Widely regarded as one of the industry's leading jewellery experts, Emily Barber is Director of Bonhams Jewellery Department in London. Prior to joining Bonhams in 2004, Emily worked for another international auction house where she was responsible for curating the antique jewellery auctions in London and was closely involved with the department sales in Geneva, Milan and New York.
Since becoming Department Director in 2009, Emily has been instrumental in guiding the jewellery department to be market leader in the UK, as well as consolidating the department's reputation for academic excellence in the discovery and research of antique jewels and gems of historical significance.
Emily has presided over a number of record breaking auction results, including the sale of 'The Hope Spinel' – a magnificent 50 carat spinel that once sat alongside The Hope Diamond in the great 19th century gem collection belonging to Henry Philip Hope. This historic jewel was sold to international acclaim by Bonhams London in September 2015 for a world record price of £962,500.
During her tenure, the department has presented exceptional historic jewellery collections. In September 2014, Emily oversaw the white glove sale of The Ceres Collection at Bonhams, the most significant group of cameos and intaglios to be seen on the market for several generations, which tripled its pre-sale estimate.
Renowned for her expertise and knowledge, Emily has regularly taught and lectured on the history of jewellery at leading institutions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In addition to being a published author, she regularly contributes press articles and has been interviewed for BBC Radio. Emily is also a specialist valuer for the Treasure Valuation Committee of Great Britain.