Introducing Rufus Bird
Rufus is an art advisor at Gurr Johns, the international art advisory and appraisals / valuations company, where since September 2019 he has been Director of Decorative Arts and Heritage Collections, Europe. He works with clients of all types and budgets in the formation and / or sale of collections. Having worked as a specialist at Christie's and as a curator in the Royal Collection Trust, he has gained valuable experience in caring for large complex collections, whose owners may need to consider tax and inheritance planning, loans, offers in lieu, conservation management plans, restoration, collection (or preventive) care, salvage / emergency planning, research and valuations.
Having worked in the Furniture Department at Christie's from 1999 until 2010, he was very familiar with Mallett and its long and distinguished history of buying and selling the very best of English furniture. In 2022 he took up the opportunity to join Gurr Johns and to start a new chapter in Mallett's story. Objects - many of which will be available for sale - will be presented here on the new Mallett website, and there will be articles, reviews and interviews and other pieces of interest. Gurr Johns, owners of Mallett, also own Hatfields Restoration (which was for many years also owned by Mallett) and are therefore well placed to work on restoration, presentation and conservation of works of art. Feel free to reach out and make contact with Rufus and the team, and to send us your interests, or if we can help with your collection in any way.
St James's Palace
While working at Royal Collection Trust - where the offices are located within St James's Palace - Rufus was asked to write a chapter in a new history of St James's Palace, part of a series on royal residences, which was begun with the (very large) history of Windsor Castle, published in 2018 and is due to be followed by a history of the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The history of St James's Palace was finally published by Yale and Royal Collection Trust in November 2022 in the UK and in January 2023 in the USA. To mark this, Rufus will be travelling to the USA to give lectures in some major cities - please contact Rufus if you would like to know more.
More background information on Rufus
After graduating in the History of Art from Cambridge University he joined Christie’s as a graduate trainee and joined the Furniture Department in 1999, where he worked on notable projects including the planned sale of the contents of Tyntesfield, Somerset and Dumfries House, Ayrshire. In 2010 he was appointed by HM Queen Elizabeth II as Deputy Surveyor of the Queen’s Works of Art. At the Royal Collection he had responsibility for about 500,000 works of decorative art across fifteen residences, he also managed conservation and oversaw all conservation of decorative art objects in three workshops. In 2018 he was appointed Surveyor of the Queen’s Works of Art. During his time in post he oversaw the publication of the three volume catalogue of Chinese and Japanese Works of Art in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen (2016) and wrote an introduction to mounted porcelains in volume II, he co-curated the exhibition and co-edited the catalogue accompanying the exhibition Charles II: Art and Power (2017-18), he was curator and contributed chapters in exhibition catalogues forThe First Georgians: Art and Monarchy (2014) and George IV: Art and Spectacle (2019). He was also a lead member of The Riesener Project (with Helen Jacobsen, Jurgen Huber and Mia Jackson) culminating in a book published in 2021; Jean-Henri Riesener: Cabinetmaker to Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette (2020).