Max Rutherston’s career began in the Impressionist and Modern Paintings Department of Sotheby’s London in 1979. Four years later he moved to 19th century European paintings, and throughout his eight years there he oversaw the paintings sections of the Russian sales. From 1987 to 1990 he dealt in mostly Modern British Paintings from a 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 he became head of that department. After ten years there he was lured 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 catalogues with Paul Moss.
In November 2010 he was joint organiser with Rosemary Bandini of the London Netsuke Symposium, after which the two of them went 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 organising the International Netsuke Society’s Convention in London, the two decided to go their separate ways, and Max Rutherston Ltd. was established.
Max has been a Director of Asian Art in London since its first year, and Chairman since 2010.