Mario Tavella

  • Président, France | Chairman, Europe


Mario joined Sotheby’s in 1991 after completing a degree in Economics and thereafter completing the Fine and Decorative Arts curriculum at Sotheby’s Institute. Based in London, he was appointed to the European Board of Directors in 1998, promoted to Deputy Chairman in 2003 and became Chairman, Europe in 2016 and in addition, Président-directeur general based in Paris where the team have since consecutively realised the highest turnover of sales. As Président, his focus is naturally wide, but his key area of expertise has always been furniture and decorative arts. Over the years he has been working with the global team of experts to establish Sotheby’s’ command of the market in this field.

Memorable discoveries include the reuniting of an Italian baroque console table discovered in the entrance of a restaurant, with the 17th century highly important Roman marble cabinet it was created to support, and the private sale of two rare silver mounted coral and pietre dure cabinets made for Claude Lamoral I, Prince de Ligne and Viceroy of Sicily. 

Having orchestrated and collaborated on over 70 notable and unique Single Owner Collections globally, with many of them breaking new records, amongst others, the collections of Giuseppe Rossi, Lili & Edmond J. Safra, Gianni and Marella Agnelli, Alberto Bruni-Tedeschi, Ariane Dandois, Dimitri Mavrommatis, Barbara Piasecka Johnson, Gianni Versace, Leon Levy, Les Dillée, Robert de Balkany, Henri Chwast and most recently the collections of Pierre Bergé, de Bekessy, de Ribes, Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, Dorothée Lalanne, Karl Lagerfeld and the Princely collection from Hôtel Lambert, Mario is also credited with creating and launching the prestigious Treasures sale in London in 2010, which is still the most prominent annual furniture and decorative arts sale in the auction calendar.

Mario regularly contributes articles of new and exciting discoveries in academic publications, including articles featured in Apollo, Country Life, the Furniture History Society, Antologia di Belle Arti, and the Burlington Magazine.

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