In over 30 years as an auctioneer at Christie’s, Hugh has conducted more than 2,300 auctions, selling some 300,000 lots for a total sum in excess of £2 billion. The highlight of his career in the rostrum came in Hong Kong in November 2014 when he sold a 15th Century Chinese Imperial embroidered Thangka for HK$348 million (£28.9 million), the world record for any Chinese work of art sold by an international auction house.
Hugh has auctioned works of art from a number of historic collections including those of H.R.H. the late Princess Margaret, the Spencer collections at Althorp, and the Elizabeth Taylor Collection in New York. Further interesting and unusual highlights have included Audrey Hepburn’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” dress which sold in December 2006 for £467,000; the oldest existing F.A. Cup which sold for £478,400 in May 2005 and Ursula Andress’s bikini from James Bond’s Dr No for £41,000 in February 2001.
Hugh is a much sought after auctioneer for high profile national and international charity auctions and throughout his career has conducted over 650 sales and has helped raise in excess of £74 million for charitable causes. Hugh has conducted charity auctions all around the world, including in Bahrain, Chandigarh, Moscow, New Delhi, Paris, New York, Geneva, Monaco, Dubai, Doha, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Mumbai, and Casablanca. In 2005, he was chosen to conduct the BBC’s inaugural televised celebrity auction in aid of Children in Need. In 2008, he conducted the auction for Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday Gala in London, selling the eight lots for a total of £4.3 million.
Hugh joined Christie’s in 1978. In 1984, he became Head of the Furniture Department at Christie’s South Kensington and in the same year conducted his first auction.
After three years as Deputy Chairman, Hugh was appointed Chairman of Christie’s South Kensington in 1999. In 2006 Hugh was appointed as Christie’s International Auctioneer.