As specialist and head of department, he has overseen…
As specialist and head of department, he has overseen many high-profile sales: one early favourite was The Albin Schram Collection of Autograph Letters (July 2007), described in 100-point type by one newspaper as ‘the greatest letters ever written’; but his favourite single lot is undoubtedly the wonderful autograph of J.S. Bach’s prelude, fugue and allegro for lute, BWV 998, which sold for just over £2.5m in July 2016. In recent years he has developed a fascination for the life and works of Albert Einstein, sealed when he sold Einstein’s iconic leather jacket in July 2016 (£110,500); and in 2017 he launched a series of online sales of the extraordinary correspondence between Einstein and his closest friend, Michele Besso. Building on the succss of these sales, he has developed an ongoing online auction series under the title On the Shoulders of Giants, devoted to letters, offprints and association objects by the great scientists from Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin to Einstein and Stephen Hawking.
Thomas is one of the UK’s leading specialists in the valuation and sale of archives: notable sales have included the original manuscripts for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the ‘A’ manuscript of the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, the archives of prime ministers and politicians including George Canning and Edward Heath, and papers of soldiers, scientists, industrialists and opera companies, as well as many family and estate archives. He has a particular expertise in the Acceptance In Lieu process.
A graduate of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Thomas speaks fluent English and French. His interest in Anglo-French cultural exchange is reflected by his work as Chair of the Rimbaud & Verlaine Foundation.