Saving the future through preserving the past: An interview with SAS’s Thomas Forrester.

Saving the future through preserving the past: An interview with SAS’s Thomas Forrester.


Whilst the number of ‘celebrity auctioneers’ can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand, Special Auction Services director Thomas Forrester can certainly be counted as a member of that exclusive club.

Known to the public for his regular TV appearances including BBC One’s Bargain Hunt; the veteran auctioneer felt his calling to the trade as early as childhood. Ironically for a man who works so much with the past, when KCWToday spoke to him his thoughts were fixed on the future.

Forrester explained to me his belief that as concerns over climate change become more and more strident across the globe, he believes that the solution to reducing your personal carbon footprint lies in the antiques trade. Furnishing a home with historic fixtures and fittings is the definition of carbon neutral, if the public’s first instinct is to look to the auction house rather than the catalogue then the planet (and the pocketbook) profit.

As attitudes continue to change, Thomas foresees a quiet revolution in interior design, fuelled by the antiques trade. The birth of the online auction in the 21st century revolutionised how Special Auction Services and the broader industry worked. In response to more people buying online and therefore not setting foot in the auction house, Special Auction Services found it necessary to offer an in-house packing and shipping solution for successful online bidders. This is by no means standard in the industry and has proved extremely popular. They still offer the traditional auction environment in their Newbury saleroom where they hold over 50 auctions a year. Thomas also holds special monthly valuation days at J McCarthy and Sons in SW1, (a family run jewellers that has been there since the 18th century), where people can bring in any items they would like to find out more about. Speaking to Thomas, it’s clear that if you’re looking for anything from saving the environment to the perfect Christmas gift, it can all be found under the hammer.

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