We are thrilled to welcome Ronan Sulich to the Leonard Joel team as Senior Adviser. Based in our Sydney saleroom, Ronan will assist in the curation and presentation of our Important Collections as well as our popular Collector’s Auctions.
We sit down with the highly credentialed specialist and auctioneer to find out more about his background, discover how his love of collecting began, and learn what advice he has for those just beginning their collections.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background in auctions.
Ever since I was a child, I have been interested in art, furniture and lives of the past. After a short stint working in a historic house museum then moving to London, I landed a job at an auction house that held weekly sales, which was an amazing education. After five years of London gloom, Australia lured me back with a job at Christie’s first as the Sydney decorative arts expert then as the Australian representative.
Has there been an especially memorable collection or piece that has passed through your hands?
The Picasso donated to the University of Sydney which was sold by Christie’s in London was especially memorable, as well as all the wonderful collection sales held over the years such as the Whiteman Collection, the Bronte House sale, and the Schaeffer Collection at Rona.
Do you have a favourite museum to visit?
My spiritual home is the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, but the most wonderful place that I always recommend people to visit in London is Sir John Soane’s museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. It is a visual and spatial feast that always amazes and inspires me: maximalism at its finest!
What sort of pieces are you looking for as you consign for upcoming auctions at Leonard Joel?
There is a growing appreciation of good, classic Georgian furniture. The younger generation are looking at it less as “brown furniture” as favoured by their parents, but an antidote to the cheap and ultimately worthless furniture from Ikea.
What advice would you give to those new to the world of collecting?
Talk to other collectors, talk to the auction house specialists, and read and learn as much as you can about your areas of interest. Think of it as a long-term passion, not a passing fad.
What was your most recent auction purchase?
The dangers of watching The Crown and online bidding! I bought two 18th Century drawings that were a wedding present to Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon from the sale of his estate at Christie’s London. They will add to the Soane effect at home!
Ronan Sulich, Senior Adviser, Sydney