Guy Stair Sainty

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Guy Stair Sainty
Born (1950-12-07) 7 December 1950 (age 64)
Clayton Priory, Burgess Hill, Sussex, England
Education Westminster and The University of Law
Occupation Art dealer
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Pierson (m.1995),[1]
Children Charles; Clementine; Della; George; Julian; Arabella.
Parent(s) Christopher Lawrence Sainty and Virginia Cade Stair

Guy Stair Sainty, KC*SG (born 7 December 1950)[2] is an art dealer and author on royal genealogy and heraldry.

Life and education[edit]

Guy Stair Sainty was born on 7 December 1950, the son of Christopher Lawrence Sainty.[3] His father was Chief Engineer and Director of Carrier Engineering Co Ltd.[4] He attended Highfield School in Hampshire and Westminster School, London, and continued his education in Rome and at The College of Law in London.[3] In 1979, he moved to New York[5] and founded the Stair Sainty Gallery.[6]

After his first marriage, which produced his children Charles, Clementine and Della, ended in divorce in 1993 and ecclesiastical annulment, Sainty married Elizabeth Pierson, a private dealer in 19th and 20th century art in New York, in Washington on 28 May 1995[1] and in a second ceremony at the London Oratory on 28 September 1995. With Elizabeth he had three children, George, Julian and Arabella. In 2005 they founded Stair Sainty Ltd at a premises at 38 Dover Street, London W1S 4LN, which they share with two other art dealers, Edmondo di Robilant and Marco Voena.[7]

Sainty has a half-brother by his father's first wife, Sir John Sainty, retired Clerk of the Parliaments.

Published works[edit]

Sainty has contributed to many publications on art of the early modern period. He has written numerous articles on nobility, European royal dynasties, and orders of chivalry. In 1998 he assisted with the return of the Almanach de Gotha. Sainty also maintains a website detailing the histories of many chivalric orders. His published works include:

  • Sacred Military Order of Constantine of Saint George, 1976 (ISBN 8400042689)
  • First Painters of the King: French Royal Taste from Louis XIV to the Revolution, 1985
  • François Boucher: His Circle and Influence, 1987
  • The Orders of Chivalry and Merit of the Bourbon Two Sicilies Dynasty, a historical survey with the statutes and recent documents, 1989 (ISBN 8459927393)
  • Eighty Years of French Painting: 1775–1855, 1991
  • The Orders of Saint John, 1991
  • La Insigne Orden de Tosón de Oro, 1996
  • Romance and Chivalry: Literature and History Reflected in Early 19th Century French Painting, 1996 (ISBN 0954769619)
  • An Eye on Nature II: French Landscape Painting from 1785–1900, 1999 (ISBN 0952235323)
  • World Orders of Knighthood and Merit, 2006 (ISBN 0971196672)

Appointments, awards, and decorations[edit]

Sainty has been involved in the world of chivalry and heraldry for many years. He has served as leader of the International Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums,[8] and as one of three consultants to the Committee on the Orders of Saint John of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and The Alliance of the Orders of St. John of Jerusalem.[9] He is a Fellow with the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry.[10] Sainty is a correspondent member of the Real Academia Matritense de Heraldica y Genealogia(Royal Academy of Heraldry and Genealogy of Madrid)[11] and has served as a County Staff Officer (Sussex) in the St. John Ambulance. Sainty was later made an Officer, then an Associated Commander Brother of the Venerable Order of Saint John on 16 June 1989.[12] On 30 July 1992, he was promoted to the rank of (Associate) Knight in that Order,[13] being transferred to full membership with the change of Statutes in 1999, and served as Vice-Chancellor of the Priory in the US until June 2008.[14] He was formerly a member of the Savoy Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus[15] but resigned in 2006[citation needed] and is the Vice-Grand Chancellor of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George (Spanish branch), of which he is a Bailiff Grand Cross.[16] Sainty's armorial bookplate shows the membership insignia of the (Spanish) Order of St. Januarius, the Venerable Order of Saint John, the Order of St. Gregory the Great, the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, the Order pro merito Melitensi of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Order of Saint Joseph of Tuscany.[17] Sainty has also served as a senior county staff officer to H.R.H. Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia.[18]

Sainty is an armiger, having had arms granted by the College of Arms in London, matriculated at the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh, and certified by the Cronista de Armas in Spain. The blazon of these arms is Azure a Chief Gules over all in pale two Hippocampuses respectant Or and in the Azure two Keys palewise wards upwards and outwards the bows linked in Or.[19]

Libel suit by Rosario Poidimani[edit]

In December 2003, Rosario Poidimani brought a libel suit in Italy against Guy Stair Sainty on account of his published analysis of the claims of Maria Pia of Saxe Coburg Braganza and Rosario Poidimani, A Brief Response to Statements Made by the Supporters of the late Maria Pia de Saxe-Coburg-Bragança, her Grandson Carlos Miguel Berrocal y Blais, and her Alleged Cognate Rosario Poidimani in Respect of their Claims to the Throne of Portugal.[20] The Italian court ruled in Mr. Sainty's favour and found that the lawsuit against him was frivolous.[21] In August 2010, the initial judgment was reversed and the Italian Court of Vicenza ordered Sainty to pay twenty thousand Euro for defamation in this article.[22] This judgement is being appealed. In 2007, Poidimani was arrested on the charge of fraud in connection with the supposed sale of diplomatic passports which he claimed the right to issue as head of the Royal House of Portugal and president of the IIRD [1]. The Court of Busto Arsizio in the first instance sentenced him to 5 years in prison in January 2011, he has now appealed this judgment.[23] On 15 April 2013, the Court of Appeal of Milan has acquitted the pretender Rosario Poidimani of the various charges above because the crime does not exist, the offence is not, not having committed the crime, because the fact is not required by law as a crime and in one case for prescription to which the same Poidimani has already said he would appeal before the Court of Cassation to get the full absolution on the merits and the right compensation for damage suffered . Poidimani has also initiated a number of complaints and lawsuits against Duarte Pio and Portuguese government officials. [2]


  1. ^ a b "Class Notes". Colorado College. 1995. Retrieved 23 May 2007. 
  2. ^ Papal knights – Website of the Association of Papal Orders in Great Britain
  3. ^ a b "Miss Volk Weds Guy Stair Sainty". The New York Times. 5 February 1983. p. 12. Cynthia Holland Ash Volk, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Hohne Volk of New York and Quaker Hill, Pawling, N.Y., was married yesterday to Guy Stair Sainty, son of Mrs. Christopher Lawrence Sainty of London and the late Mr. Sainty. The Rev. James Whittemore performed the ceremony in the chapel of Trinity Episcopal Church in Manhattan....Mr. Sainty is president of Stair Sainty Fine Art Inc. in Manhattan, which specializes in French painting of the late 18th and 19th centuries. He attended the Westminster School in London and the University of Rome and graduated from the College of Law in London 
  4. ^ Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  5. ^ Powell, Robert Andrew (24 July 1997). "Diplomatic Impunity: Wouldn't you love to rub shoulders with a man who has been knighted by the Queen of England, honored by the Pope, and appointed our local Liberian ambassador? Of course you would!". The Miami New Times. Retrieved 18 September 2011. The native of Sussex, England, who has operated an art gallery in New York City since 1979, has published more than eleven academic texts, including The Orders of Saint John, an obscure but authoritative treatise on the Knights of Malta.. 
  6. ^ "Robilant + Voena". Robilant and Voena. Retrieved 5 June 2007. 
  7. ^ Haydu, Mark. "Patron Chapters". Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Unrecognized and Self-Styled Orders: Preventive Action Measures by Recognized Orders". The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. The American Society and The Priory in the United States of America of The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Mansel, edited by Philip; Riotte, Torsten (2010). Monarchy and exile : the politics of the absent ruler from Marie de Medici to Wilhelm II (1631–1941). Basingstoke: Palgrave. pp. xii. ISBN 9780230249059. He is a correspondent member of the Real Academia Matritense de Heraldica y Genealogia 
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 51767. p. 7104. 16 June 1989. Retrieved 29 November 2007.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 53005. p. 12843. 30 July 1992. Retrieved 29 November 2007.
  13. ^ "The Priory in the United States of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem" (PDF). Venerable Order of St John. 15 November 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 August 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2007. 
  14. ^ ": : Events : :". American Delegation of Savoy Orders. August 2003. Retrieved 25 May 2007. 
  15. ^ "Membership – Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George". Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George. 2007. Archived from the original on 20 May 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2007. 
  16. ^ "G Britain III". José Vicente de Bragança & J. Stewart LeForte. 15 May 1998. Retrieved 25 May 2007. 
  17. ^ "The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society – Nobility And Heraldry With Guy Stair Sainty on January 25th". The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. 2000–2007. Retrieved 11 June 2007. 
  18. ^ "Roll of Arms of rec.heraldry". Jérôme Grimbert. 1 January 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2007. 
  19. ^ A Brief Response to Statements Made by the Supporters of the late Maria Pia de Saxe-Coburg-Bragança, her Grandson Carlos Miguel Berrocal y Blais, and her Alleged Cognate Rosario Poidimani in Respect of their Claims to the Throne of Portugal
  20. ^ Poidimani S.A.R. Dom Rosario v Stair Sainty, Guy, Dott. GIUSEPPE BOZZA (Il Tribunale di Vicenza 8 May 2004) (“Il Tribunale di Vicenza, visto l'art. 669 terdecies cpc, in accoglimento del reclamo depositato in data 24.06.04 da Stair Sainty Guy, REVOCA il provvedimento ex art. 700 cpc del 4.06.04 emesso dal tribunale di Vicenza nella causa n. 8304/2003 RG e oggetto del presente reclamo.”).
  21. ^ "Il "principe" Poidimani batte il re dell'araldica". Il Giornale di Vicenza (The Journal of Vicenza) (in Italian) (Vicenza, Italy). 16 October 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2012. Rosario Poidimani ha vinto una causa civile per diffamazione contro il grande esperto americano di araldica Guy Stair Sainty, condannato dal tribunale a risarcire 20 mila euro di danno morale per avere utilizzato espressioni lesive della sua reputazione. (TRANSLATION: Rosario Poidimani won a civil suit for defamation against the great American (sic: Sainty is British) expert on heraldry Guy Stair Sainty, who was sentenced by the court to pay 20,000 euro for non-pecuniary damage for using expressions damaging his reputation) 
  22. ^ Il Giornale di – Home – Cronaca

External links[edit]