Early start these days, our annual Headfort auction just nine days away but we’re on the ball with over five hundred and fifty lots already booked in. Seven o’clock, and I push away the paperwork for my first cup. Crop circles stain the scuffed leather of the desk piled high with booking in dockets for this sale. We have over one hundred and seventy different consignors for it, a record. And what a selection, literally every county represented. For the past month I’ve been away every day on rounds of valuations. The Marquess of Headfort’s family motto does seem apt for this auction, the translation, He Obtains Whatever He Seeks! But it was comforting to be back in the office for a full day yesterday, the stove pushing out the heat. But from today onwards we’re all in Headfort House full-time, lotting up all those gatherings.

From one unassuming Roscommon farmhouse came twenty lots for this sale, real jewels. Most a little bashed up but lovely things. Dream call. Seriously surprising. The grandmother died forty years ago and they just boarded up the place. The walls, now leaning in around the contents, shifted those boarded windows. And just as the crows began to fly in we pulled out those twenty entries. Along with another seventy lesser (but still interesting) lots which we’ll offer in our next general monthly auction. Amazing how old houses can deteriorate if they don’t feel a touch of heat every now and then.

The grandson, a man of my own vintage, has plans to do it up. Asked him how much he’d be happy to see the contents fetch, “Sure, if we got ten thousand it’d be a great help so it would”. He’s in for a nice surprise. Great break in the weather too. A neighbouring farmer swears to me it’s here for a month, just like last year. Hope so, Headfort exceptionally glorious in fine weather, it really is. And indeed a privilege for us to be allowed hold our annual April auctions there.

Damien Matthews


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