Christie’s is the largest auction house in the world, with offices in 46 different countries.
Becoming a Christie’s auctioneer is highly competitive. Every two years, up to 40 applicants are accepted, but only two or three will move on to private instruction.
John Hays has been an auctioneer for nearly four decades. Over his career he’s brought in nearly $1 billion in sales.
He showed us what it takes to be an art auctioneer at Christie’s.
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Following is a transcript of the video.
John Hays: Who will give me $275, $275, 80, say $80, $80, $80, $280, $280, now say now $290, $290, $290.
Narrator: This is John Hays, an auctioneer of nearly four decades.
Hays: Now $320, $320, $350, $380, $400, and $400 is that all? And sold American. That’s a tobacco auctioneer.
Narrator: John works for Christie’s. Founded in London in 1766, it’s the largest auction house in the world and now has offices in 46 different countries. But in John’s posh world of art dealings, selling to the highest bidder sounds a bit different.
Hays: An art auctioneer may say,$240, sir, thank you, sir, $240, $260, $260, at $200, $280, thank you, $280, and $300, thank you, $300, is that all? Selling then for $300, for $300, sold. Two very different approaches.
Narrator: John has worked more than 500 auctions in his 36-year career, bringing in about $1 billion in sales. He’s one of 56 auctioneers working worldwide for Christie’s. Together in 2018, they racked in $7 billion in sales. Some of the priciest sales have included a Harry Winston Pink Legacy ring that sold for $50.3 million, Picasso’s “Fillette à la corbeille fleurie” for $115 million, and in November 2017, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” sold for a record $450 million with …read more
Source:: Business Insider