Helping to make auctions understandable

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Choosing a dissertation subject was very hard, but after much deliberation I decided upon Professional Practices – or, in laymen’s terms, what one would need to know to work in an auction house.

Many of my fellow students chose an easier route, selecting an artist like Monet or a designer like William Morris as their chosen subject.

But whilst all knowledge is beneficial, I wondered how many ‘professional’ doors it would open, if any, to know all there was to know about these people.

I decided to tackle a harder subject, but one that would hopefully pay dividends once in the workplace.

My lecturers tried to persuade me to tackle something easier as there were no reference books available on ‘professional practice’ - the only one in existence was written back in 1967.

Therefore most of my research would have to be interviewing auctioneers, solicitors, loss adjusters and producing my own methods and practices.

Whilst I was very pleased with my 15,000-word dissertation, I didn’t get the mark I’d hoped for. But I did manage to land a job in an auction house.

Fast-forward 10 years and shortly after my first appearance on BBC’s Cash In The Attic, I was approached to write and present an instructional DVD called Buying And Selling Antiques At Auction.

Over the years plenty of people had told me that they’d love to attend auctions but felt shy, embarrassed or just lacked the confidence to take the plunge.

Here was a chance to produce something to encourage the layman to start buying and selling.

Out came the old dissertation and many dusty old reference books, and I set about rewriting it with complete novices in mind.

I was very pleased with the finished product, separated into two parts, buying and selling, with an easy-to-navigate title menu allowing you to go back to certain parts until the knowledge sinks in.

I know News readers love watching antiques shows on TV, but many still tell me they have never been to an auction before.

Well you’re invited to visit our saleroom where you can claim a FREE copy of the DVD Buying And Selling Antiques At Auction Made Easy,

Just come along to Nesbits, in Clarendon Road, Southsea (postcdoe PO5 2ED) and quote ‘ANTIQUES DVD’ to get your copy.