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News of Bellmans opening a London office in South Kensington is among the latest moves and hires across the world of art and antiques.
Cromwell Place in South Kensington. Image credit: Cromwell Place.
Auction house Bellmans has opened a new London office in Cromwell Place. The Kensington arts hub which provides space for art exhibitions, events, studios and galleries was launched in 2020.
Bellmans, founded in 1989, previously had a London office in Upper Grosvenor Street, Mayfair.
The new London office is run by Harrison Goldman who joined earlier this year. Weekly specialist valuation days will be held at Cromwell Place, by appointment, with Bellmans specialists, across departments such as Asian art, jewellery and watches and pictures.
Philip Belcher, Bellmans’ senior executive director, said: “We are hugely impressed with the concept and facilities of Cromwell Place and their plans to make this a destination for contemporary and classic art.”
Bellmans will continue to hold auctions from its Wisborough Green, West Sussex saleroom. Valuation days are held at a number of locations and on October 24 it will hold a valuation day at Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham. 
Decorative arts and design auction house Rago/Wright (the firms of New Jersey’s Rago and Chicago’s Wright which merged in 2019) continues its expansion.
The latest acquisition is Chicago auction house Toomey & Co. Toomey, based in Oak Park, Illinois, will move to Wright’s nearby Chicago headquarters in the autumn but will retain its name.
In 2021 Rago/Wright bought West coast auction house LA Modern Auctions (LAMA) and now all four firms will share technology, expertise, and marketing efforts but retain their names and staff.
Founded in 1987, Toomey & Co (run by Lucy Toomey and John Walcher) focuses on early 20th century and modern design, fine art, jewellery, silver and timepieces. 
John Toomey, a specialist in Arts and Crafts and ceramics, and art pottery specialist Riley Humler, will continue to work in the firm.
David Rago said: “Joining forces with John Toomey and Riley Humler is a decades-long dream. With this merger, we are launching an American Arts and Crafts team unlike any other in the industry.”
Richard Wright will remain in his role as CEO of the combined company.
Art, jewellery and ceramics firm Rago was founded in 1984 and design specialist Wright in 2000. LAMA was founded in 1992.

Marcel Brouwer has joined Bonhams in the Netherlands.
Bonhams has appointed Marcel Brouwer as international specialist of modern decorative art and design in Europe based in the Netherlands.
He will work across its international design department, helping the Paris team to build design sales, and also supporting the teams in London, New York and Brussels as well as with colleagues in Scandinavia.
Brouwer, born in the Netherlands, became head of sale of the 20th century decorative arts and design department at Christie’s Amsterdam in 1999. In 2009 he left to set up on his own and working in partnerships to create pop-up auctions.
Since 2014 he has worked with Vendu Rotterdam where he set up design sales. He is one of the design specialists at the national Dutch antiques TV programme of ‘Tussen Kunst & Kitsch’.

Mellors & Kirk has appointed Daniel Smith.
Mellors & Kirk has appointed Daniel Smith as the specialist in charge its rare books department. Smith was previously at Bamfords, where he worked for the past nine years, during which time he established specialised book sales.
Mellors & Kirk was founded by owner Nigel Kirk and Nicholas Mellors in Nottingham in 1993. The firm also operates from a consignment and valuation office in the High Street in Bridgnorth, Shropshire.

The NAVA (National Associations of Valuers & Auctioneers) Propertymark association has appointed John Pye’s Trevor Palethorpe as its next president.
The NAVA (National Associations of Valuers & Auctioneers) Propertymark association has appointed John Pye’s Trevor Palethorpe as its next president. He was previously its vice president.
Palethorpe, who is John Pye’s joint head of Business and Property, said: “I’m keen to inspire other colleagues within the profession and anyone thinking of an auctioneering career.”
He takes over from Paul Bridgeman of Clive Emson Auctioneers. The organisation, rebranded as NAVA Propertymark, comprises 375 auctioneers and valuers. It is part of the wider Propertymark organisation which has 17,000 members.

Richard Madley is returning to cricket auctioneering.
Richard Madley is returning to cricket auctioneering, but this time in South Africa.
After a four-year gap (his 11 year stint with the Indian Premier League ended in 2018 when former Christie’s auctioneer Hugh Edmeades was appointed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India) Madley is returning on September 19 to auction some of the world’s top cricket players in South Africa.
Madley, who worked at Phillips, Christie’s and Dreweatts, said: “It’s an honour to be invited and an excuse to continue my lifelong passion for cricket (and cricket memorabilia).”

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