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Bonhams grows its team in Belgium with two new appointments
Blanca, who has an auctioneering background will support the work of Sophie Lechat (pictured) and Ellen De Schepper, Bonhams agents in Belgium. Photo: Bonhams.

BRUSSELS.- From January 3 Bonhams will have two new additions to its Brussels office – Blanca Despriet and Joanna van der Lande.

Blanca, who has an auctioneering background will support the work of Sophie Lechat and Ellen De Schepper, Bonhams agents in Belgium.

She has as a Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Information Systems, as well as a degree in the History of Art.

Blanca worked for Phillips Auctioneers with Sophie Lechat in Brussels until the end of 2001. She has also worked with Mercedes-Benz in Sint-Martens-Latem for eight years. She speaks her native Dutch as well as French, English, German and Spanish.

The addition of Joanna van der Lande to represent Antiquities in Belgium, is a very significant development for the company in a region rich in clients who focus on this area of collecting.

Joanna has for many years headed Bonhams Department of Antiquities. She graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1988 with a Bachelors degree in Ancient History and Archaeology, from where she went on to work at Phillips for a year and then with the leading antiquities dealer Charles Ede Ltd in Brook Street. Joanna moved to Bonhams in 1990, where she founded the Antiquities department. Sales of antiquities had previously been held within the Tribal Art auctions, but Joanna instigated the first dedicated sale of Antiquities to take place at Bonhams in Knightsbridge in April 1991.

In 2004 Bonhams’ Antiquities department moved from Knightsbridge to New Bond Street, where Joanna was appointed a Board Director and remained as Head of Antiquities.

Outside Bonhams, Joanna is widely involved in a number of relevant bodies. She has held the positions of Committee member, Vice Chairman and Chairman for the Antiquities Dealers Association (ADA), which represents the interests of the antiquities trade to the Government and which is a member of the British Art Market Federation. She gave evidence at the enquiry on “Cultural Property: Return and Illicit Trade” before the Parliamentary Select Committee for Culture, Media & Sport, April 2000, and was a member of the Ministerial Advisory Panel on Illicit Trade [ITAP], 2000 – 2006. Joanna has also been a member of the Panel of Experts for the Treasure Valuation Committee since 1998 and was a Vetting Committee Member for the Grosvenor House Art & Antiques Fair, and for the Fine Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia and has been on the Vetting Committee for Msterpiece since it was founded in 2010.

Simon Cottle, who heads Bonhams development in Europe, comments: “The arrival of both Blanca and Joanna in our Belgian operation greatly strengthens the team. Blanca will boost our administrative efficiency and Joanna will provide expertise in a particularly important area of the art market. Their combined energies will doubtless grow our business in Belgium, building on the already significant contribution it makes to our European sourcing for sales in Paris, London and New York.”

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