Jack Austerberry, a former Ellesmerian, proved his skill in the world of auctioneering after making the final of a prestigious competition.
At just 19, Jack is the youngest specialist at Shropshire’s Halls Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers and took to the rostrum as a finalist in this year’s NAVA Propertymark Novice Auctioneer of the Year. The competition is aimed at all auctioneers and valuers starting out on their careers in the profession. The finalists were involved in a bidding sequence arranged to demonstrate saleroom occurrences and to test their knowledge, skill and presence on the rostrum. Unfortunately, when the gavel fell, the winner of the event was announced as David Henwood of Clive Emson Auctioneers.
Jack found his passion for horology – the art of making clocks and watches – while completing his A Levels at Ellesmere College in Shropshire, demonstrating his flair for entrepreneurship early on. He built and sold antique watches while studying and decided to focus on a career specialising in timepieces with Halls when he turned 18, making him one of the youngest specialists in the industry.
Jack’s profile on the Halls website describes him as the head of watches, adding: “Having joined us in November 2018 at just 18, he is the youngest specialist we have, but don’t let his age lead you to think he is lacking in the necessary knowledge.”
Maryanne Lineker-Mobberley, of Halls’ Fine Art Department said: “Jack’s been showing great promise since joining us straight after school, as a junior watch specialist. He’s curated two Halls watch auctions already, including the sale of a 1969 Cartier Tank in 18ct gold, which went for £11,000, and a 1968 Omega Speedmaster which fetched £3,200.”
Commenting on the competition, Jack commented: “I was delighted to make it through to the final stages of the competition; it was a great experience. I have learnt so much since joining Halls and look forward to making further appearances on the rostrum – it’s an amazing feeling.”
The final also acted as a fundraiser, with £1,700 being raised for Centrepoint, a charity which helps to combat homelessness.
Words by Riana Dixon