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Sotheby’s Appoints David Bennett as Worldwide Chairman of Jewellery

Mar 5, 2015 7:39 AM   By Amber Michelle
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RAPAPORT...  Sotheby’s has appointed David Bennett to the newly created position of worldwide chairman of jewelry. In his new global role, Bennett —  who is based in Geneva, Switzerland, will help design and implement a strategy of continued expansion and business development for the jewelry branch of the auction house.  Jewelry sales at Sotheby’s in 2014 garnered $603 million, the highest annual total for the category ever. It also marked the third year in a row of record jewelry sales for Sotheby’s.

“This is a very exciting new appointment for me. Following our third successive year of record jewelry sales, due in large part to a rapidly growing client base —  with participation last year from 74 countries  — I feel we are in an ideal position to expand further into this vast market,” Bennett told this writer exclusively. “Sotheby’s has outstanding multifaceted abilities in the field of jewelry, with both highly successful worldwide auctions and a one-of-a-kind retail platform via Sotheby’s Diamonds. Moreover the digital age offers further innovative opportunities for us to reach new clients, and our abilities in that regard are at an exciting point of expansion.” 

Bennett has been with Sotheby’s for 40 plus years, joining the firm in 1974. During that time, he has sold seven diamonds over 100 carats, earning him the title  “100-Carat Man.”  In December of 2013, Bennett was named among the top 10 most powerful people in the art world by Art + Auction magazine and in June 2014, he made the list of the top 50 “Most Influential Persons in Switzerland” published by Bilan, a Swiss financial and business magazine.

Over the years, Bennett has overseen several high-profile sales, including of The Duchess of Windsor Jewels, The Princely Collections of Thurn and Taxis, Ava Gardner, H.H. Begum Sultan Mohamed Shah Aga Khan, Maria Callas, Gina Lolabrigida and Dimitri Mavrommatis. He has also sold a number of historically important gems, including the Beau Sancy diamond and an emerald and diamond tiara formerly in the collection of Princess Katharina Henckel von Donnersmarck.

In addition, he co-authored two books with Daniela Mascetti, Understanding Jewellery, which has been in print since 1989 and is widely acclaimed as the consummate reference book, and Celebrating Jewellery, published in 2012.



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Tags: Amber Michelle, Auctions, David Bennett, Jewelry, Sotheby's
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