Sotheby’s Promotes Lord Harry Dalmeny to UK Chairman

Lord Dalmeny had his first experience with the house at 9 years old.

Harry Dalmeny. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Lord Harry Dalmeny, a 26-year veteran of Sotheby’s, has been named the auction house’s new UK chairman. He succeeds James Stourton, who left the post in 2012.

Lord Dalmeny, 49, had his first experience with Sotheby’s at nine years old, when a cache of family materials came under the hammer following his grandfather’s death. “Every auctioneer has their provenance and I was born, phoenix-like, out of the ashes of my family’s collection,” says Dalmeny in a press release.

“Harry is one of those remarkable forces of nature that attracts everyone to it,” said Sotheby’s CEO Tad Smith in an announcement.

Dalmeny joined Sotheby’s in 1991 as a staffer trained in the Old Masters, furniture, and silver departments, and become a director of the house sales department in 1999. He was appointed chairman of Sotheby’s Olympia, in London, four years later. He’s been head of country house and single-owner sales at Sotheby’s New Bond Street since returning there in 2006.

Sotheby’s credits Lord Dalmeny with a key role in house sales, including those of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (1998), the “Chatsworth attic” sale of goods from the various houses of Chatsworth (2010), and the Castle Howard sale (2015).

Dalmeny has also been involved with some key contemporary art sales. He served as the auctioneer in the controversial 2008 sale of Damien Hirst’s works, “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever,” in which the artist brought his own pieces directly to auction. “While Lehman Bros and the banking system seemed to be collapsing, I was selling a zebra in a tank of formaldehyde,” says Dalmeny. “It was an epic contrast.”

Sotheby’s stock (BID) was trading at $38.95 a share as of yesterday, up from $22.99 one year ago.

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