The art of the perfect fit

Islamic & Indian Art Specialist, Established Auction House

Posted: 23.05.2023
Contract Type: Full-time
Job Type: Permanent
Pay: Dependent on experience
Location: London, UK
Tenure: Permanent
Job description:

Our client, a well-established London auction house, is seeking an Islamic and Indian Art Specialist to join their company, which is fast becoming a major player in the international art market. Their Islamic and Indian Art department is one of the busiest and most successful departments in the house, and the team curates three sales per year, two big sales and one smaller sale, as well as a themed sale. The department has also held a number of successful single owner sales. The department features a varied selection of artworks dating from the 7th century to the first half of the 20th century and covering a broad geographic area from the Mediterranean shores through to Southeast Asia and China. The sales offer works on paper such as manuscripts, paintings and drawings, as well as works of conventional craftsmanship such as ceramics, textiles, arms and armour, glass, jewellery, metalwork and lacquer items. The team consists of three: the Head of Department, a Specialist (this role) and a department Coordinator. The Specialist plays a pivotal role in the cataloguing and valuing of Islamic and Indian Art, and will also contribute towards business getting.

Areas of responsibility

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Coordinate with the team on the consignment of Islamic and Indian Art
  • Respond to incoming walk-ins, written, phone and email enquiries to determine sale potential, along with other members of the department
  • Work with colleagues to determine provenance, authenticity, value, condition, and marketability
  • Work with the Department Coordinator with respect to the photography of the art works
  • Catalogue consignments and work on the production and layout of the online catalogue, and any associated e-catalogue with the Department Coordinator
  • Work with the team on pre-sale exhibition set-up
  • Alongside colleagues in the team, work with potential buyers to provide condition reports, and attend weekend exhibitions, to market and sell the sale
  • Participate in telephone bidding with clients during the auction, as required
  • 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 organisation-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 company
  • Carry out other duties as required by the Executive Directors and Managing Director

Person specification

Essential qualifications skills and experience:

  • A qualification relevant to the field
  • Proven knowledge in the field of Islamic and Indian Art gained both through study and work experience
  • Experience in the field, preferably at an auction house
  • Proven ability to develop relationships with the major collectors, dealers, auction houses 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 365 Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Outlook etc)
  • Ability to learn IT 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

Desirable knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Some fluency in a relevant foreign language, for example Persian or Arabic