LONDON — After 40 years at Christie’s, Lord Hindlip, 62, chairman of Christie’s International, will retire effective December 31.
“Lord Hindlip has been a friend, a mentor and an extraordinary colleague to all of us and his day-to-day presence here at Christie’s will be sorely missed,” said Edward Dolman, Christie’s chief executive officer. “He has played a unique role over several decades at Christie’s, and presided over some of the most fascinating sales in Christie’s history. We hope Lord Hindlip will maintain his professional and personal relationship with Christie’s and continue in this way to give the firm the benefit of his invaluable experience.”
With Lord Hindlip’s retirement, his strategic, managerial and other responsibilities will be passed to the office of the chief executive, and to Christie’s regional chairmen around the world with whom Lord Hindlip has worked closely. Madame Patricia Barbizet, as chief executive of Artemis SA, will chair the meetings of the International Board.
Lord Hindlip has been involved in all levels of the art business, from appraisals to auctioneering, and is known as “one of Britain’s best auctioneers” (International Herald Tribune). A veteran of important sales in Europe, America, Hong Kong and Australia, Lord Hindlip presided as auctioneer over the sale of Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in 1987, a pivotal event in the art market.
He was born in 1940, educated at Eton and joined the Coldstream Guards in 1959. He began his career at Christie’s in 1962 and a year later at the age of 23, he joined the picture department and became an auctioneer the following year.
In 1965 he transferred to the United States as general manager of Christie’s newly opened office in New York, becoming a director there in 1966. He returned to London in 1970 and joined the silver department before moving to the valuation and house sales department in 1972.
Lord Hindlip has masterminded many of Christie’s great sales. Together with Anthony Coleridge, he oversaw Country House Sales such as Wateringbury Place (1978); the photographer Cecil Beaton’s home, Reddish House (1980); Godmersham Park (1983); Belton House (1984), Elvedon Hall (1984), which realized £6.1 million as well as a series of 13 renowned house sales in Ireland.
More recent sales conducted by Lord Hindlip as auctioneer have included the Collection of M. Hubert de Givenchy, Works of Art from Houghton, Works of Art from the Bute Collection, The Wentworth Sale and The Rothschild Collection. Most recently, Lord Hindlip oversaw the enormously successful sale of Works of Art from Longleat that raised more than £25 million for a maintenance fund. He also has taken numerous sales on behalf of charities, most famously the sale of Dresses from the Collection of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Lord Hindlip still holds many of the great firsts and records in auction history. He conducted the first auction to be staged by the firm in France, the late Sir Charles Clore Collection in Monte Carlo. He sold the Badminton Cabinet in 1990 for £5.8 million, setting the ongoing record for any piece of furniture or applied work of art. Lord Hindlip also accrued the largest ever auction total in London when in November 1989, as auctioneer of the evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art, the total rose to more than £76 million.