THE NEW WAVE

From the thrill of sale day to the sat­is­fac­tion of un­cov­er­ing a forgo en trea­sure, El­lie Ten­nant meets three trail­blaz­ing auc­tion­eers un­der 30 who are al­ready mak­ing names for them­selves

Homes and Antiques Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Meet three young auc­tion­eers un­der 30, brim­ming with pas­sion and po­ten­tial

To be a suc­cess­ful auc­tion­eer, you need a wide va­ri­ety of skills. As well as be­ing con !dent and quick-wi"ed when in charge of a busy salesroom, and able to main­tain an air of pos­i­tiv­ity and oc­ca­sion whether you’re sell­ing an item worth £100 or £10,000, there are also psy­cho­log­i­cal and so­cial care as­pects to the job. O$en, auc­tion­eers are let into peo­ple’s homes at di %cult times, so you have to be able to tread care­fully and be sen­si­tive, as well as thor­ough. The young auc­tion­eers pro! led here have all honed these skills and demon­strated great nat­u­ral & air for this di­verse and chal­leng­ing job at an im­pres­sively young age. With the drive to keep the salesrooms buzzing, these auc­tion­eers are in­spi­ra­tional ex­am­ples in the trade. Joseph Trinder, of Daw­son’s, fell in love with auc­tion house life at just 14 and be­came the pres­i­dent of NAVA Prop­er­ty­mark (Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Val­uers and Auc­tion­eers) two years ago, aged just 23. Chloe Wood, of Mal­lams, has been carv­ing a name for her­self in the in­dus­try since her late teens, too, while Ed­ward Wat­son, of J Stu­art Wat­son, is work­ing hard to en­sure his fam­ily busi­ness thrives for years to come. Hav­ing grown up with the in­ter­net, they aren’t phased by the dig­i­tal realm. Ges­tur­ing to the cam­era and en­sur­ing that on­line bid­ders feel ev­ery bit a part of the ex­pe­ri­ence as the bid­ders who are present is an im­por­tant skill and one that comes nat­u­rally to these tech-savvy young­sters who have never known any di #er­ent.

Ed­ward Wat­son, !", Kent

My par­ents run an auc­tion house and my fa­ther has been an auc­tion­eer all of his life, so I spent my child­hood in and around the salesroom. I’ve been work­ing full time with my dad for !ve years – he brings the knowl­edge and I bring the en­ergy!

‘Auc­tion day is very ex­cit­ing. We have a sale once a fort­night and han­dle be­tween 1,600-2,000 lots each sale – ev­ery­thing from ce­ram­ics and jew­ellery to fur­ni­ture and art. It a"racts an ex­tremely di­verse crowd. The study of the peo­ple is al­most as in­ter­est­ing as the stu # it­self.

‘A lot of my time is spent out and about on the road, vis­it­ing peo­ple who are look­ing to sell things or deal­ing with pro­bate sit­u­a­tions. It’s hard work. There’s many a long day and it’s very phys­i­cal – a lot of heavy li $ing and shi $ing around.

Some­times you drive a long way to value the fam­ily sil­ver and you’re imag­in­ing thou­sands of pounds worth of salvers and teapots – and when you ar­rive, it’s a few spoons and a sil­ver­plated tea set. Re­gard­less of the in­trin­sic value, these things have sen­ti­men­tal value for peo­ple. You have to re­main hon­est and po­lite.

‘ We did a lo­cal house clear­ance re­cently and there was a wardrobe in a shed, with no pan­els in the doors. It was very beaten up and looked like a chicken run. As we moved it away from the wall, we saw it was la­belled on the back: ‘ E.W. God­win’ – a fa­mous Arts and Cra s fur­ni­ture maker. It went on to make £3,000 at auc­tion!

‘Some­times peo­ple are sur­prised when you knock on the door and you’re a younger per­son but, as long as you can demon­strate your knowl­edge, it’s never a prob­lem. Fur­ni­ture is my spe­cial­ist area – older oak in par­tic­u­lar. I like 20th- cen­tury pieces, par­tic­u­larly by Dan­ish and English de­sign­ers. I bought a rose­wood side­board by Gor­don Rus­sell that I love.

‘Our fam­ily busi­ness doesn’t have on­line bids yet, but I work free­lance for the-sale­room.com and the new gen­er­a­tion of auc­tions is mainly on­line, par­tic­u­larly for spe­cial­ist sales. You only have a hand­ful of bid­ders in the room and the rest are on­line. Younger deal­ers seem to pre­fer to buy on­line be­cause they can buy from a wider range of auc­tion houses. Over the next few years, we’re hop­ing to move J Stu­art Wat­son Auc­tion­eers into on­line sales, too, and I think my age will be an ad­van­tage for that be­cause some older auc­tion­eers strug­gle to un­der­stand how it could help their busi­ness.’

‘Over the next few years, we’re hop­ing to move into on­line sales and I think my age is an ad­van­tage.’

Ed­ward Wat­son is an Auc­tion­eer and Sale­room Man­ager at J Stu­art Wat­son Auc­tion­eers & Val­uers. 01622 692515; js­tu­art­wat­son.com

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