A Professional Portrait by Anne Haasjes

Head of Sale Management

Christie's Auction House

Published: 25th May 2017

What inspired you to pursue a career in the arts?

I always loved museums, pretty and historical objects and was introduced to auction houses very early on by my parents. So after having studied Art History in Amsterdam I needed to find an internship and Christie’s Amsterdam was looking for one for their Impressionist department. Whilst there I fell in love with the buzz of auction and as with many who work at Christie’s, stayed on.

Can you tell us a little about your role?

I am the Head of Sale management for Asian Art and oversee the Chinese and Japanese auctions at Christie’s. I am responsible for the finances that are involved in creating the auctions, making sure any problems are taken care of, help with the sale calendar and making sure we have enough space for our auctions, and help the team to get the sale together.

How did you get your job?

They had been looking for someone for a while and one of my colleagues who I had worked with before, who was close to the team, mentioned my name as a possible candidate. Luckily I was successful.

What is the best part of your job?

Working with a passionate team who are all committed to making each auction a success! It is incredible to see a piece sell in the auction, that you have been working on for a number of months. Seeing it from the beginning to the sale at the end is an incredible feeling!

What is the hardest part of your job?

Making sure that you take decisions that are both in favour of the company but also protect our client relationships. It is a fine balance.

What has been the highlight of your career?

I think it may have been a very last minute consignment, which was confirmed for sale the day before we sent our catalogue off the printer. I had to make sure the piece (which was a big sculpture) got down to London within a day, shot for our front cover and catalogued. I was able to set everything up and in the end it was one of the best front covers we had ever sold.

What is your favourite Artwork?

Most of Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures – I was fortunate enough to work in the Modern British department before and the Evening sale often sold her sculptures. I would love one, although I would need a bigger flat!

Which artist would you have liked or would like to meet?

Definitely Lee Miller

What advice would you give to people trying to enter the art industry?

Don’t give up, there is an element of luck involved, but if you are really passionate about a career in the art world it is worth the wait as you will end up with a job you love in an industry you will find continually challenging and fascinating.

If you weren’t in the art industry, what would you be doing?

I would have loved to own my own bookshop – maybe an art bookshop!