Investment banking and asset management
Greek financier Dimitri Mavrommatis owns Art Deco furniture (including a $1.4 million pair of “Gonse” armchairs by the master craftsman Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann), 18th-century Sèvres porcelain, African sculptures, and modernist paintings. Intriginguly, he attributes the diversity of his collection to quitting smoking. When he worked at Salomon Brothers in the 1980s, he would go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York instead of having a cigarette on his breaks. There, he saw all kinds of art that piqued his curiosity. Someone should put him in an anti-smoking ad: his collection now includes Henri Matisse’s Odalisques Playing Checkers and Pablo Picasso’s Woman With a Blue Robe, in addition to notable works by Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, and Christopher Wool, to name just a few.
He’s a collector who keeps his valuables close—more specifically, within eyesight; his apartment building on the Avenue Georges Mandel in Paris showcases 70 Sèvres vases and 18th-century gilt furniture. “I should see a psychologist,” he told the Wall Street Journal in 2016. “How does a person go from Sèvres to gemstones, from Greek antiquities to Old Masters to Deco?” Despite having such a close attachment to many of the pieces he owns, he has also been involved in offering work at auction. In 2014, he sold a rare Graff ruby ring at Sotheby’s. Prized for its “pigeon’s blood” shade of red, the 8.62-carat ruby went for about $6.8 million. And among his many jobs, he has served on advisory boards for both Christie’s and Sotheby’s.