This September sees the launch of London’s newest auction house, Elmwood’s, by young businessman and silver/jewellery specialist Samuel Hill, with the inaugural auction to take place on the 23rd September, 2pm at Notting Hill’s iconic Tabernacle venue, noted for its ties with culture and the arts. This comes at an interesting time for the market, with the recent closure of Christie’s South Kensington leaving a distinct gap in the West London auction scene.
The first sale will focus on Silver and Jewellery, with a selection of over 200 antique and modern pieces spanning three centuries of style and design, highlights including lot 117, a magnificent George II bread basket, the likes of which would originally have been reserved for the households of London’s elite (£4000-£6000 estimate), and an elegant Edwardian novelty brooch in the form of a lizard, its body jewelled with diamonds and garnets (£1500-£2500 estimate).
Samuel is building on his wealth of experience and contacts in the industry, having held head of department roles in other provincial auction houses, and hopes to build on his existing successes, which have seen over £1m of sales generated so far.
Samuel commented “I’ve had a great few years working with different auction houses, learning new things and meeting new people, but I’m definitely ready for my own venture. I want to pair the old with the new, antique with modern, and give our auctions a 21st Century twist”.
So why another auction house in a market where Christie’s can’t even justify keeping open their iconic South Kensington saleroom? Samuel’s extensive knowledge and unparallelled contacts allow for an offering quite different to that of CSK. “When you deal with Elmwood’s, you’re not buying into a company or an institution, you’re buying into something personal, you’re buying into me, my staff, our knowledge, our contacts.” - Samuel Hill
With a focus on the ultimate personal service, Elmwood’s will bring the opportunity for the Bond Street shopping experience to everyone who walks through their doors, regardless of their budget or background.
“I want to do away with the antiquated ways of the business which so often scare people off, and bring something fresh to the market. I’m scrapping complex fee structures for sellers to undercut my competitors, and will also be offering the lowest buyer’s premium of any auction house in London. I hope to make our auctions accessible to everyone, whether you have £50 or £500000 to spend.” - Samuel Hill
With simple fee structures and no hidden charges, Samuel hopes to bring a greater sense of transparency to what can be an intimidating industry, and is happy to undercut all competitors in order to offer the best value service possible whilst still meeting the standards of international art auction houses. It is a refreshing injection into the art industry, where competitors are seeking all the time to increase their fees, not decrease them. They believe that by replicating the Bond Street experience in their saleroom, they will win over customers who might normally prefer to shop in a retail environment.
“When people shop in big department stores and fancy jewellers, they’re going there for the experience, not the stock. We can offer the same stock - if not better - and if we can replicate the experience and get the word out, why shouldn’t they flock to us?” - Samuel Hill
Auctions will be held regularly in the Tabernacle, as well as regular free valuation days also taking place to consign for auction. Valuations will also be available free of charge by appointment at clients’ homes in and around London, and there are already some outstanding pieces lined up for closer to Christmas, including a magnificent diamond riviera necklace, estimated at £20,000- £30,000.
Other highlights of the inaugural sale include a selection of animal themed items - a pair of foxes head cufflinks, a fox tie pin, brooches modeled as crocodiles and lizards, a turtle pendant, a silver toast rack modeled as a swan, a silver pin cushion modeled as a duck, a silver salt cellar in the form of an elephant, and a large silver statue of a pheasant, with prices in the sale ranging from £20 to £6000.