Guy Stair Sainty

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Guy Stair Sainty
Born (1950-12-07) 7 December 1950 (age 69)
Clayton Priory, Hassocks, Sussex, England
EducationWestminster School
Alma materUniversity of Rome
College of Law
OccupationArt dealer
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Pierson (m.1995),[1]
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 is 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]

He married, firstly, on 5 February 1983, Cynthia Holland Ash, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Hohne Volk of New York City and Quaker Hill, Pawling, New York State, in the chapel of Trinity Episcopal Church in Manhattan, New York City.

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 is a Fellow with the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry.[8] Sainty is a correspondent member of the Real Academia Matritense de Heraldica y Genealogia (Royal Academy of Heraldry and Genealogy of Madrid).[9] He has served 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.[10]

Sainty has served as a County Staff Officer (Sussex) in the St. John Ambulance. He was first appointed an Associate Officer (Brother), then promoted to an Associated Commander (Brother) on 16 June 1989,[11] and again promoted to the rank of Associate Knight of the Venerable Order of Saint John on 30 July 1992.[12] He was 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.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15] Sainty has also served as a senior county staff officer to H.R.H. Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia.[16] He was formerly a member of the Savoy Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus[17] but resigned in 2006[citation needed] and is the Vice-Grand Chancellor of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George (Hispano-Neapolitan branch), of which he is a Bailiff Grand Cross.[18]

On 15 January 2014, Sainty was awarded the rank of Commander (Encomienda) of the Order of Isabella the Catholic by King Juan Carlos I and received unrestricted permission to wear the decorations on 27 July 2017.

Libel suit by Rosario Poidimani[edit]

In December 2003, Rosario Poidimani sued Sainty in Italian court for libel, on account of his published analysis of the claims to the Portuguese throne of Maria Pia de Saxe-Coburgo e Bragança and Rosario Poidimani.[19] In March 2016, the Italian Court of Appeal of Venice decided in Sainty's favour, rejecting the claim of Poidimani. (No. 730/2016 published 30/03/2016, RG n. 2667/2010, Repert. n. 680/2016 del 30.03.2016.)


  1. ^ a b "Class Notes". Colorado College. 1995. Archived from the original on 2 April 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
  2. ^ Papal knights Archived 6 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine – 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. ^ "Patrons and Members".
  8. ^ 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 GenealogiaCS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "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. Archived from the original on 24 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  10. ^ "No. 51767". The London Gazette. 16 June 1989. p. 7104.
  11. ^ "No. 53005". The London Gazette. 30 July 1992. p. 12843.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "Roll of Arms of rec.heraldry". Jérôme Grimbert. 1 January 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
  14. ^ "G Britain III". José Vicente de Bragança & J. Stewart LeForte. 15 May 1998. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ ": : Events". American Delegation of Savoy Orders. August 2003. Archived from the original on 26 September 2004. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ [1]

External links[edit]