Jan 04, 2018

Veteran Jean Ghika Appointed Bonhams’ Global Director Of Jewellery

The last year has underlined the excitement over jewellery in the auction world as houses continued to post good results and set ever spiralling records. And leading houses are gearing up to move ahead.

The London-based auction house of Bomhams recently appointed Jean Ghika, who is recognised  as “one of the world's leading jewellery experts”, as its Global Director Of Jewellery. She will take over the responsibility from Mathew Girling, Bonhams CEO since 2015, who also held the position of Global Director Of Jewellery till now.

Ghika joined Bomhams in 1992 as a porter, straight out of University.  She rose to become Director of the Jewellery Department in Europe, a post she was appointed to in 2007. She was also inducted on the UK Board of Directors.

Bonhams says on its website that Ghika  “has been instrumental in guiding the London jewellery department to become market leader in the UK”.

To her also is attributed some milestone sales at auction. Bonhams said Ghika has been responsible for:

• The sale of a fancy vivid blue diamond ring by Bulgari that sold for £1.8 million in 2011, the most valuable jewel sold at auction in the UK that year.

• Coordinating the sale of 40 jewels from the personal collection of international bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford which fetched over £1m at auction in December 2013.

• Directing the sale in 2013 of the 5.30 carat fancy deep blue diamond which sold for £6.2 million, the current world record price per carat for any fancy deep blue diamond sold at auction.

More recently, she was involved in the sale of a fancy intense blue diamond for £2.32m in September 2016. And in September 2017, she was involved in the sale of a fancy intense blue diamond from a British private collection which sold for £2.68m.

Lucinda Bredin,  editor of Bonhams Magazine, in an article called Ghika “the Bonhams rock star”.

In the same piece Bredin writes that Ghika, who “fell in love with jewelry looking at photos of her great-grandmother, a Romanian aristocrat and writer” first wanted “to specialise in portrait miniatures”. However, it was jewellery which first tugged at, and then captured, Ghika’s heart. And with the Jewellery Department she remained.

In her new position, Ghika will be in charge of Bonham sales at its offices in London, New York, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

Matthew Girling, Bonhams Global CEO and former Global Director of Jewellery said: “I have worked with Jean for more than 21 years and I am delighted to hand over this global role to her. She has demonstrated excellent business acumen in her current role and has been instrumental in giving strategic direction to the UK and European Fine Jewellery teams.”

 Girling will remain closely involved with the fine jewellery department, and assume a “chairman emeritus” role for the department. 

Ghika said: “All four selling locations in London, New York, Hong Kong and LA have established themselves with our clients and we have created a distinct identity in the marketplace, characterised by our personal approach and client service. I look forward to continuing this approach and developing the global offering, working in partnership with talented colleagues throughout the Bonhams U.K. and European network and also in the US with Susan Abeles and Asia with Graeme Thompson and their teams."

Pic Courtesy:  Bonhams