An Auctioneer's Lot
by Damien MatthewsEntries Posted Weekly on Fridays
Knowing the blogs were neglected for the past few months I made a new year’s resolution, one a week, hell or high water. It’s February 19th, 2016 and still not a child washed. Truth is, we’ve been exceptionally busy; general valuations, probate valuations, dealing with executors, the lining up of auctions, all supply a fair [...]
Took time during the summer to visit Haywood Gardens in County Laois. Once part of the Haywood Estate (the main house unfortunately gutted with flame in 1950) they are now, given their importance, relatively forgotten. A disappointment, part is a rare surviving Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869 – 1944) commission. Sadly only a portion of this [...]
Recently we conducted a house clearance auction in Donegal. Lovely people. Thought I’d treat it as a busman’s holiday and spend the week relaxing amongst scenery I rarely visit. Of course it didn’t work out that way but I did take time to visit Glebe House, the home of Derek Hill. A now deceased portrait [...]
Hidden Ireland, a select listing of superior accommodations, is a fine resource for a man of my occupation – someone whose regularly traverses the country on valuations, but who also wishes to keep the comforts of home. Pleasant interiors in historic Irish houses allow restful sleep while their hearty breakfasts set up the day [...]
It’s definitely creeping back in. Over the past six years all was death. The phone goes, executor on the line, old Aunty Maura recently marched off the human coil needs her house cleared. Now though, mostly due to the upturn, separations & divorces are making headways again.
In the tough times of the recent past [...]
One summer as a child I worked in an abattoir, herding nervous sliding beasts one at a time to the grip. Clean shot, a bolt, the chain rattled across the ceiling, and surprisingly – given the weight, hoisted away like butterflies. Vroom, Vroom, the chain sawed, now they really were butterflies. Destined for our tables.
I’m very, very careful about what we accept for sale. Have to, antiques, art, jewellery and all the rest don’t come with logbooks or owner’s certs. Every day judgements have to be made, not just of value but sometimes character. It’s rare enough that I’d turn something down because of a personality type – selling [...]
“With the jawbone of an ass, heaps and heaps, with the jaw of an ass, I have slain a thousand men. I smote them hip and thigh. The people then rose as one man and followed me. Now, speak Lord speak, thy servant hereth”.
These words of Samson came to me as I stood in [...]
Opportunity Doesn’t Knock Anymore, It Rings, a catchy advertising by-line that caught my eye the other day. And it does. The telephone more or less constantly on the go now. Conservatively I’d estimate that 60% of our business comes via the telephone from people I’ve never met but to whom we’ve been recommended. A nice [...]
Onwards we reached Cork in time for dinner with Tim & Darina Allen. Super foodies and super great nosh, a fun night with plenty of entertaining non-food conversation. Ending it all, a fine bottle of Vintage 1985 Taylors Port, most of which I greedily snaffled. There’s a very mis-directed theory that you mustn’t drink the [...]