Catch them early – that’s what they say. Well, one auctioneer has taken this to heart more than anyone else that I have heard of before as he handed the gavel to his three-year-old daughter.
Jasmyne Sitter took to the rostrum on January 2 in Michigan to close the bidding on an artwork after being lifted up there by her father Jordan, Prinicipal Auctioneer for Park West Gallery.
“Sold” she cried out, clearly delighted with her starring role.
OK, it may have just been a bit of fun, but I’m willing to bet that this moment will prove to be an enduring memory for young Jasmyne and thrilling enough to sow the seeds of curiosity in her father’s choice of career. In another 20 to 25 years, we may well see her conducting the entire auction, and that makes me think of who else might be running the world we love by then.
In other words, what makes a good auctioneer?
Assuming traditional live auctions will continue to take place by then – and I think they will regardless of how much timed online auctions come to dominate – it is certain that any auctioneer worth their salt will still have to be a bit of a showman (or woman). It is not just the art and antiques themselves that attract keen bidding, it is also the sense of occasion and the ability of the Master of Ceremonies (for that is what an auctioneer is) to generate the atmosphere and enthusiasm, to be able to read a crowd and, in keeping proceedings lively and competitive, not to lose sight of bids as they come in.
Jasmyne has plenty of promise; I’m almost certain she’ll be among them.