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Issue 116 - Creating the mood

Whisky Magazine Issue 116
December 2013


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Creating the mood

A round up from the auction world

Selecting the correct order of lots in a whisky catalogue is essential to the smooth running of an auction. Auction houses desire to manage the tone perfectly to ensure maximum bidding occurs. This involves balancing expensive lot items throughout the sale and ensuring a regular rhythm from start to finish like a verse and chorus. Some longer catalogues will have a middle eight, which may be a run of miniatures, wines or other spirits (I'm noticing more vintage gins appearing). A glut of one brand or bottling can overwhelm buyers and kill the momentum. Think of the long runs of The Macallan or the deluge of Lagavulin and Caol Ila Syndicate bottlings that we've seen in the last year. If you are not in the market for them, the attention of the audience can wander and buyers may leave the sale before the end. The auctioneer is critical to setting the mood. They need to be professional, authoritative and decisive but at the same time, offer humour and persuasive charm. Too slow or a monotonous tone flattens the mood and an obvious run of passed lots can leave an auction stuck in a rut as confidence evaporates. A well balanced sale catalogue offers something for everyone and should command your attention from start to finish, allowing you to check off the lots as you prepare to bid on your quarry.

Auction Watch

September was a buoyant month with full sales offered by McTear's and Mulberry Bank Auctions though not everything found a new home. McTear's offered a rich selectio...

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