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Auction house combines old with new
THE region's oldest auction house has set its sights on growth as it combines tradition with a 21st century strategy to bring it bang up to date.
In a bid for success, Thomas Watson Auctioneers and Valuers has appointed its first business development manager and announced the launch of a new quarterly fine art and antiques auction as well as an online live bidding portal.
The 172-year-old business, based at the Gallery Saleroom in Darlington's Northumberland Street, has added to its seven-strong team with the appointment of David Elstob.
Mr Elstob, who has worked in antiques for more than a decade, believes that the demand is there for online and high value auctions.
He expects the business will see significant growth as a result of launching the real time online bidding facility, and the fine art and antiques sales, later this year.
"Thomas Watson is an established saleroom, with a rich history and a strong reputation," he said.
"I am keen that we build upon this, but add to it a more progressive and up-to-date approach to business.
"The aim is to grow the business - get bigger and bigger - and make sure that Thomas Watson is the name on peoples' lips and the place they choose to come and buy their items."
Mr Elstob aims to have the new live bidding portal set-up in time for the next fortnightly auction on September 4.
The feature will allow buyers to submit real-time bids for items as they are presented in the salesroom, opening up the auction to people from across the world.
The launch of quarterly antiques auctions is planned for Saturday, 13 October.
He said: "We really do believe that by blending the good old-fashioned service we're renowned for, with a modern approach to selling, we will be able to do just that."