Specialist/​senior Specialist, 20th Century Design

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To work closely and collaboratively with the department to drive 20th Century Design auction and private-sale transactions.  Develop a strategic business development program to engage new and existing clients in buying and selling at Sotheby’s. 


  • Responsible for securing consignments and selling sales for the New York 20th Century Design Department and ensuring that sales and net profit targets are met
  • Develop a strategic business development program, focusing specific targeted clients to drive client activity. Actively manage client relationships in order to enhance client loyalty and generate business; support key client activity in particular focusing on generating new networks of clients/collectors to Sotheby’s
  • Active participation with the 20th Century Design community – attendance at social and art world events e.g. gallery and museum openings; increasing the network of contacts and relationships within this market
  • Develop opportunities for private sale transactions and generate ideas for private selling exhibitions
  • Drive key business proposals liaising with the Proposals Department on competitive and/or significant business opportunities
  • Assist with exhibition set up. Actively participate in all presale exhibitions and events, including traveling exhibitions, to cultivate bidders, promote and sell the sale
  • Work with all department specialists to sell the sale by helping clients at the exhibition; speaking to clients about the property; develop, track and communicate client interest in lots; and execute bids at sale
  • Develop strong relationships with international colleagues to support Sotheby’s global 20th Century Design sales
  • Perform appraisals for insurance, fair market and estate tax purposes and oversee completion of each project
  • Mentor the junior members of the department, providing support and guidance on matters related to expertise and client relationships
  • Regular domestic (and possibly international) travel required
  • Operate at all times in accordance with the company’s rules on Compliance and Corporate Governance


  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Minimum 7-10 years of relevant experience in the design field plus auction house experience
  • Excellent managerial skill set with a proven track record of department & staff management
  • Strong project management and deadline driven skill set
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Able to build relationships internally and present information and data to management

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