Bonhams strengthens its Ceramics team by appointing ex-Sothebys Specialists in London

Bonhams has appointed three new specialists from Sotheby’s to complement its existing London-based European Ceramics and Glass team. Simon Cottle, one of the world’s most respected experts in Glass, joins Bonhams this summer with Continental Ceramics specialist Nette Megens, while world-renowned Continental Ceramics expert Sebastian Kuhn will join the auction house in January 2008.

With immediate effect, Simon Cottle takes on the role of Departmental Director of Continental Ceramics and Glass. Nette Megens will specialise in Continental Ceramics. Fergus Gambon, who has worked alongside John Sandon in Bonhams’ Ceramics department for the past 13 years, has been appointed Department Director of British Ceramics.

John Sandon, who takes on the role of International Director of European Ceramics and Glass at Bonhams, says: “I have always enjoyed a friendly rivalry with our Sotheby’s ceramics colleagues and I am delighted to have such expertise join my team. Their individual strengths and knowledge will, without doubt, see Bonhams become market leaders in Continental Ceramics and Glass as well as British porcelain.

Bonhams’ Chairman, Robert Brooks adds: “Unlike its competitors, Bonhams continues to invest in established talent in long-term markets. In July, we appointed two ex-Sotheby’s Asian Art specialists. Now, we are appointing key talent from their Ceramics department. Naturally, to have a high calibre of people working for Bonhams is a true asset as we close the gap on our competitors.”


A graduate in History with Honours from University College Cardiff and Washington State University, and a postgraduate of the University of Manchester in Museum and Art Gallery Studies, Simon Cottle worked for 10 years as a Senior Decorative Arts curator. Specialising in ceramics, glass and silver at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Glasgow Museum and Art Gallery and at the Burrell Collection, he organised several international exhibitions. He joined Sotheby’s in 1990 and took his first auction in 1995. During his long career he has made many significant discoveries, several of which have produced world-record prices at auction. Simon is the published author of a number of books on Ceramics and Glass. He often contributes articles to other publications, regularly gives lectures and has made appearances on television and radio. He is a founder member of the Glass Association and was Chairman of the Glass Circle from 1996 until 2003. Simon is a Fellow of the Guild of Glass Engravers and a trustee of the Glass Engraver’s Trust, which is responsible for commissioning glass for No. 10 Downing Street. He was appointed Hon. President of the Glass Circle in 2006.


Sebastian Kuhn studied History and English at the Australian National University followed by Sotheby’s Works of Art Course in London. He joined Sotheby’s European Ceramics department in Zurich in 1990 before transferring to London in 1994. He has catalogued numerous ceramics sales, including such important one-owner collections as the Thurn und Taxis sale (1993), the Baden-Baden sale (1995), “Style for a Nation: Porcelain from the Prussian Royal Manufactory in Berlin” (1997) and was responsible for the rediscovery and sale of the Rudolf Just Collection (2001), the Prague collector on whom Bruce Chatwin based his novel “Utz”. Sebastian has lectured widely and has written about the history of collecting porcelain. Forthcoming publications include a historical survey of collectors of 18th century German porcelain (2008). He is a member of the Gesellschaft der Keramikfreunde and the Freundeskreis der Porzellansammlung im Zwinger (Germany), Keramikfreunde der Schweiz (Switzerland) and the French Porcelain Society (U.K.).


Nette Megens is a Dutch national and studied at Universities in Siena and Amsterdam, graduating with a Master’s degree in Art History in 2002. She worked for a leading German antiques dealer for two years before joining the European Ceramics and Glass Department at Sotheby’s London in 2004 where she became an auctioneer in 2007. Her major auctions include the sale of Property from the Royal House of Hanover (2005) and that of the Frits Philips Collection (2006). Nette is an active member of both the French Porcelain Society and the Gesellschaft der Keramikfreunde (Keramos).