Auctions | August 15, 2014

George Bailey Appointed as Chairman of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

The Stanley Gibbons Group plc announces the appointment of George Bailey as Chairman of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, the art and antiques auctions subsidiary of The Stanley Gibbons Group plc with effect from 1 September 2014.

With over 35 years’ experience in the fine art and auction industry, George is best known for his career at Sotheby’s as a key member of the firm’s European management team and as an exceptional auctioneer.

In March 2013, George launched The Auction Room, an innovative ‘on-line only’ auction portal, that has enjoyed marked successes with sales of notable collections including Middle Eastern Contemporary art from the Saatchi Gallery and Scottish paintings from the Fleming Collection.  The Auction Room will continue to trade as an online auction platform running its own calendar of sales in addition to hosting regular Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions and other third party events. It has recently moved its offices to Bloomsbury House on Mayfair’s Maddox Street following the recent £500,000 dispersal of items from the Royal Agricultural Society of England collection, handled in partnership with Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions.

George joins Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions at an important stage in the Company’s development. The previously independent regional auctioneer became part of Noble Investments (UK) plc (also owner of numismatic specialist Baldwin’s) in December 2012 before being acquired in November 2013 by globally renowned philatelic trader The Stanley Gibbons Group plc. 

The enlarged Stanley Gibbons Group is committed to a multi-dimensional growth strategy that includes the imminent launch of a SG-branded online Marketplace for Collectibles; as well as continuing to pursue a growth strategy for its international [physical] auctions business.  George’s significant experience at the most senior level of the auction industry will be a valuable addition to the Group’s senior management team.

Stephan Ludwig, Chief Executive of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, commented: “The art market is unquestionably still a ‘people business’ and in George we are fortunate to be gaining the experience of a highly respected senior figure in the industry.  We have been delighted with the outcome of those auctions we have already listed on The Auction Room and look forward to participating in the platform’s further development.”

George Bailey added: “The auction market is undergoing a generational transformation driven in large part by the online revolution in collector buying habits.  It is clear to me that a strongly capitalized and energetically managed business can quickly develop a very credible international authority in what remains a highly fragmented market.  Since establishing The Auction Room I have worked on a number of projects with Stephan and look forward to contributing to the delivery of Stanley Gibbons’ growth.” 

James Harvey joins Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions as International Head of Traditional Art. With a passion for pictures, James began his career in the time-honoured fashion as an auction room porter in 1987. Having developed a growing interest in paintings, he then joined Christopher Wood in his Motcomb Street Gallery. Being a specialist in Victorian art, the late Christopher Wood became a great mentor and influence on James’s early career.

James subsequently moved up the ranks at renowned fine antiques dealer Mallett, spending almost 20 years overseeing the sourcing and selling of paintings for the gallery. After being appointed a director, he coordinated the launch of their US business, including the refurbishment and opening of the firm’s Madison Avenue showrooms.  On his return from New York, James set up ‘James Harvey British & Sporting Art’ which has been trading internationally for the past six years.

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions welcomes James to our senior management team where he is tasked with further developing the firm’s calendar of fine art sales as well as promoting an evolving emphasis on private treaty transactions. James's wealth of knowledge, together with his experience of managing international high net worth client relationships, makes him an excellent addition to our team.