IL BANDITORE D’ASTA | Andrea CONCAS | ArteCONCAS
10 and 1, 10 and 2, 10 and 3, awarded! The role of the auctioneer. In the art world there are for sure a lot of fascinating professionals for the role that they cover and for the fact that there is very little talk about them. Among these we can find the auctioneer. Let’s discover this important role in the auction houses. Finally the awaited auction day has come some of the lots are exhibited in the hall, the staff is placed on the sides, some are ready for the telephone offers, others for the online ones, they are there at the end of the room, waiting under the currency converter board, the screen where the estimated price is shown in the various currencies. And right there, there is the rostrum, the podium where the orchestra director stands, he is the auctioneer. The auctioneer, even though it is a masculine word, is a sought-after role and covered by many professionalism in the auction houses that deal with the biggest sales in the world. It is a professional figure qualified to direct the auction, give start to the lots sale in the hall, keeping up with the offers and the biddings up to the award, declared by a hammer blow, which he constantly holds in hand. becoming an auctioneer, especially in the art world is not a simple path. The Christie’s auction house for example, every two years holds a course for auctioneers where up to 40 candidates are admitted, of which only two or three will be able to move forward to the actual training. Most auctioneers have a background in art history but also a skill that makes him an expert within one of many departments of the auction house. Before the auction, the auctioneer gets ready, learning about every single lot, with details on the works and artists. He also relies on his book, an actual bible on the auction secrets, a register where are recorded all the offers and the number of those to come only by phone, together with the estimated price of each lot and if the seller has set a minimum price or a reserve price. As far as he can be prepared, this professional must have cold blood and the ability to hold attention in the hall, keeping the rhythm of the offerings, where the prices increase up to 10 percent by changing according to the energy that the auctioneer perceives in the hall, and above all to the biddings, continuing to maintain a certain professionalism, but with a hint of humor to ease the tension that is arising in those moments. But the auctioneer after having theatrically challenged the potential buyers, urged by the biddings, seen the waving buyers’ palettes, after the threshold of the reserve price, finally reached the highest offer, he knocks the gavel down on the table, declaring the work sold. Another lot was presented and awarded. And you, did you know this professional role?