Bonhams announced this week that two key specialists in Japanese Art recruited from Sotheby’s will join Bonhams Asian Art Department, one of the company’s most successful specialist areas.

Colin Sheaf, Bonhams Deputy Chairman and Head of Asian Arts said: “We are delighted to welcome Neil Davey and Suzannah Yip, specialists in Japanese Art to Bonhams. Neil, the Senior Consultant Specialist has a distinguished record in his field over five decades. Suzannah who has been working with Neil for over eight years will become the Department Director for Japanese Art at Bonhams New Bond Street. Their joint expertise will add lustre to Asian Arts at Bonhams. We are delighted to have them as colleagues.”

“Our first fine Japanese Art Sale will be held during Asia Week in London in November and will be followed by a sale during Asia Week in New York in March 2008. The appointments come in a market where we see great long-term growth.”

They also come at an interesting time for Bonhams which has just held its first sale in Hong Kong and announced new salerooms and offices opening in Dubai and Moscow. The new strength in depth offered by these former Sotheby’s specialists will greatly benefit Bonhams clients in the area of Japanese art.

Whilst Neil Davey’s name is world renowned in the field of Netsuke, Suzannah Yip’s main expertise lie in the pictorial arts of Japan and she has been responsible for the cataloguing and dispersal of some outstanding print collections including: Important prints, drawings and books from the Huguette Beres collection, part 1 & 2 (Paris 2002 & 2003) and The Adolphe Stoclet Collection of Important Prints, Paintings and Illustrated books (London 2004).

Bonhams Chairman, Robert Brooks, comments: “Naturally we are delighted to have people of such calibre join our ever-strengthening team. Bonhams is pursuing a rather different strategy to that of its competitors, namely investing in established talent, in long-term markets.”

“Throughout my 32 years in the industry I have learnt that in a people business, where long-established relationships are key to getting on top and staying there, having strength in depth is the best possible way to go. As we close on our competitors, Bonhams is again on the acquisition trail, beginning with good people. Time and the tide of business will take care of the rest.”

There is a satisfying symmetry in this new appointment of Japanese specialists at Bonhams. The company’s Bond Street premises were, a century ago, home to the best sales of Japanese Art in Europe, under the Glendinnings corporate banner. This reputation lasted through the early years of the 20th century up until the 1940’s. We anticipate that once again the best Japanese sales in Europe will take place at 101 New Bond Street.

Bonhams will hold four dedicated Japanese Art Sales a year – two in New Bond Street, in May and November and two in the company’s New York saleroom in March and September.

Speaking about the new appointments Neil Davey comments: “My colleague Suzannah Yip and I were delighted to be asked, by Colin Sheaf, Deputy Chairman of Bonhams and a noted authority on Chinese art to join the company and to set up a dedicated Japanese art department. We were extremely encouraged by his enthusiasm, support and his long-term vision for Japanese art; it was this sincere commitment that convinced us both to join the company.

Our joint experience will enhance an existing robust team, run in America by Dessa Goddard based in San Francisco, with Amanda Miller in New York and James Hammond in London Knightsbridge. While James Hammond has been including Japanese art in his Knightsbridge sales, Suzannah will now head up an expanded London Japanese art department as Departmental Director, initiating sales in New Bond Street, and I will act as consultant to the company world-wide. Our aim is to hold four sales per year dedicated to Japanese art – two in London and two in New York.

Suzannah and I firmly believe, as do many serious collectors and dealers, that there is a great need for another world-wide auction house with a strong Japanese art department and we intend to provide that, for Japanese art aficionados around the world. Our first sale will be held during Asia Week in London, in November 2007 and will be followed by another to take place during Asia Week in New York, in March 2008.”