Meet the Panel
Toby Faber, Author and Lecturer
Toby was a banker and management consultant before spending four years as managing director of the company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber. He remains on its Board and is Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music, an Arts Society lecturer, and a director of Liverpool University Press.
Toby has written three works of narrative non-fiction - Stradivarius (2004), described in The New York Times as ‘more earthy, enthralling and illuminating than any fiction could be’, Faberge's Eggs (2008) and Faber & Faber: The Untold Story (2019) - and one novel, Close to the Edge (2019). Only one of those books (the obvious one) was published by Faber.
Solange Azagury-Partridge, Jewellery Designer
Solange Azagury-Partridge is a British designer known for her jewellery and interiors. Based in London, she is the founder of her own brand called Solange. Her jewellery is featured in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London as well as the Les Arts Décoratifs at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Self-taught, the first piece of jewellery Solange designed was her own engagement ring in 1987. Solange opened her first shop in 1995 and she was the Creative Director of Boucheron Paris from 2001-2004. Solange has her boutique in London.
Helen Culver Smith, Sotheby's Director, International Head of Department Russian Works of Art
Helen is an innovator in the field of Fabergé, establishing new markets, landmark sales and world auction records for Fabergé, Icons and Soviet Porcelain. With an emphasis on quality and aesthetics, she works closely with private collectors and was most recently entrusted with the sale of Fabergé and Vertu from the Brooklyn Museum of Art, which was 100% sold and achieved £3.3 million agains a low estimate of £1m. A leader in her field, throughout her career Helen has been instrumental in establishing market share in the area of Fabergé and Russian Works of Art.
Based in London, Helen is responsible for valuing and sourcing Fabergé and Russian Works of Art for sale internationally. She organizes and promotes Sotheby’s sales of Russian Works of Art by working closely with collectors of Russian porcelain, silver, bronzes, enamels, Fabergé and objects of vertu to bring these important objects to the market.
Helen Culver Smith holds an MA with distinction from the Courtauld and a BA in Art History from Princeton University. She holds professional qualifications from Oxford, The London School of Economics and Gem-A.
Katy Hessel, Curator, Broadcaster and Art Historian
Katy Hessel is a curator, broadcaster, and art historian. Six years ago, she founded the Instagram account @thegreatwomenartists, celebrating women artists on a daily basis. With 230,000 followers, and a weekly podcast, The Great Women Artists Podcast following in 2019 (1m+ listens). Katy has written and presented extensively on the subject of women artists, including programmes for the BBC, Tate and Royal Academy of Arts. She has curated exhibitions at Timothy Taylor and Victoria Miro galleries; taken over an entire floor of Tate Modern for a Tate Late; and in 2021 was selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Art & Culture. She is working on her first book.