The period of lockdown has probably given many of us the opportunity to explore the furthest recessed of our attics. If the experience was anything like mine the finds would probably be limited to cobwebs, spiders (big spiders) and boxes of old curtains – but I did find a lovely Victorian parasol too! Whatever you found we know a man who will know its value, I had a chat to Thomas of Special Auction Services about his TV experiences and the joys of running an auction house during lockdown – and exciting times ahead…
TV programmes about auctions and auctioneers seem to have an enthusiastic and continuing following – how did you first get in front of the camera as opposed to behind the rostrum?
I was asked many moons ago by my manager back in 2000 if I wanted to be the auctioneer on a new show called Bargain Hunt with David Dickenson. I bought a new suit, shirt and tie and thought I looked the business, however then David walked in looking amazing!
I can’t watch those four shows back again, I was so rude about the teams buys butin hindsight they were actually very good. After that I was asked to be an expert, so the rest is history…..
The past year has been very difficult for so many businesses, how have you overcome the challenges?
They have been difficult – we’ve had to rearrange the saleroom to put in screens for live online bidding and take other precautions. The positives have been huge as it has been an opportunity to open out to a much wider audience. Auctions can now be viewed in person up to a week, and sometime as much as two weeks, before to give all our client space and time to look at all of the lots.
We are happy to welcome buyers to come back to the auctions, however, at the moment we are still politely asking buyers to bid from home while the virus is still present.
We have been carrying out lots of remote online valuations over zoom and WhatsApp or simply via phone calls. We are now happy to see clients in our saleroom for valuations but we do ask clients to make an appointment – Wednesdays in Newbury and Thursdays in Dudley
What is the hottest item in the saleroom currently?
Items which are hot are the really unusual ones…. we have the most fabulous French gold and steel miniature musical sewing clamp circa 1820 from Paris which is just an amazing piece. We also have fabulous collectibles such as a fighter jet seat….. the list goes on.
You have had so many amazing items under your gavel – what one thing would you have like to keep, might it be that Indiana Jones hat?
It has to be that! To be honest its the reason I became an auctioneer. Indiana Jones was my boyhood hero and that hat was just so special.
And finally, as we come out of lockdown what are you most looking forward to for Special Auction Services?
To be honest just seeing our clients for valuations and doing what we do best and helping those clients who need us…
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