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Matthew Girling, Head of Jewellery and Colin Sheaf, Head of Asian Art, took on their new roles on September 1.

The appointment follows the vacancy left by the departure of the previous deputy chairman, Nicholas Bonham. Mr Girling was already chairman of Bonhams' Knightsbridge rooms and Colin Sheaf chairman of Bonhams New Bond Street.

Chairman Robert Brooks said "Colin and Matthew are leaders in their chosen areas of specialisation, but have over the years played an increasingly important management role within the company, helping us to grow and expand within Europe, the USA, Australia and the Far East. Their appointment to this new role is a recognition of their dynamism, and contribution to the company as the fastest-growing international fine art auction house." Mr Brooks added that with the expansion of the company, the responsibilities of the chairman's office would be increasingly shared between himself, Mr Girling and Mr Sheaf.

Colin Sheaf started his career at Christie's London Asian Art department in 1976 and subsequently helped create the Asian art departments in New York and Hong Kong. He joined Phillips in 2000.

Matthew Girling has 25 years of experience in the jewellery business.

Following two years at Bonhams, in 1991 he joined Christie's as a senior specialist and was made an associate director in 1992 before moving to Geneva where he was involved in the worldwide development of the department.

After a five-year absence Mr Girling rejoined Bonhams in 1996. He is responsible for all aspects of Bonhams jewellery sales, and is also director for the associated departments: silver, clocks and miniatures.