It is with great pleasure that we announce that Emma Barnett has been appointed as Head of Department with responsibility for the future development of our Homes and Interiors sales – Emma has been with Sworders for some time, but as she now moves into this pivotal role, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce her to you.
30 November 2023
I am lucky to have a large and close family who have an interest in the arts – whether it be visual or musical. Some of my earliest memories are associated with the items in my Nana’s house; as a Greek who grew up in China, her house was full of silk embroideries, watercolours and curiosities that reflected her upbringing and cultural heritage. If I had to pin it down to a single influence, this is what sparked my love of history and the sentimentality of objects.
I went on to study Art History at the University of Warwick, but surprisingly, this wasn’t my first thought of degree choice. As an animal lover, I initially wanted to pursue geography and work in environmental or wildlife conservation. That idea didn’t last long - probably for the better, given my questionable navigation skills! – and my passion for the Classical epoch soon overruled my interest in coastal erosion. One of the main driving forces behind my change of mind and (what I now like to think of as) my career-defining epiphany was a stint of work experience at Reeman Dansie Auctioneers. As anyone in the auction industry knows, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the exciting and fast-paced atmosphere - and who wouldn’t enjoy handling beautiful and unusual objects every day?
My undergraduate degree gave me a broad understanding of art from Giotto to Gauguin, and studying in Italy solidified my knowledge of the Renaissance. However, with surveyors as parents, it was only fitting that I specialised in Medieval Architecture. Remarkably, this niche area of expertise has not gone unused – you would be surprised by the number of similarities between a church portal and Georgian furniture.
Emma Barnett - Head of Department | Homes & Interiors
Having graduated from university during the peak of COVID-19, jobs in auction houses were few and far between. I ended up working in luxury travel PR for a year, which was probably more unexpected given that no one was allowed to leave their county, let alone the country. As things settled, I was fortunate to find a cataloguing position at a Birmingham saleroom, but after four years of studying and working in the West Midlands, I decided to return home to London/Essex and started with Sworders in 2021.
Working in the Homes & Interiors Department for the past two years has been a dream. I will always be grateful to do a job that I genuinely enjoy. The sale is extremely varied, so every day presents an exciting opportunity - meeting new people, listening to their stories and learning about their fascinating objects never gets old.
From the beginning, Alex Froggatt has been a positive influence, sharing his insight and experience as an auctioneer. Alongside our excellent photography department and Victoria Emmings (our Sale Administrator), we have worked to develop Homes & Interiors with a focus on sustainability and accessibility. I look forward to building upon the work started by Alex and intend to listen to the market to create a recognisable brand for the sale that ties in with Sworders’ innovative values.
email@example.com | 01279 817778
A piece of history will go under the hammer next month as a World War Two flying jacket, once owned by a Royal Australian Air Force gunner, is set to be featured in our 12 March Homes & Interiors Sale.
27 February 2024
The Fine Interiors department are extremely excited to be able to present a Louis XV Gobelins mythological tapestry of the Marriage of Cupid and Psyche, lot 328, in our 19 and 20 March sale.
27 February 2024
From the fishing village of Polperro in Cornwall to the mountainous landscapes of Wales and Cumbria, Sworders are pleased to be offering a diverse selection of watercolour paintings by the artist Ronald Maddox for sale in our forthcoming Paint.Print.Sculpt auction.
9 February 2024