Henry joined Sotheby’s as head of the department in 2006 after working at Christie’s from 1995, initially in London and from 2000 he was based in the New York office, which gave an invaluable insight into the American market and clients.
His focused expertise is in English furniture of the 18th and 19th centuries with a particular passion for the mid-18th century, a time of great development in English cabinet-making sparked by the increasing wealth in the country and the tremendous growth of the English country house. It is the collecting patterns of the great patrons of this period who were not only commissioning pieces, but were also actively collecting from across Europe as part of the ‘Grand Tour’ which greatly intrigues him and which continues to be reflected by the great collectors of more recent times. These influences from Europe, but also the far East and how the geo-political landscape shaped by discovery, travel and war have had an immense impact on the development of decorative arts which is often overlooked.
Henry has been fortunate to work on some incredible collections in his career, in New York those of Ruxton and Audrey Love, Doris Duke and Halstead Vander Poel remain favourites, whilst in London the sales from Chatsworth, Castle Howard and works from the Duke of Northumberland have been amongst the many highlights.
In 2010 he established a new world record for a piece of English furniture when offering the Harrington Commode, a masterpiece by Thomas Chippendale. Following a seventeen-minute bidding battle he brought the hammer down at £3.8m, eclipsing the previous record by over a million pounds.