The firm will now be led by former Sotheby’s chief operating officer Bruno Vinciguerra who joined Bonhams 18 months ago as executive chairman.

He had been brought in by Bonhams’ new owner, private equity group Epiris, which bought the auction house in September 2018.

Girling first joined Bonhams in 1988. He later left, then rejoined the firm, and became director of jewellery in 1996. Three years later he joined the management team. During his time as CEO the firm expanded into Hong Kong adding to salerooms in New York, London and Los Angeles.

Girling said: “I am proud to have led a management team that successfully attracted new investors into the business. Compared to the company I first joined, Bonhams has changed beyond recognition, becoming an international forward-thinking art auction business.”

New dec arts head

Announced during the same week, Bonhams has reorganised its decorative arts department.

Marcus McDonald, previously specialist at Phillips, has joined Bonhams as Modern decorative art and design director with a focus on the mid-20th century. Mark Oliver, the former director of design at Bonhams, has left.

Reporting to the global head of department, Benjamin Walker, McDonald will oversee sales in London, including the newly launched Design Sale at Bond Street.

He said: “I am excited to be returning to Bonhams where I started my career nearly 20 years ago. The department has an enviable reputation and I am looking forward to playing my part in even greater success.”

Marcus McDonald has joined Bonhams as Modern decorative art and design director.

Beginning his career in 1981 at Phillips Bond Street (later part of Bonhams), Oliver joined its decorative arts department in 1989, becoming its head in 1999. He told ATG: “I will remain in the business and look forward to pursuing new career opportunities.”