Crispian Riley-Smith

Crispian Riley-Smith works as an Agent, Valuer, Events Organiser and Dealer, and will tailor the service to your needs and requirements, so please do let us know from the start what sort of valuation or sale you require. Crispian lives in Norfolk and is willing to either meet clients at home, or initial discussions can be done via email or phone. Crispian will also travel throughout the country and abroad and offer competitive and transparent rates and a discreet service.

Crispian has been working in the art market since 1989 and one of his areas of expertise is Fine Master Drawings from the sixteenth century to early twentieth centuries. He has also curated a number of contemporary exhibitions in Yorkshire.

In July each year in London the business exhibits in London Art Week [was called Master Drawings London & Sculpture week] and in January in Manhattan Master Drawings New York week. The links to these sites are on each page of this website. He is actively involved with the organisation and running of these events in New York and London with his colleagues in the fine art trade. He also work as a consultant to Bonhams UK and Bonhams & Butterfields in the USA for their Old Master Drawings.

Another area of expertise is advising private clients in many areas in the art market, due to his own unique and extensive experience of having worked for all the main auction houses and in the trade. In addition to this he advises Private Collectors, Institutional buyers and Museums in the buying and selling of fine drawings and paintings at auction or from dealers, valuations for probate, for Canadian Cultural Heritage, for Insurance and other Tax purposes.

He has written in numerous publications and lectured at various societies and conducted historical art tours. A number of these articles are published on this website.

His interest in the Fine Arts started as a student at Eton College, where he studied Art History, and had an extensive practical experience as a student in sculpture, and winning the senior Sculpture Prize. He went on to study Art History at University and as a student at St. Andrews University in Scotland where I gained an MA with Honours. With summer jobs at the Guggenheim Museum in Venice and Sotheby's in Florence after graduation he joined Sotheby's London as a graduate trainee working in various departments from Impressionist pictures to Jewellery. He had some work experience at the British Museum, assisting a keeper in the Prints & Drawings Department. He joined Phillips, Son & Neale and worked there for four years. In 1994 he was instrumental in arranging the loan of the collection of the 'De Pass Master Drawings Collection, from the Royal Truro Museum', an exhibition that travelled from Phillips offices in London to Truro in Cornwall. Regarding the auctions he made a notable discovery, from a private European collection, of a drawing in red chalk of 'Susannah and the Elders' by Guercino, which fetched a work record price at auction for the artist, and was to remain so for 20 years. He went on to gain further practical experience as an artist and studied life drawing in evening classes at Heatherly’s School of Art, where he learnt just how difficult it is to be a professional artist! An opportunity arose to join the Old Master Drawings Department at Christie's where he worked till 1998. Whilst at Christie's he worked on all the major auctions and valuations during this period. In February 1998 he started his own business.

In 2000, with a number of colleagues, he launched Master Drawings in London, now London Art Week, and in 2007 assisted Margot Gordon with starting Master Drawings New York. Both these events require extensive assistance from other dealers and have found both events enormously helpful in meeting new clients and colleagues.

Opening Times

By appointment only.


By appointment only
The Old Blackhorse,
Blackhorse Road,
Skeyton, Norwich
NR10 5DJ

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