The annual competition, co-sponsored by Antiques Trade Gazette, featured nine auctioneers battling it out for a place as one of three finalists to take part in an after-dinner auction at the NAVA Forum on October 4 at the Oxford Belfry.
The competition pitted property, chattels and livestock auctioneers against each other to take an auction with the audience playing ‘bidders’ – with regular interruptions to test the hopefuls’ knowledge and composure under fire.
Lots that the competitors had to drum up interest in included a diesel generator, a timber-framed holiday cottage, a set of beachside toilets in Mevagissey and a Duoguang period and mark Chinese vase.
The judging panel – former Christie’s gavel master and freelance auctioneer Hugh Edmeades, property auctioneer Philip Arnold and Essential Information Group managing director David Sanderman – watched the proceedings closely, whittling the line-up down to three.
The after-dinner competition comprised a chattels-only final between Christie’s Georgina Hilton, Thomas Keane from The Swan at Tetsworth and Fieldings Auctioneers’ Alex Froggatt. It included a real-life charity auction with proceeds going to a hospice charity.
Hilton was victorious and was awarded The Competition Rose Bowl and a gavel sponsored by Clive Emson Auctioneers.
She joined Christie’s in 2013 and currently works in the Old Master Paintings department, becoming the most recent addition to Christie’s auctioneer team.