Christie's auction house, London

Christie's auction house, London

Christie's auction house, London

Client: Christie's auction house, London
Type of works: installation of mobile shelving, doubling the existing storage space.

Christie’s is one of the world’s leading auctioneers specialising in fine art. The unusual size and shape of the auction lots presented E-Z-Rect with an interesting challenge in finding the optimum storage solution. Christie’s catalogues and stores auction lots prior to each sale, and the safe and secure storage of priceless examples of fine art and furniture is essential to prevent loss or damage.

Items vary from Old Master paintings and diamond encrusted clocks to Persian rugs and Chippendale furniture. Space is a common problem experienced by most businesses and Christie’s exceptional growth over the last 12 months had led to a serious space problem in a number of their UK sites. Christie’s was considering relocating to larger premises when E-Z-Rect provided them with an alternative solution to make better use of their existing storage areas.


  • Safe and secure
  • Space efficient
  • Cost effective
  • Unusual shapes and sizes
  • Ease of identification
  • Stock density

The solution involved the use of mobile shelving, which doubled the capacity of the existing space and avoided an expensive relocation. The cost of storage space in central London makes it essential to utilise every square inch and mobile shelving was the obvious choice to increase capacity whilst maintaining access and identification. The pay back on capital expenditure was estimated to be around 9 months based on the space saved and additional benefits included a more efficient storage area.

The frames of the Old Masters shown above are protected by linoleum that was applied to the shelves to provide a cushioning effect whilst allowing the paintings to be slid into each location.

The variety of size and shape of the auction lots required many different solutions, with flexibility being the common theme. E-Z-Rect’s Trim-Line® shelving system benefits from slim uprights and shelf beams that typically provides around 8% more storage capacity than similar shelving systems. Shelves are adjustable every 25mm and can easily be moved to provide apertures to suit the items being stored. Shelves are covered with carpet tiles to provide the valuable antiques with a soft and non-slippery storage surface.

Antique rugs of various sizes are accommodated within this racking system, which provides space for larger rolled carpets at floor level and shelf space for smaller rugs at high level. Wide shelf spans provide uninterrupted storage space and the heavy-duty racking allows the first shelf to be positioned at high level.

Furniture is awkward and cumbersome to store and cannot be stacked. This mobile shelving system provides wide deep shelves so that a wide range of items can be accommodated.

The system provides shelves that are 1.8m deep, which can be accessed from either side. Each shelving run is 11m long and can be moved easily by turning the hand wheel.

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