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Chiswick Auctions' saleroom in west London.

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The west London auction house is also launching two new departments: arms, armour and militaria, and photography.

Among the new recruits are former Bonhams marketing director David Johnson and jewellery specialist Lissa Holmes, Inez Flynn, previously in Christie’s jewellery department, and Elizabeth Winnicott from Fieldings Auctioneers. Joining the books and prints department is Rhydian William from Grosvenor Prints and Sara Trevisan.

Its new photography department has been set up by Austin Farahar, previously of Special Auction Services (SAS), and an arms, armour and militaria department has been launched by dealer Matt Easton, who plans his first sale in January.

Lots of potential

Leigh Osborne, managing director at Chiswick Auctions, said: “There is still so much potential in London and we see opportunity to grow. Our business is based on talent.

We’ve not poached staff, rather they have come to us, which means people are noticing us.”

Stellar sales

The expansion news came as Chiswick enjoyed a stellar week of sales including the £180,000 waxwork of Medardo Rosso’s (1858-1928) sculpture Bambina Ridente.

Waxwork

A waxwork of Medardo Rosso’s (1858-1928) sculpture Bambina Ridente sold at £180,000 at Chiswick Auctions.

Estimated at £50,000- 80,000, the 10½in (26.5cm) high head was probably cast by the Italian sculptor’s son, Francesco Rosso, from the original plaster model and has belonged in the same collection since 1959.

Osborne added that the waxwork was “the second most expensive thing we have ever sold here”.