Wed, Jul 1, 2015

Art & Auctions
Bonhams makes key appointment

Bonhams has announced the appointment of Oliver White as the new head of its UK Islamic and Indian Art department.

White has been a specialist in the department for the past five years and takes up his new role at an exciting time, says Bonhams, adding that it secured nearly 50 per cent of the market during Indian and Islamic auction week in April 2015 when its sale containing weapons from the armoury of Tipu Sultan, made more than £7.4 million ($11.63 million). 

White said: “This is a wonderful opportunity and my challenge is to build on the achievements of the past to secure continued success in the future.” 

White has a BA from University College London, an MA from Kingston University and spent a year studying at the University of Granada.  He speaks fluent Spanish.

During his time at Bonhams, the Indian and Islamic department has scored notable successes including the sale of a life size portrait of Jahangir in 2011 for £1.42 million ($2.23 million); a finial from the throne of Tipu Sultan in 2010 for £434,000 ($682,000); an important painting of a Great Indian Fruit Bat by Bhawani Das for £458,000 ($719,820) and an Iznik pottery jug in 2013 for £457,250 ($718,636).

The April sale of weapons from the armoury of Tipu Sultan saw a rare gem-set sword with tiger’s head pommel from sell for £2.15 million ($3.38 million), a sporting gun for £722,500 ($1.13 million) and a cannon used at the battle of Seringapatam for £1.42 million ($2.23 million).

Bonhams CEO, Matthew Girling commented: “Oliver’s achievements since joining the Indian and Islamic department at Bonhams speak for themselves and make him a natural choice to assume this important role.”

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