The Magellan Centre welcomes enquiries from all international customers. For Chinese and South East Asian customers we confirm we are able to translate and respond to most email requests or queries in Chinese and other Asian languages. Our Auction Catalogues should be available as a Chinese translated version up to three weeks prior to each auction sale date.
The Magellan Centre is a small auction and study centre located within the Swinton Park Estate in North Yorkshire and it's current growth and development schedule is designed for completion in 2021.
Swinton Park Castle is the ancestral seat of the Earl of Swinton and its history dates from the late 1600 and includes that of Lister Mills — one of 19th century Europe’s largest silk factories.
The Magellan Centre is a division of The Centre for Early Furniture and Art Ltd, and was inspired by the visions of furniture historians Louise Forster and the late Victor Chinnery, author of ‘Oak Furniture, The British Tradition’. Victor's work at the initial stages of the business helped Louise to create the foundations of the Centre, and his books and scholarly works in relation to early English furniture continues to provide important reference points for it's experts.
Louise is a well-regarded furniture historian with extensive knowledge in relation to the impact of silk route trade on Western art. Louise studied fine art and art history at Newcastle and graduated in 1982. Having worked as an independent expert for over 30 years, building valuable private collections of early furniture and art for corporate and private clients, much of Louise’s work has involved finding, appraising and successfully purchasing, extremely rare items at auction at a national and international level. Louise is the senior director of The Magellan Centre.
Dr Philippe Smolarski is the Senior Director of The Magellan Centre's Asian Arts department and brings to the team performance 25 years’ experience within the oriental market.
Philippe is especially knowledgeable in art of the Steppes, Western Asiatic and Chinese archaeology, and received the title of Honorary Doctor of the Institute of History, from the Mongolian Academy of sciences. While working as the director of the Richard Liu Foundation, the European Institute of Chinese Studies in Brussels, between 1999 and 2006, he was engaged in the institute’s aim to forge connections between Europe and China in the areas of arts and culture. Philippe is French and speaks English, Chinese, and Russian.
In relation to team performance, The Magellan Centre is a combination of senior experts and general valuers who are based on-site at Swinton, also a slightly larger group who work remotely. The Magellan Centre experts are supported in their work by a group of young valuers, designers, systems operators and art handlers, who are also available to help with clients practical requirements on-site in relation to valuations, auction previews and throughout auction days.
The Magellan Centre’s interests are in simplest terms beautiful and historically relevant works of art from all around the world. Also, how different artistic styles and cultures have influenced one another often as a result of exploration, war and commerce.
All of these interests are reflected by the items which we sell through our auctions.
Through The Centre’s visual marketing, and research which leads to our experts’ catalogue descriptions, we also make contributions within our capacities as a relatively small team of professionals, which we hope helps open up fascinating history to all.
The Magellan Centre team ethos includes safeguarding the trust and interests placed in us by our clients, integrity, honesty, teamwork and ethical business.