- Joined Sotheby’s Painting department in 1979
- Organised many important sales, including the Montefiore manuscripts sale
- An expert on the history of collecting
- A consultant to The Economist’s art collecting supplement
- Frequently lectures to the Cambridge University Faculty of Art History
James Stourton joined Sotheby's Paintings department in 1979. For ten years he was a specialist in English and European Paintings before becoming Director of the European Valuation department and subsequently became Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe in 1997.
He has organised many important sales, including The Ava Gardner Collection, The Bentinck-Thyssen Old Master Painting Collection, The Edward Fattorini Dutch Painting Collection, The Arturo Lopez-Wilshaw Silver sale, the Palazzo Corsini sale in Florence, the Guy de Rothschild sale in Monte-Carlo and the sale of Charles de Beistegui at Château de Groussay. He organised the Montefiore manuscripts sale in New York in 2004 and arranged the successful private sale of the Montefiore printed books to Yarnton Manor, the Centre for Jewish Studies near Oxford.
Mr Stourton has written widely on collecting for Apollo, The Art Newspaper, Matrix, The Independent and The Spectator. He also serves as a Consultant to The Economist’s art collecting supplement. His other publications include Great Collectors of our Time: Art Collecting Since 1945 (2007) and Great Smaller Museums of Europe (2003). He is currently writing A History of British Collecting. He also regularly lectures to Sotheby’s Institute of Education and the Cambridge University Faculty of Art History.
A bibliophile and book collector, Mr Stourton was the proprietor of the Stourton Press, which printed, edited and published more than 30 books of poetry, essays and philosophy. He has been a frequent writer on printing and typography, particularly for Matrix, as well a writer of reviews, obituaries and articles for The Independent, The Spectator, Country Life, Apollo, and The Art Newspaper.
Mr Stourton studied History of Art at Cambridge and is an expert on the history of collecting.