We are a small, hardworking and friendly team, combining years of experience in the stringed instrument sector, distinguished London auction house, Christie’s, and fine dining to offer exceptional customer care, help and support throughout the entire valuation and auction process.
James Buchanan – Specialist
James’s introduction to stringed instruments was fourteen years ago when he joined the Musical Instrument Department at Bonham’s. James continued to gain experience in the string world working for or a prominent London dealer, Peter Biddulph, running the European Christie’s Musical Instrument Department and was a founding member of Brompton’s. James left Brompton’s in 2012 and drawing from years of experience in the traditional auction environment was keen to develop an online company. The string market is a small world yet has an international reach and James felt it was time to develop an online marketplace. Amati is the result and since being launched in 2013 has hosted over thirty auctions. James enjoys Italian food, cricket and good beer.
Sarah Buchanan – Director
Sarah’s personal assistant experience to the Chairman of Christie’s and then for the Goldsmith family developed and honed her management skills which have been transferred into running Amati. Sarah’s knowledge and understanding of the auction sector is broad enabling her to oversee the day to day management of the team. Sarah also oversees our large single owner collection auctions, of which we’ve had three, two of which have achieved 100% Lots sold. Sarah enjoys Formula 1, fine dining and Glyndebourne.
Oswald Knight – Specialist
Oswald has been with Amati from the start and is one of our specialists. Oswald, a fluent German speaker, tours around Germany valuing instruments, as well as Spain and the UK. He manages the auction cataloging process from start to finish and is always on hand at the auction viewings to help our buyers with any questions about buying instruments through auction. In his spare time, Oswald enjoys cricket, walking and Scottish reeling.
Simon Howes – Specialist
After studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Simon has had a successful career as a professional violinist. He travels the world recording and performing with all manner of different ensembles and artists. Over the years he has developed a passion for instruments and his unique position as a professional musician and an expert, along with his natural charm, make him a favourite with the clients. In his spare him Simon enjoys walking, entertaining and tending to his vegetable patches.
Oliver Bell – Administrator
Oliver trained and qualified as a luthier and in restoration. He now makes stringed instruments for local musicians and music shops. He joined Amati in 2015 and his roles include head of photography and the co-ordination of shipping. He also deals with the many questions people send in at auction time. Oliver enjoys playing the trumpet, tinkering with jet engines and snooker.
Charlott Fagergård – Events Manager
Charlott, originally from Sweden, settled in London after completing her business degree to pursue a career in fine dining and events management. Having previously owned and managed a very successful restaurant, Charlott joined Amati in January 2015 to manage The Amati Exhibition and all our off-site events. Charlott’s other key role is client liaison for which she excels at. Her experience in fine dining and a love for music made the transition from hospitality to Amati effortless. Charlott enjoys cooking, gardening and walking.
Kai Dase – German Specialist
Originally from North Germany, violin maker and expert Kai Dase has been learning his profession for over twenty years. He ran one of the UK’s busiest restoration workshops for nearly fifteen years and trained many restorers who now work all over the world. Today Kai spends most of his time in his own workshop in Lisbon making and restoring but continues to look after his clients in the UK and elsewhere. Kai helps with Germany valuations for Amati. In his spare time, Kai enjoys travelling, Argentine tango and classic cars.