Neil Shuttleworth is a Director of SAS Auctions in Berkshire. He has a degree in Fine Art Valuation and previously worked for Sotheby’s in Amsterdam. Neil is a specialist for jewellery, watches, silver, antiques and fine art.
What are the current hot sellers in the auction room?
There are certainly a few areas in the auction world that are doing very well, and I would say certainly men’s watches and cameras are hot property at present, along with the Chinese porcelain.
What antiques do you have at home?
I have a smattering of furniture, ceramics and glass, and I am allowed a small display cabinet for my collection of silver.
What piece would you love to sell in the auction room?
I really like the work of the silversmith Gerald Benney. Selling an important piece by him would be wonderful.
What has been your most exciting sale so far?
We have sold some amazing things over the past ten years since taking over SAS. One sale that sticks in my mind is a Middle Eastern Turkomen rug that was heavily damaged and estimated very low and went on to a magic carpet ride price!
Will people go to auction houses in 20 years or will sales all be online?
There will definitely still be traditional auction houses in 20 years. The technology will certainly improve, however, people will need to be able to view in person.
Tell us some trade secrets – what are you top tips for being at an auction?
Personally, I always say go and view it if you can and leave a bid with the auctioneer
Will brown furniture make a comeback?
I wish I had a crystal ball. Some brown furniture is holding its own, but it has to be good. I would hope that there is still enough people out there who appreciate the quality of some pieces
Where are you favourite antique hunting destinations?
Unfortunately I don’t get the chance much, but when I do go, I like to go to Hungerford as there are quite a few dealers, and occasionally I get around the auction houses
Young people don’t like antiques – agree or disagree?
Disagree. I personally think most people can appreciate it, however giving it house space is a different kettle of fish.
What’s the future for the trade?
We will definitely see progression in the online selling capability with use of video and bidding technology. There will always be collectables that will spike and fluctuate in value as different generations buy back their youths, and the classic antiques market will continue to be doing well as long as it is quality, quality, quality.