Sunday, 20 August 2017

Valuers’ office to close in shake-up

INTERNATIONAL auctioneer Bonhams is closing its Henley office.

INTERNATIONAL auctioneer Bonhams is closing its Henley office.

The company will leave its base at the Coach House in Northfield End at the end of the month.

Henley will then be served by Bonhams’ Oxford saleroom, which employs 35 valuers.

Regional director Michael Wynell-Mayow has written to clients saying the closure is part of a restructuring of the firm’s regional offices.

A Bonhams spokesman said: “When Bonhams was taken over by new management in 2000, it was the fourth largest auction house in Britain.

“Following a decade of massive expansion, we now have a presence in 27 countries and are the third largest international fine art auction house.

“This inevitably brings the need for some degree of rationalisation and to decide where you are going to hold sales and draw people in from.

“With the internet increasingly being used as a vehicle for bidding, you need a facility that can accommodate that, hence Oxford.”

Bonhams will maintain a presence in Henley with fortnightly valuation days at Leander Club.

The first of these, which will focus on pictures, sculpture and jewellery, will be held on May 9.

Frances Noble, head of jewellery at the Oxford branch, said: “We see this as a positive move as clients in the Henley area will now have access to 35 specialists instead of two.”

She refused to confirm whether any staff were being made redundant, saying it was a “private matter”.

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