My peripatetic career in art began in the Impressionist and Modern Paintings Department of Sotheby’s London in 1979. Four years later I moved to 19th century European paintings, and throughout my 8 years in pictures at Sotheby’s I also oversaw the paintings sections of the Russian sales. From 1987 to 1990 I dealt in mostly Modern British Paintings from an upstairs gallery in New Bond Street, and in 1992-1993 spent a year studying the Japanese language as a prelude to rejoining Sotheby’s London in its Japanese Department. In due course I became head of that department. After 10 years there I left to join Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London’s oldest Asian art gallery, to help manage the gallery and run the Japanese side of the business, in addition to writing several luxurious catalogues with Paul Moss.
In November 2010 I was joint organiser with Rosemary Bandini of the London Netsuke Symposium, after which we decided to go into business together as Rutherston & Bandini Ltd., a dynamic partnership which rapidly established itself as a major force in the netsuke field. In the summer of 2013, after hosting the International Netsuke Society’s Convention in London, the two of us decided to go our separate ways, and Max Rutherston Ltd. was established. I was a Director of Asian Art in London from its first year, and was Chairman from 2010 to 2014.
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