Noël Annesley joined Christie’s in 1964. Fifty-four years later he is still working there, and in September 2016 he organised the sale at King Street of the collection of Brian Sewell, his first boss, who had left Christie’s in 1967 and gone on to become a celebrated journalist. Together they set up the department of Prints and Drawings.
Over the years Noël has made some exciting discoveries. One of them, a magnificent drawing by the early 16th Century Venetian artist Sebastiano del Piombo, now belonging to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, was included in the exhibition ‘Michelangelo and Sebastiano’ at the National Gallery, London, earlier this year. It was in the Michelangelo drawings exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, November 2017-February 2018.
Noël took his first auction in 1967, and over the years achieved record prices for Titian, Canaletto, Michelangelo and Raphael. He organised and conducted the celebrated sales of Old Master Drawings from Chatsworth in 1984 and 1987, and Old Master Prints in 1986. In 2007 he sold Turner’s famous watercolour ‘The Blue Rigi’ for £5.8 million. It is now in the Tate Gallery.
He served as Deputy Chairman of Christie’s International plc from 1992-2000, and was a long serving Trustee of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, and a Governor of the Yehudi Menuhin School.