells around £1 million of Pictures per annum via the quarterly fine sales. As Head of Pictures you will be expected to build on this and achieve a target agreed between you and the leadership team. You will manage existing clients and develop new business throughout the South East leveraging your own network and the existing pipeline. You will conduct accurate and thorough valuations of  Fine Art through house visits, probate valuations and items that are brought to the auction house by clients and potential sellers. You will be responsible for determining the market value of these items and for the successful execution of auctions. This is a dynamic and exciting role that requires a strong track record in a Pictures Department . have a good deal of autonomy and an opportunity to be part of the senior team. As part of your remit you will stay up to speed with industry trends and developments and understand how these impact the business. You will have the opportunity to discuss and implement new ideas and strategy .

Head of Department

  • Agree a sale calendar, plan and budget with the Senior Leadership.
  • Be responsible for the delivery of the plan and management of resources required.

Business Development

  • Travelling throughout the South East developing new business and looking after existing client relationships.
  • Build a network of contacts within the industry, including collectors, dealers, and other relevant professionals, to enhance the auction house’s reputation and attract potential clients.
  • Interact with clients, potential sellers, and auction house visitors to offer guidance on the valuation process and answer any related queries they may have.
  • Maintain a high level of professionalism and provide excellent customer service to build and retain positive relationships with clients

Valuation Expertise:

  • Conduct comprehensive valuations. Valuations will be in homes and over the counter.
  • Utilise your expertise and knowledge of market trends to accurately assess the value of each item and provide detailed appraisal reports.

Research and Analysis:

  • Stay updated with industry trends, sales records, and market fluctuations to provide the most up-to-date valuations.

Auction Support:

  • Collaborate with colleagues to determine suitable items for inclusion in the busy sale calendar auctions and advise on reserve prices and estimates.

Compliance and Ethics:

  • Ensure that all valuations and appraisal procedures adhere to industry standards, ethical guidelines, and legal requirements.
  • Handle confidential information with discretion and maintain the utmost integrity throughout the valuation process.


  • Proven experience as a Head of Pictures, or Senior Specialist ideally in an auction environment.
  • Experience in cataloguing and valuing Fine Art, within the auction house setting.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Art History, Fine Arts, or a related field is preferred, but relevant experience and expertise will also be considered.
  • Auctioneering experienced preferred but not essential.
  • Entrepreneurial self-starter.
  • In-depth knowledge of Fine Art, as well as an understanding of current market trends and values.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills with the ability to evaluate the authenticity and provenance of items.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills to interact with clients and colleagues effectively.
  • Detail-oriented with the ability to manage multiple valuations and deadlines simultaneously.
  • Proficiency in using valuation databases and relevant software tools.
  • Willingness to travel to client locations for on-site valuations.

The role is best suited to someone willing to live in the South East. This is an exciting opportunity to work with diverse and valuable items, contribute to the growth of the business, and connect with a wide range of collectors and enthusiasts. The role demands a passion for Fine Art an entrepreneurial mindset, and the ability to work collaboratively within a fast-paced auction environment.