My grandfather went to auctions on a regular basis – it is within the blood, and rising up I’d usually play the artwork public sale board sport, Masterpiece, with my household.
I turned concerned in antiques after I graduated from college – I did an Artwork Historical past diploma, then a Masters, pondering I would wish to work as a curator in an artwork gallery.
Whereas learning, I organized for the Antiques Roadshow knowledgeable Hilary Kay to return and discuss to us about collectables. She targeted on sleeing Jimi Hendrix’s Fender Stratocaster guitar at Sotheby’s, the place she was head of collectables. That was it, I used to be hooked.
I utilized for a job at Sotheby’s and began on the backside. I labored there for 9 years and have become a head of division. It gave me an awesome grounding for every part from dolls to globes, sundials and vintage marine devices and collectables.
We did the Geri Halliwell sale, the Spitting Picture sale, the Robbie Williams sale, and ran auctions at Exhausting Rock Cafe – heady instances.
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In 2003, whereas I used to be at Sotheby’s, I used to be approached by the BBC to do a display check for a brand new programme referred to as Flog It!. Some 20 years later, I’m nonetheless concerned in antiques sequence, filming for round 30 days a 12 months.
On the again of that, I arrange my very own public sale home, Catherine Southon Auctioneers & Valuers, in 2012. Till that time I had been working as an antiques marketing consultant and presenting programmes for the BBC.
Doing talks within the native space, I used to be usually requested, ‘The place’s the closest public sale room?’. As there wasn’t something close by, I made a decision to arrange by myself! It is now grown from being simply me to a employees of six.
The public sale home is my child. I’m on it 24 hours a day, plus weekends, and I wish to promote as a lot as I can on sale days, too. In any case, it’s my identify on the high.
I like coping with the general public, and valuation days are at all times nice enjoyable. Folks arrive clutching their baggage, usually with no thought of what’s inside.
One girl introduced out a Fabergé picture body from an M&S bag – it made £18,000 at public sale. One other household introduced a set of gorgeous jewelry design drawings in an album spanning the Nineteen Thirties to the Nineteen Sixties, created by their father who designed for London jewellers; it was a historic merchandise and remodeled £1,300.
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No two days are alike within the public sale world. Our open valuation days in Kent and Surrey are at all times my favorite. You by no means know what’s going to grace your desk and a few of the finest issues I’ve ever seen have come out of shabby grocery store provider baggage!
There’s nothing higher than lotting up a sale on a Monday night. When the cupboards are gleaming and able to view the following morning, I can lastly breathe a sigh of aid.
My favorite objects bought to this point have been a wonderful diamond ring that went for £27,140, and an actual Suffragette starvation strike medal that bought for £48,640 [both pictured below].
There was such a buzz within the room and I didn’t know when the bidding was going to cease. I’m not a collector, I purchase issues I like. At dwelling I’ve every part from an 18th-century microscope to a nest of classic Ercol tables.
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