Emily Barber is Department Director of Bonhams Jewelry Department in London. She is recognized as one of the UK's leading jewelry experts.
Emily joined Bonhams in 2004 having previously worked for another auction house where she was responsible for curating bi-annual antique jewelry auctions in London as well as supporting important jewelry auctions in Geneva, Milan and New York.
Over the past ten years, Emily has been has been instrumental in assisting the jewelry department to become market leader in the UK as well as consolidating the London jewelry department's reputation for academic excellence in terms of selling antique jewels and gems.
During her career to date, Emily has been involved with the research and sale of many valuable and historic jewelry collections. One of her career highlights has been the discovery and successful sale of a 'lost' Marlborough gem: a rare 16th century citrine cameo of Phillip II of Spain which sold for £62,400 in December 2008. More recently, there was the sale of an exceptional 15th century diamond ring, one of the earliest examples of its kind, for £42,000 in 2011.
Emily is a leading expert on the jewels of 20th century distinguished British jeweler Sah Oved. Bonhams has handled the sale of many unique creations by this important 1930s and highly collectable jeweler who rarely signed her work, including the gold "Lion of Judah" cuff bangle, worn by British writer Marghanita Laski in her portrait by Jacob Epstein in 1936, which fetched £22,800 in 2007.
In September 2014, Emily oversaw the sale of The Ceres Collection at Bonhams, the most significant of cameos and intaglios to be see on the market for several generations. The Collection was 100% sold and tripled the pre-sale estimate.
Given her acquired knowledge and expertise, Emily has regularly taught and lectured on the history of jewelry at leading institutions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She has been a contributor to BBC Radio and is a published author. Emily is also an independent valuer for the Treasure Valuation Committee of Great Britain that examines gold and silver objects over 300 years old that have been found by the general public in the British countryside.