Vicki Wonfor

Vicki Wonfor, managing director and chief operating officer of both Dreweatts and Forum Auctions.

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Art consultancy and valuation firm Gurr Johns has announced that Vicki Wonfor will be managing director and chief operating officer of both Dreweatts and Forum.

The newly created role sits alongside Will Richards who is deputy chairman and head of business development for both. Wonfor and Richards report into Stephan Ludwig, CEO of Gurr Johns’ auctions and art financing divisions.

Will Richards

Will Richards, deputy chairman and head of business development at Dreweatts and Forum Auctions.

Gurr Johns acquired Forum Auctions in an all-share deal in 2022 and bought Dreweatts and Bloomsbury in 2017. The firms have been working more closely together over the past 18 months but this is the first time the two auction houses have had one chief executive.

Wonfor was previously joint managing director at south London saleroom Roseberys where she worked for 15 years. Her appointment follows the departure of Dreweatts’ managing director Jonathan Pratt in January this year.

Charlotte Peel

Charlotte Peel, head of fine jewellery in Dreweatts’ newly formed luxury department.

The announcement follows the recent expansion of Dreweatts’ specialist departments including the recruitment of Charlotte Peel in February to head up fine jewellery, joining Dreweatts’ newly formed luxury department. Peel previously worked at Christie’s South Kensington and Lyon & Turnbull.

Dreweatts also appointed Peter Horwood in March to a hybrid role as senior specialist in its house sales and private collections department. He will also offer his decorative arts experience to Gurr Johns’ clients in the UK and internationally. Horwood had previously run the English furniture department at Christie’s. 

Peter Horwood

Peter Horwood has joined Dreweatts as a senior specialist alongside working with Gurr Johns’ clients on decorative arts.

Dreweatts also plans to hire additional general valuers, junior specialists, photographers and operational staff.

Ludwig said: “Vicki joins us at an important time. Having exceeded £50m in sales from over 100 auctions last year, we are re-calibrating our auction businesses for the next phase of growth. Vicki’s impressive track record harnessing digital engagement, in tandem with maintaining the core values of a multi-disciplinary saleroom, will be invaluable.”

Wonfor added: “Post COVID consolidation in our industry has led to unique opportunities for the leading, so-called middle market, auction firms. I am delighted to be joining the senior team that has built Dreweatts and Forum Auctions over recent years and am impressed by the Gurr Johns group’s appetite to invest and innovate for the future.”