Ben and Sandra
Ben Francis and Sandra Saxinger have recently joined the enthusiastic team at London Auctions
‘When I joined Sotheby’s, it was my first time in an auction house and I didn’t understand what was going on. But I loved the buzz, the fact that it was all so theatrical.’ Clearly, after that initial confusion, Ben Francis learned fast: nine years later he left as Deputy Director, moved to Christie’s and then set up his own consultancy, working with sale rooms nationwide.
That was how Ben met Sameer Mahomed, owner of London Auctions. ‘Sameer asked me to look at the business. We hit it off and I was delighted to accept his offer to become General Manager. We found that we
shared an exciting vision for a new type of auction house, one that appeals to a younger clientele used to a smart retail environment in which they can browse at leisure.’
At London Auctions, a key component of the all-round experience is the stylish L’Art Café, managed by Sandra Saxinger. You could say Sandra was born into the job. ‘My family lived above a bakery in Frankfurt,’ she admits. ‘So, I can blame that for my love of sweet treats!’
Sandra has sourced all the tempting cakes and savouries on offer: ‘They are handmade locally, freshly delivered every day and have no gelatine or artificial colours.’ L’Art Café can also be booked for private parties and traditional English afternoon teas.
Whilst London Auctions will continue to be a general auction house, Ben envisages that they will hold more specialist sales – luxury goods, jewellery, handbags, watches, 20th century design – that suit the W4 market. ‘We’re also really keen to become a focal point for the community,’ he adds. ‘We’d love local people to hold events here; we’ve already had positive chats with the Artists at Home group and some of the music labels at the Power House.
‘I’d like to invite everyone to come and meet me and our friendly, knowledgeable valuers, enjoy a coffee and cake with Sandra in the L’Art Café and just have a wonder around Chiswick’s boutique auction house.’
30-34 Chiswick High Road,
020 8400 5225