Resurrecting Ritchies



A newly reborn Ritchies has been easing back into business in recent months and last night the once-great auction house threw itself a party to christen its brand new showroom at 777 Richmond Street West in Toronto and to celebrate its biggest sale since declaring bankruptcy in fall 2009.

With new owners and a new auction team headed by veteran Dirk Heinze, left, Ritchies is slowly rebuilding a reputation that was trampled by debt and disgrace. The former owner left a wake of furious lenders and consignors who were owed more than $8 million according to trustee records.

Heinze, president of the new Ritchies, made it clear to me last night that “no one from the former company is involved with the new Ritchies. We’ve made a fresh start with an excellent team and we are returning the auction house to respectability.”

Last night’s preview certainly felt like an event. A swish crowd mingled over an impressive inventory of items from the collection of renowned dealer Billy Jamieson, who passed away in 2011. From the tribal art that was his specialty to an eclectic array of art, vintage posters and lighting, Sunday’s sale qualifies as a bona fide event.

Heinze is clearly well-connected judging by last night’s crowd. I spoke with a woman who had consigned the contents of her deceased mother’s home to the dealer and expressed full confidence in his ability to get her fair prices and to settle the bill. Ritchies under Heinze is reviving its much-loved Discovery Sales although none are presently listed on the auctioneer’s website.

So take heart former Ritchies fans and flog the dead horse no more, she’s back on her feet and ready to run.

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Friday, November 16, 2012 by Chris
This post was written by - who has written 865 posts on styleNorth.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Carol Says:

    What great news – I heard it here first!

  2. Lisa from Wicked & Weird Says:

    Amazing – this is fabulous news! Not that I ever could afford anything at their auctions, but I always loved going to previews just to get a glimpse of the incredible art that is usually hidden away in private collections. :)

  3. Gus Says:

    Why resurrect the Ritchies name when it went down so badly? The reputation it left was not good. I imagine there are lots of people who are still owed money, and with the Ritchies name back on the scene how are they going to feel? Dirk worked at Waddingtons not too long ago and left to start his own auction house under his own name, which obviously is now a non entity. Does he need the Ritchies name to be successful? This all just seems a little weird to me.

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